The greatest LCMS literary figure. . .

. . .would surely be Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss.  He was a life-long member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Yesterday would have been his 107th birthday.

Celebrating Dr. Seuss.

What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism, and what does Lutheranism tell you about Dr. Seuss?

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.

  • SKPeterson

    That silliness and seriousness can combine in sublimity. In moderation, mind you.

  • SKPeterson

    That silliness and seriousness can combine in sublimity. In moderation, mind you.

  • Lily

    I had heard rumors that Dr. Suess and his wife were pro-abortion and when I googled found this in several places:

    Somehow, Geisel’s books find themselves in the middle of controversy. The line “A person’s a person, no matter how small,” from “Horton Hears a Who!,” has been used as a slogan for anti-abortion organizations. It’s often questioned whether that was Seuss’ intent in the first place, but when he was still alive, he threatened to sue an anti-abortion group unless they removed his words from their letterhead.

    Karl ZoBell, the attorney for Dr. Seuss’ interests and for his widow, Audrey Geisel, says that she doesn’t like people to “hijack Dr. Seuss characters or material to front their own points of view.”

    http://articles.cnn.com/2009-01-23/living/mf.seuss.stories.behind_1_theodore-geisel-seuss-intent-dr-seuss?_s=PM:LIVING

  • Lily

    I had heard rumors that Dr. Suess and his wife were pro-abortion and when I googled found this in several places:

    Somehow, Geisel’s books find themselves in the middle of controversy. The line “A person’s a person, no matter how small,” from “Horton Hears a Who!,” has been used as a slogan for anti-abortion organizations. It’s often questioned whether that was Seuss’ intent in the first place, but when he was still alive, he threatened to sue an anti-abortion group unless they removed his words from their letterhead.

    Karl ZoBell, the attorney for Dr. Seuss’ interests and for his widow, Audrey Geisel, says that she doesn’t like people to “hijack Dr. Seuss characters or material to front their own points of view.”

    http://articles.cnn.com/2009-01-23/living/mf.seuss.stories.behind_1_theodore-geisel-seuss-intent-dr-seuss?_s=PM:LIVING

  • Lily

    Ouch! Here is another link that shows support for Planned Parenthood:

    San Diego, CA – Documents released today by Operation Rescue show beyond doubt that Audrey Geisel, the widow of Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel has a long history of financially supporting Planned Parenthood.

    “It has been well known for years around San Diego that the Geisels were pro-abortion and active supporters of the local Planned Parenthood affiliate,” said Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger, who lived in San Diego for 23 years. “Many years ago, I remember seeing Dr. Seuss at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser that we were protesting. People find it hard to believe that someone who could write such amazing children’s stories could support the brutal killing of innocent children through abortion. His wife, Audrey, has been very active in her support for the abortion group over the years, and our documents prove that.”

    http://www.operationrescue.org/archives/documents-prove-dr-seuss’s-widow-is-long-time-supporter-of-planned-parenthood/

  • Lily

    Ouch! Here is another link that shows support for Planned Parenthood:

    San Diego, CA – Documents released today by Operation Rescue show beyond doubt that Audrey Geisel, the widow of Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel has a long history of financially supporting Planned Parenthood.

    “It has been well known for years around San Diego that the Geisels were pro-abortion and active supporters of the local Planned Parenthood affiliate,” said Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger, who lived in San Diego for 23 years. “Many years ago, I remember seeing Dr. Seuss at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser that we were protesting. People find it hard to believe that someone who could write such amazing children’s stories could support the brutal killing of innocent children through abortion. His wife, Audrey, has been very active in her support for the abortion group over the years, and our documents prove that.”

    http://www.operationrescue.org/archives/documents-prove-dr-seuss’s-widow-is-long-time-supporter-of-planned-parenthood/

  • Dan Kempin

    “The greatest LCMS literary figure. . . Dr. Suess.”

    “What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism . . .?”

    Umm. . . Ahh. . .

    (Why does this post feel 29 days premature?)

  • Dan Kempin

    “The greatest LCMS literary figure. . . Dr. Suess.”

    “What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism . . .?”

    Umm. . . Ahh. . .

    (Why does this post feel 29 days premature?)

  • Tom Hering

    “What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism …”

    That a Lutheran feels free to make art that isn’t Christian, just good (hopefully great). Of course, in both life and death, he will have to suffer fools who want to read either a pro-Christian or an anti-Christian message into his works – and use his personal life and views to do it.

  • Tom Hering

    “What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism …”

    That a Lutheran feels free to make art that isn’t Christian, just good (hopefully great). Of course, in both life and death, he will have to suffer fools who want to read either a pro-Christian or an anti-Christian message into his works – and use his personal life and views to do it.

  • G

    Geisel, if Wikipedia can be trusted, moved to La Jolla, California in 1948 and lived there until his death in 1991.

  • G

    Geisel, if Wikipedia can be trusted, moved to La Jolla, California in 1948 and lived there until his death in 1991.

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

    That Lutheranism is full of glippety-glop-glup? That Lutheranism likes odd foods (OK, Lutefisk suppers up my way prove that–and hey, there’s that glippety-glop-glup again!)?

    My apologies, and I think I’ll stop while I’m way, way behind here….

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

    That Lutheranism is full of glippety-glop-glup? That Lutheranism likes odd foods (OK, Lutefisk suppers up my way prove that–and hey, there’s that glippety-glop-glup again!)?

    My apologies, and I think I’ll stop while I’m way, way behind here….

  • Larry

    What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism:

    I would echoe a couple on here as to what they alluded to, that one can have a normal vocation and it pleases God and it can be for enjoyment, and not have to suffer the new monkery of the evangelical churches informal medieval romanism of conscience binding church yard works and duties, and fruit blood hounding, inspecting and policing.

    and what does Lutheranism tell you about Dr. Seuss?

    That a true church has true and real sinners and not pretend sinners, and that moving from pro abortion to anti abortion no more saves or prevail before the justice of God than someone stopping smoking, drinking or dancing – that it is Christ alone.

  • Larry

    What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism:

    I would echoe a couple on here as to what they alluded to, that one can have a normal vocation and it pleases God and it can be for enjoyment, and not have to suffer the new monkery of the evangelical churches informal medieval romanism of conscience binding church yard works and duties, and fruit blood hounding, inspecting and policing.

    and what does Lutheranism tell you about Dr. Seuss?

    That a true church has true and real sinners and not pretend sinners, and that moving from pro abortion to anti abortion no more saves or prevail before the justice of God than someone stopping smoking, drinking or dancing – that it is Christ alone.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dr Seuss and his wife apparently felt they could reconcile planned parenthood with their Lutheran and christian faith. It´s good to see that the LCMS does not make such people feel unwelcomed.

    Abortion is not all that Planned Parenthood is about as far as I can know. Maybe they felt they could do some good from the inside of that organization.

    Every single abortion is a tragedy and something to truly grieve over. I do trust that our Father, full of goodness and mercy, and who loves each and every one of those aborted little ones is at work doing more than any one of us could do to deal with the suffering that abortion represents in our fallen world.

    So I have the luxury of putting the best construction on the life of our fellow LCMS Lutheran Dr Seuss. In Christ. Who will resolve all this sweetly by grace at the end of the age.

    In the meantime. I LOVE Dr Seuss. I would not have expected such whimsey to come from an LCMS Lutheran. What a nice surprise.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dr Seuss and his wife apparently felt they could reconcile planned parenthood with their Lutheran and christian faith. It´s good to see that the LCMS does not make such people feel unwelcomed.

    Abortion is not all that Planned Parenthood is about as far as I can know. Maybe they felt they could do some good from the inside of that organization.

    Every single abortion is a tragedy and something to truly grieve over. I do trust that our Father, full of goodness and mercy, and who loves each and every one of those aborted little ones is at work doing more than any one of us could do to deal with the suffering that abortion represents in our fallen world.

    So I have the luxury of putting the best construction on the life of our fellow LCMS Lutheran Dr Seuss. In Christ. Who will resolve all this sweetly by grace at the end of the age.

    In the meantime. I LOVE Dr Seuss. I would not have expected such whimsey to come from an LCMS Lutheran. What a nice surprise.

  • Joe

    So, he was a life long “member” of a Church in Massachusetts but lived in California, what Dr. Seuss tells me out the LCMS is that we are still doing a very terrible job at cleaning up our membership roles and dealing with delinquents.

  • Joe

    So, he was a life long “member” of a Church in Massachusetts but lived in California, what Dr. Seuss tells me out the LCMS is that we are still doing a very terrible job at cleaning up our membership roles and dealing with delinquents.

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

    Abortions are Planned Parenthood’s money maker. I wonder about Geisel’s personal views considering his generational demographic and knowing Planned Parenthood’s original mandate. Margret Sanger, their founder, was a big eugenics proponent. She was all for the elimination of undesirables i.e. people of color, Jews, the mentally retarded, etc. And considering the number of people in his generation that were proponents of the eugenics movement, I have to wonder about Geisel.

    That said, I wouldn’t consider Dr. Seuss, a great Lutheran literary figure. He told some nice stories that do show skill in writing, but lacking clear evidence of faith’s influence on his work, I would hesitate to say more than he is a skilled writer.

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

    Abortions are Planned Parenthood’s money maker. I wonder about Geisel’s personal views considering his generational demographic and knowing Planned Parenthood’s original mandate. Margret Sanger, their founder, was a big eugenics proponent. She was all for the elimination of undesirables i.e. people of color, Jews, the mentally retarded, etc. And considering the number of people in his generation that were proponents of the eugenics movement, I have to wonder about Geisel.

    That said, I wouldn’t consider Dr. Seuss, a great Lutheran literary figure. He told some nice stories that do show skill in writing, but lacking clear evidence of faith’s influence on his work, I would hesitate to say more than he is a skilled writer.

  • Joe

    DR.L21 – I suspect that Geisel was not into eugenics as his early work was doing political cartoons/commentary that took aim at Hitler and racial prejudice.

    here is some of his work:

    http://www.fanpop.com/spots/dr-seuss/images/67529/title/political-cartoons-seuss-photo

  • Joe

    DR.L21 – I suspect that Geisel was not into eugenics as his early work was doing political cartoons/commentary that took aim at Hitler and racial prejudice.

    here is some of his work:

    http://www.fanpop.com/spots/dr-seuss/images/67529/title/political-cartoons-seuss-photo

  • Jerry

    about as much sense as Steve Jobs was confirmed in a LCMS church

  • Jerry

    about as much sense as Steve Jobs was confirmed in a LCMS church

  • WebMonk

    Joe @ 10 – right on! (and it’s not just LCMS churches that don’t clean up their rolls)

    Membership not withstanding, from everything I’ve found out, he discarded everything Lutheran immediately upon leaving home at 17.

  • WebMonk

    Joe @ 10 – right on! (and it’s not just LCMS churches that don’t clean up their rolls)

    Membership not withstanding, from everything I’ve found out, he discarded everything Lutheran immediately upon leaving home at 17.

  • Larry

    Questions with an obvious answers:
    Role cleaning, now that brings back old sectarian memories for me, and that brings up some interesting theology:
    In such role cleaning did one such fall away from the faith that he once possessed or was he deluded that he was “once saved always saved” and never really possessed true saving faith not being elect afterall (never part of the gang just included long enough to ring a few tithe dollars out of him)?
    Thus, would the LCMS rebaptize a member returning later from such a “role cleaning” like the Baptist would have too? What was that first water right of the cleaned from the roles?

    The only hypothetical actual “role cleaning” Paul exercised was Galatia, in Corinth, however, the role of the “role cleaning” (1 Cor.) was in order to get them back (2 Cor.).

    “Beware of the yeast of the sinners and prostitutes…”

  • Larry

    Questions with an obvious answers:
    Role cleaning, now that brings back old sectarian memories for me, and that brings up some interesting theology:
    In such role cleaning did one such fall away from the faith that he once possessed or was he deluded that he was “once saved always saved” and never really possessed true saving faith not being elect afterall (never part of the gang just included long enough to ring a few tithe dollars out of him)?
    Thus, would the LCMS rebaptize a member returning later from such a “role cleaning” like the Baptist would have too? What was that first water right of the cleaned from the roles?

    The only hypothetical actual “role cleaning” Paul exercised was Galatia, in Corinth, however, the role of the “role cleaning” (1 Cor.) was in order to get them back (2 Cor.).

    “Beware of the yeast of the sinners and prostitutes…”

  • Tom Hering

    “… I wouldn’t consider Dr. Seuss, a great Lutheran literary figure. He told some nice stories that do show skill in writing, but lacking clear evidence of faith’s influence on his work …”

    You don’t have to write Lutheran books, or even generically Christian books, to be a Lutheran writer. It’s a distinctly Lutheran view that art has value as art – apart from religion. Whether or not Dr. Seuss was still a Lutheran as an adult, or created his books in the freedom of the Reformation view of art, is another matter.

  • Tom Hering

    “… I wouldn’t consider Dr. Seuss, a great Lutheran literary figure. He told some nice stories that do show skill in writing, but lacking clear evidence of faith’s influence on his work …”

    You don’t have to write Lutheran books, or even generically Christian books, to be a Lutheran writer. It’s a distinctly Lutheran view that art has value as art – apart from religion. Whether or not Dr. Seuss was still a Lutheran as an adult, or created his books in the freedom of the Reformation view of art, is another matter.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    This post only furthers my feeling that Lutherans have a strange relationship with fame. There simply aren’t that many Lutheran celebrities — certainly not if you only consider actual LCMS, WELS, and ELS members — so we get weird instances like this where this guy, who is undoubtedly famous, is labeled Lutheran because of how he was raised as a child, but maybe not how he identified himself once he was doing his famous work.

    Which isn’t to say that you can’t find Lutheran themes in Dr. Seuss’s books. But then, you could probably make a good case for there being Lutheran themes (certainly vocation!) in Richard Scarry’s books, too — and was he Lutheran? Does it matter?

    All that said, I think Larry (@8) best answered Veith’s questions.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    This post only furthers my feeling that Lutherans have a strange relationship with fame. There simply aren’t that many Lutheran celebrities — certainly not if you only consider actual LCMS, WELS, and ELS members — so we get weird instances like this where this guy, who is undoubtedly famous, is labeled Lutheran because of how he was raised as a child, but maybe not how he identified himself once he was doing his famous work.

    Which isn’t to say that you can’t find Lutheran themes in Dr. Seuss’s books. But then, you could probably make a good case for there being Lutheran themes (certainly vocation!) in Richard Scarry’s books, too — and was he Lutheran? Does it matter?

    All that said, I think Larry (@8) best answered Veith’s questions.

  • Larry

    “The sound of one hand clapping” or “If a heterodox (i.e. false) church does indeed cleanse and purges its membership role thoroughly, did anything really happen?”

    And what about all those heathen unbelievers unofficially on the membership, roles at heterodox believers baptism churches, the one’s that “get their pictures taken and are in the membership phone book, at all the suppers, included in SS and Vac. BS, smiled at every Sunday and called dear, cute and such, taught to sing, “Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so….” – you know the 0 to approximately 12 year olds? A truly regenerate church should not be hypocritical but purge itself completely.

  • Larry

    “The sound of one hand clapping” or “If a heterodox (i.e. false) church does indeed cleanse and purges its membership role thoroughly, did anything really happen?”

    And what about all those heathen unbelievers unofficially on the membership, roles at heterodox believers baptism churches, the one’s that “get their pictures taken and are in the membership phone book, at all the suppers, included in SS and Vac. BS, smiled at every Sunday and called dear, cute and such, taught to sing, “Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so….” – you know the 0 to approximately 12 year olds? A truly regenerate church should not be hypocritical but purge itself completely.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also, Joe (@10), the article Veith linked to, if we are to trust its factual accuracy, says Geisel “attended Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church along with his parents and grandparents as a child, and was a life-long Lutheran,” not, as you read, that he was a member of Trinity for all his life.

    This does, however, contrast with WebMonk’s claim (@14) that “he discarded everything Lutheran immediately upon leaving home at 17″.

    None of this should be construed as my caring whether he was Lutheran or not, as far as enjoying his works — or even finding appropriate Christian themes — goes.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also, Joe (@10), the article Veith linked to, if we are to trust its factual accuracy, says Geisel “attended Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church along with his parents and grandparents as a child, and was a life-long Lutheran,” not, as you read, that he was a member of Trinity for all his life.

    This does, however, contrast with WebMonk’s claim (@14) that “he discarded everything Lutheran immediately upon leaving home at 17″.

    None of this should be construed as my caring whether he was Lutheran or not, as far as enjoying his works — or even finding appropriate Christian themes — goes.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    tODD, you are quite correct at #17. But it is not just limited to Lutherans per se, in fact these are excellent examples of Tajfel’s Social Identity Theory, something I only recently became aware of.

    Quoting:
    Social identity is a person’s sense of who they are based on their group membership(s).

    Tajfel proposed that the groups (e.g. social class, family, football team etc.) which people belonged to were an important source of pride and self-esteem. Groups give us a sense of social identity: a sense of belonging to the social world.

    In order to increase our self-image we enhance the status of the group to which we belong. For example, England is the best country in the world! We can also increase our self-image by discriminating and being prejudice against the out group (the group we don’t belong to). For example, the Americans, French etc. are a bunch of losers!

    Therefore we divided the world into “them” and “us” based through a process of social categorisation (i.e. we put people into social groups).

    From here: http://www.simplypsychology.org/social-identity-theory.html

    Actually, the internet, and especially blog arguments/wars, are excellen examples of SIT. One can almost make it into a spectator sport – who are the groups, and how do they play the game? This blog has yielded some excellent examples in the past…. ;)

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    tODD, you are quite correct at #17. But it is not just limited to Lutherans per se, in fact these are excellent examples of Tajfel’s Social Identity Theory, something I only recently became aware of.

    Quoting:
    Social identity is a person’s sense of who they are based on their group membership(s).

    Tajfel proposed that the groups (e.g. social class, family, football team etc.) which people belonged to were an important source of pride and self-esteem. Groups give us a sense of social identity: a sense of belonging to the social world.

    In order to increase our self-image we enhance the status of the group to which we belong. For example, England is the best country in the world! We can also increase our self-image by discriminating and being prejudice against the out group (the group we don’t belong to). For example, the Americans, French etc. are a bunch of losers!

    Therefore we divided the world into “them” and “us” based through a process of social categorisation (i.e. we put people into social groups).

    From here: http://www.simplypsychology.org/social-identity-theory.html

    Actually, the internet, and especially blog arguments/wars, are excellen examples of SIT. One can almost make it into a spectator sport – who are the groups, and how do they play the game? This blog has yielded some excellent examples in the past…. ;)

  • Joe

    tODD @ 19 “as you read, that he was a member of Trinity for all his life.” Sorry, I only skimmed the article and relied on Veith’s post which states: “He was a life-long member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Springfield, Massachusetts.”

    Larry – no re-baptism. Removing a member from the membership role due to inactivity, etc. is nothing more than an administrative housecleaning thing. It is not he same as excommunication.

  • Joe

    tODD @ 19 “as you read, that he was a member of Trinity for all his life.” Sorry, I only skimmed the article and relied on Veith’s post which states: “He was a life-long member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Springfield, Massachusetts.”

    Larry – no re-baptism. Removing a member from the membership role due to inactivity, etc. is nothing more than an administrative housecleaning thing. It is not he same as excommunication.

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

    I’ll be the party pooper. I never liked his books. I remember them from childhood. They didn’t make sense, and I found it more annoying than entertaining. I actually liked them more as an adult because they were kind of fun to read with my kids. But even they only liked them when they were very little like two or three years old. They liked other stuff more.

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

    I’ll be the party pooper. I never liked his books. I remember them from childhood. They didn’t make sense, and I found it more annoying than entertaining. I actually liked them more as an adult because they were kind of fun to read with my kids. But even they only liked them when they were very little like two or three years old. They liked other stuff more.

  • Joe

    I should clarify – no re-baptism in the case of excommunication either.

  • Joe

    I should clarify – no re-baptism in the case of excommunication either.

  • EGK

    Whatever his personal faith may have been in later life, there are clear Christian, and Lutheran, subtexts in many of his works. The Grinch is an example of one who was changed by a word and a song. Horton the elephant with his “I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an elephant’s faithful one hundred percent!” presents the model of the Christian life. The repentance of the King (“I’m so sorry!”) in Bartholomew and the Oobleck actually brings about a change in the environment. Whatever his personal faith, he certainly could not shake a truly Lutheran mindset!

  • EGK

    Whatever his personal faith may have been in later life, there are clear Christian, and Lutheran, subtexts in many of his works. The Grinch is an example of one who was changed by a word and a song. Horton the elephant with his “I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an elephant’s faithful one hundred percent!” presents the model of the Christian life. The repentance of the King (“I’m so sorry!”) in Bartholomew and the Oobleck actually brings about a change in the environment. Whatever his personal faith, he certainly could not shake a truly Lutheran mindset!

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

    @12 Thanks for the link, I didn’t actually know he did political cartoons.
    I have to admit, I am not that big a fan of Dr. Seuss. I like a couple of his books but that is about it. I will say his books as a rule are head and shoulders above most children’s book.

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

    @12 Thanks for the link, I didn’t actually know he did political cartoons.
    I have to admit, I am not that big a fan of Dr. Seuss. I like a couple of his books but that is about it. I will say his books as a rule are head and shoulders above most children’s book.

  • WebMonk

    tODD, don’t take my “research” as solid fact. It was quick Internet-level research and is based on a variety of quotes about and descriptions of “Dr. Seuss” in his college years. As far as I can tell, he never attended church (at least not regularly) after college.

    He wasn’t hostile, that I can tell, it was just never a part of his life. Even while he was still at home before college, I’ve never found that he had any sort of religious interactions recorded.

  • WebMonk

    tODD, don’t take my “research” as solid fact. It was quick Internet-level research and is based on a variety of quotes about and descriptions of “Dr. Seuss” in his college years. As far as I can tell, he never attended church (at least not regularly) after college.

    He wasn’t hostile, that I can tell, it was just never a part of his life. Even while he was still at home before college, I’ve never found that he had any sort of religious interactions recorded.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Louis (@20), right. But, since you didn’t quite make the connection I wanted (though you probably meant it), I will do so now.

    “In order to increase our self-image we enhance the status of the group to which we belong.” And, in this case (as with the earlier post on the Jayhawks), we seemingly attempt to enhance our group’s status by linking it to people with their own, higher status.

    “You think Lutherans are boring? No fun? Ineffective? Well, what if I told you that Dr. Seuss was a Lutheran … sort of, maybe, at least at one point? Huh? How about us Lutherans now! And did I mention Dana Carvey? And Loni Anderson?”

    Of course, in so doing, we run the risk of changing Lutheranism from a set of ideas (namely, about God) into merely a group that one can either be a part of or not, largely irrespective of ideas. We increase our perceived value at the expense of our own identity.

    Which is bizarre to me. Because Lutheranism has some terribly good ideas. But not so many celebrities — especially those who adhere to said ideas.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Louis (@20), right. But, since you didn’t quite make the connection I wanted (though you probably meant it), I will do so now.

    “In order to increase our self-image we enhance the status of the group to which we belong.” And, in this case (as with the earlier post on the Jayhawks), we seemingly attempt to enhance our group’s status by linking it to people with their own, higher status.

    “You think Lutherans are boring? No fun? Ineffective? Well, what if I told you that Dr. Seuss was a Lutheran … sort of, maybe, at least at one point? Huh? How about us Lutherans now! And did I mention Dana Carvey? And Loni Anderson?”

    Of course, in so doing, we run the risk of changing Lutheranism from a set of ideas (namely, about God) into merely a group that one can either be a part of or not, largely irrespective of ideas. We increase our perceived value at the expense of our own identity.

    Which is bizarre to me. Because Lutheranism has some terribly good ideas. But not so many celebrities — especially those who adhere to said ideas.

  • WebMonk

    EGK – don’t read too much into it. You can do the exact same sort of extrapolations from his books and get atheistic results, as numerous sites on the net have done. There are several quotes from his estate that he was annoyed by people always trying to read stuff into his stories, so I would highly suspect that any Christian subtexts are there by coincidence.

  • WebMonk

    EGK – don’t read too much into it. You can do the exact same sort of extrapolations from his books and get atheistic results, as numerous sites on the net have done. There are several quotes from his estate that he was annoyed by people always trying to read stuff into his stories, so I would highly suspect that any Christian subtexts are there by coincidence.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@22), I hope you won’t take offense if I note, with a smile, that your critique, “I never liked his books … They didn’t make sense” is very much of a piece with what I’ve come to know about you from your comments here.

    For what it’s worth, I think a true understanding of the role Dr. Seuss played in children’s literature would require comparing his works to what had previously been offered to children. From what I’ve read, his works are dramatically more interesting — not least of all for the parents reading them to their children.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@22), I hope you won’t take offense if I note, with a smile, that your critique, “I never liked his books … They didn’t make sense” is very much of a piece with what I’ve come to know about you from your comments here.

    For what it’s worth, I think a true understanding of the role Dr. Seuss played in children’s literature would require comparing his works to what had previously been offered to children. From what I’ve read, his works are dramatically more interesting — not least of all for the parents reading them to their children.

  • Grace

    One foot in the church and the other in pro-abortion. You can’t reconcile the two. There are lots of people who play both sides, and belong to a church. The same can be said for those who are homosexuals and join a church. There are lots of liberal churches.

    They were well known in the San Diego/La Jolla area. My aunt and uncle lived there, and knew them.

  • Grace

    One foot in the church and the other in pro-abortion. You can’t reconcile the two. There are lots of people who play both sides, and belong to a church. The same can be said for those who are homosexuals and join a church. There are lots of liberal churches.

    They were well known in the San Diego/La Jolla area. My aunt and uncle lived there, and knew them.

  • Booklover

    I loved Dr. Seuss; love, love, loved. His rhythm and rhyme appealed to me and pleased me very much as a child; and, as a musician, I see it as having great value beyond just fun.

    Dr. Seuss’ overall buoyancy and joie de vivre in his stories and artwork, to me, demonstrate a strong philosophy of zest for life.

    How does this fit in with Lutheranism? I don’t know–perhaps that we don’t have to struggle to make it in this world; that there is an ease and a joy and a delight knowing that Christ has done it for us. There is also delight amidst realism–joy can be found in life even amongst the Fiffer-feffer-feffs and Plain-Belly Sneetches characters that are out there.

  • Booklover

    I loved Dr. Seuss; love, love, loved. His rhythm and rhyme appealed to me and pleased me very much as a child; and, as a musician, I see it as having great value beyond just fun.

    Dr. Seuss’ overall buoyancy and joie de vivre in his stories and artwork, to me, demonstrate a strong philosophy of zest for life.

    How does this fit in with Lutheranism? I don’t know–perhaps that we don’t have to struggle to make it in this world; that there is an ease and a joy and a delight knowing that Christ has done it for us. There is also delight amidst realism–joy can be found in life even amongst the Fiffer-feffer-feffs and Plain-Belly Sneetches characters that are out there.

  • WebMonk

    Oh, and just because I’m sure someone will point them out, I’ll mention them first. In 28 I said he didn’t try to write things to convey hidden meanings – that’s not completely true. He wrote Lorax and Butter Battle very specifically to convey a subtext.

    Other than that, though, he seems to have gotten very irritated and angry at people who tried to read things into his books. He didn’t even let people see his original drawings until he was getting near death because he didn’t want art critics dissecting them for deep meaning.

  • WebMonk

    Oh, and just because I’m sure someone will point them out, I’ll mention them first. In 28 I said he didn’t try to write things to convey hidden meanings – that’s not completely true. He wrote Lorax and Butter Battle very specifically to convey a subtext.

    Other than that, though, he seems to have gotten very irritated and angry at people who tried to read things into his books. He didn’t even let people see his original drawings until he was getting near death because he didn’t want art critics dissecting them for deep meaning.

  • utahrainbow

    What about reading Lutheran meaning into ‘The Zax’?
    ;)

  • utahrainbow

    What about reading Lutheran meaning into ‘The Zax’?
    ;)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    WebMonk said (@28), “I would highly suspect that any Christian subtexts are there by coincidence.”

    Perhaps, if by that you mean that Mr. (Dr.?) Geisel did not himself explicitly intend to place them there. This would be akin to saying that Tim Berners-Lee did not invent the Web to benefit Christians and enable their discussions.

    What I mean to point out in such a comparison is that God can and does work “in, with, and under” the work of humans here on earth — even unbelievers. So when we find universal truths — or, especially, Gospel allusions — in such works, are they there merely by “coincidence”, or does God get the credit?

    I also think it’s an understatement to say that it’s “not completely true” that “he didn’t try to write things to convey hidden meanings” — the Lorax and the Butter Battle aren’t even the half of it, as this humorous series of images conveys.

    If you’d like, I could also offer up my eisegetical reading of Ten Apples up on Top, which largely serves as a contrast between a small socialist utopia and the more oppressive, institutionalized Soviet Communism.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    WebMonk said (@28), “I would highly suspect that any Christian subtexts are there by coincidence.”

    Perhaps, if by that you mean that Mr. (Dr.?) Geisel did not himself explicitly intend to place them there. This would be akin to saying that Tim Berners-Lee did not invent the Web to benefit Christians and enable their discussions.

    What I mean to point out in such a comparison is that God can and does work “in, with, and under” the work of humans here on earth — even unbelievers. So when we find universal truths — or, especially, Gospel allusions — in such works, are they there merely by “coincidence”, or does God get the credit?

    I also think it’s an understatement to say that it’s “not completely true” that “he didn’t try to write things to convey hidden meanings” — the Lorax and the Butter Battle aren’t even the half of it, as this humorous series of images conveys.

    If you’d like, I could also offer up my eisegetical reading of Ten Apples up on Top, which largely serves as a contrast between a small socialist utopia and the more oppressive, institutionalized Soviet Communism.

  • http://elliebork'sblog.wordpress.com Ellie Borkenhagen

    Dr. Seuss had a highly developed imagination and used it artistically in his writing for children. He separated himself from his books by using a pen name. Fiction does not require a bareing of one’s soul. Read and enjoy!

  • http://elliebork'sblog.wordpress.com Ellie Borkenhagen

    Dr. Seuss had a highly developed imagination and used it artistically in his writing for children. He separated himself from his books by using a pen name. Fiction does not require a bareing of one’s soul. Read and enjoy!

  • WebMonk

    tODD 34,

    Perhaps, if by that you mean that Mr. (Dr.?) Geisel did not himself explicitly intend to place them there.

    Yeah, but I wouldn’t say your “akin” example is actually very akin. :-)

    Universal truths – yes. Gospel allusions – no.

    Stories have frequently used themes, and every time someone sacrifices himself for someone else isn’t an allusion to Christ’s death for us.

    A rather atrocious romance novel I read on a plane (it was left by a previous passenger and looked like an adventure story from the front and back covers) in which the heroine was saved by the sacrifice of a kid who warned her, but got shot for his efforts (he ran through an active gun battle, knowing he would get shot, but wrote the warning on a paper which he managed to throw toward her).

    A similarity to Christ’s death which can be extracted? Sure. Why not.

    Gospel allusion? Nope.

    Same thing for Dr. Seuss’s stories. Similarities in some ways? Sure. Gospel allusions? No.

  • WebMonk

    tODD 34,

    Perhaps, if by that you mean that Mr. (Dr.?) Geisel did not himself explicitly intend to place them there.

    Yeah, but I wouldn’t say your “akin” example is actually very akin. :-)

    Universal truths – yes. Gospel allusions – no.

    Stories have frequently used themes, and every time someone sacrifices himself for someone else isn’t an allusion to Christ’s death for us.

    A rather atrocious romance novel I read on a plane (it was left by a previous passenger and looked like an adventure story from the front and back covers) in which the heroine was saved by the sacrifice of a kid who warned her, but got shot for his efforts (he ran through an active gun battle, knowing he would get shot, but wrote the warning on a paper which he managed to throw toward her).

    A similarity to Christ’s death which can be extracted? Sure. Why not.

    Gospel allusion? Nope.

    Same thing for Dr. Seuss’s stories. Similarities in some ways? Sure. Gospel allusions? No.

  • Rev. Ryan Fehrmann

    I thought either Bo Giertz or Lars Walker was the greatest Lutheran Literary figure, forget various synods, oh well. Just for completeness here is the ‘list’ of famous Lutherans, or a version of it that floats around the net:

    http://www.trinityashaway.org/framed/famous.html

  • Rev. Ryan Fehrmann

    I thought either Bo Giertz or Lars Walker was the greatest Lutheran Literary figure, forget various synods, oh well. Just for completeness here is the ‘list’ of famous Lutherans, or a version of it that floats around the net:

    http://www.trinityashaway.org/framed/famous.html

  • Pete

    John Updike?

  • Pete

    John Updike?

  • Grace

    This being published during war. Fortunately, most individuals weren’t interested. The book didn’t sell well. 1987 being a different story.

    The Seven Lady Godivas

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    “The Seven Lady Godivas: The True Facts Concerning History’s Barest Family is a picture book of the tale of Lady Godiva, written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss. One of Seuss’s few books written for adults, its original 1939 publication by Random House was a failure and was eventually remaindered. However, it later gained popularity as Seuss himself grew in fame, and was republished in 1987.

    The book recounts in prose the tale of not one, but seven Godiva sisters, none of whom ever wear clothing. The explanation for their nakedness, even when walking in snow, is that “they were simply themselves and chose not to disguise it.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Lady_Godivas

    “Disguise” ?
    ]

  • Grace

    This being published during war. Fortunately, most individuals weren’t interested. The book didn’t sell well. 1987 being a different story.

    The Seven Lady Godivas

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    “The Seven Lady Godivas: The True Facts Concerning History’s Barest Family is a picture book of the tale of Lady Godiva, written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss. One of Seuss’s few books written for adults, its original 1939 publication by Random House was a failure and was eventually remaindered. However, it later gained popularity as Seuss himself grew in fame, and was republished in 1987.

    The book recounts in prose the tale of not one, but seven Godiva sisters, none of whom ever wear clothing. The explanation for their nakedness, even when walking in snow, is that “they were simply themselves and chose not to disguise it.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Lady_Godivas

    “Disguise” ?
    ]

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

    I have it on good source that some ELCA pastors are pro-life and I know from personal contact that some LCMS pastors are teetering pro-death-so-Seuss supporting the pro-death – tax-payer funded – PP- does not surprise me–
    C-CS
    LA-LFL

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

    I have it on good source that some ELCA pastors are pro-life and I know from personal contact that some LCMS pastors are teetering pro-death-so-Seuss supporting the pro-death – tax-payer funded – PP- does not surprise me–
    C-CS
    LA-LFL

  • Purple Koolaid

    FWS: Dr Seuss and his wife apparently felt they could reconcile planned parenthood with their Lutheran and christian faith. It´s good to see that the LCMS does not make such people feel unwelcomed.
    PK: How can you reconcile the nation’s largest abortion provider with your faith? It’s like reconciling all the good work Hitler did on highways in Germany. Nevermind the genocide.

  • Purple Koolaid

    FWS: Dr Seuss and his wife apparently felt they could reconcile planned parenthood with their Lutheran and christian faith. It´s good to see that the LCMS does not make such people feel unwelcomed.
    PK: How can you reconcile the nation’s largest abortion provider with your faith? It’s like reconciling all the good work Hitler did on highways in Germany. Nevermind the genocide.

  • Grace

    41 Purple Koolaid

    Who is PK?

  • Grace

    41 Purple Koolaid

    Who is PK?

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

    tODD @ 39 I agree. I am not a good judge of such things.

    When I was in third grade, the thing I wanted most in the world was this book. My grandmother got it for me. :-)

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

    tODD @ 39 I agree. I am not a good judge of such things.

    When I was in third grade, the thing I wanted most in the world was this book. My grandmother got it for me. :-)

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    Purple Koolaid (@41) said:

    It’s like reconciling all the good work Hitler did on highways in Germany. Nevermind the genocide.

    Actually, good point, PK. Do you think there were any people — any Christians, even — in Germany who supported Hitler for one reason or another (patriotism, maybe) who yet did not approve of the genocide?

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    Purple Koolaid (@41) said:

    It’s like reconciling all the good work Hitler did on highways in Germany. Nevermind the genocide.

    Actually, good point, PK. Do you think there were any people — any Christians, even — in Germany who supported Hitler for one reason or another (patriotism, maybe) who yet did not approve of the genocide?

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

    “I have it on good source that some ELCA pastors are pro-life ”

    I was just about to agree with you. A former pastor of mine at an ELCA church was very much pro-life. His wife worked in a crisis pregnancy center. I googled him only to find out he is now LCMC.

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

    “I have it on good source that some ELCA pastors are pro-life ”

    I was just about to agree with you. A former pastor of mine at an ELCA church was very much pro-life. His wife worked in a crisis pregnancy center. I googled him only to find out he is now LCMC.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Webmonk, what sources did you find that said Theodor Geisel never went to church after he left home at 17? This biographical account said that he was a “devout Lutheran” all of his life. http://www.americanantiquities.com/articles/article2.html

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Webmonk, what sources did you find that said Theodor Geisel never went to church after he left home at 17? This biographical account said that he was a “devout Lutheran” all of his life. http://www.americanantiquities.com/articles/article2.html

  • http://elliebork'sblog.wordpress.com Ellie Borkenhagen

    Perhaps Dr. Seuss is not the greatest literary figure in the LCMS but he certainly is note worthy. God gets the credit for his creative genius but I doubt if God used him to send any subliminal messages. He has 66 books of his own to tell us what he wants us to know in an open format. Perhaps the greatest literary figure in the LCMS is so humble he hasn’t published the greatest literary work.

  • http://elliebork'sblog.wordpress.com Ellie Borkenhagen

    Perhaps Dr. Seuss is not the greatest literary figure in the LCMS but he certainly is note worthy. God gets the credit for his creative genius but I doubt if God used him to send any subliminal messages. He has 66 books of his own to tell us what he wants us to know in an open format. Perhaps the greatest literary figure in the LCMS is so humble he hasn’t published the greatest literary work.

  • Stephen

    Yes, please do not lump everyone in the ELCA together if at all possible. Lots of pain there. It’s not over until the fat Norwegian lady sings.

    What about Charles Shultz? Seems like he belongs in the same category and is at least as influential.

    My vote is for Soren Kierkegaard (yes, literary. There’s a reason why they skip over him in philosophy classes), but he’s not the most easy read. In his day in Denmark, however, he was read by regular folks. Maybe that says something about us, eh?

  • Stephen

    Yes, please do not lump everyone in the ELCA together if at all possible. Lots of pain there. It’s not over until the fat Norwegian lady sings.

    What about Charles Shultz? Seems like he belongs in the same category and is at least as influential.

    My vote is for Soren Kierkegaard (yes, literary. There’s a reason why they skip over him in philosophy classes), but he’s not the most easy read. In his day in Denmark, however, he was read by regular folks. Maybe that says something about us, eh?

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith

    Theodore Seuss Geisel aka Ted Geisel and Dr. Seuss: Born March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
    Audrey Stone Dimond: Born in 1921 in Chicago.

    Ted: September 24, 1991 in La Jolla, California. Ted died in his sleep at home from jaw cancer at the age of 87.
    Judith and Neil Morgan: “… as Ted had instructed, his body was cremated; there was no funeral service, nor any grave or marker.”
    Source: Judith and Neil Morgan. Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography. pg. 289.

    http://marriage.about.com/od/thearts/p/tgeisel.htm

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith

    Theodore Seuss Geisel aka Ted Geisel and Dr. Seuss: Born March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts.
    Audrey Stone Dimond: Born in 1921 in Chicago.

    Ted: September 24, 1991 in La Jolla, California. Ted died in his sleep at home from jaw cancer at the age of 87.
    Judith and Neil Morgan: “… as Ted had instructed, his body was cremated; there was no funeral service, nor any grave or marker.”
    Source: Judith and Neil Morgan. Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography. pg. 289.

    http://marriage.about.com/od/thearts/p/tgeisel.htm

  • Grace

    There are claims that he was a Unitarian Universalist, this I cannot prove or disprove.

  • Grace

    There are claims that he was a Unitarian Universalist, this I cannot prove or disprove.

  • Stephen

    I guess I spoke too soon about Charles Schultz. I looked on Wikipedia just now and it seems he fell off the wagon pretty badly. A lot of Lutherans when I was growing up, including my folks, used to love him and point to how Lutheran he was. I once lived on the same block in St. Paul where his father’s barber shop used to be.

    And I wasn’t paying attention. The category was LCMS! That really narrows the field.

  • Stephen

    I guess I spoke too soon about Charles Schultz. I looked on Wikipedia just now and it seems he fell off the wagon pretty badly. A lot of Lutherans when I was growing up, including my folks, used to love him and point to how Lutheran he was. I once lived on the same block in St. Paul where his father’s barber shop used to be.

    And I wasn’t paying attention. The category was LCMS! That really narrows the field.

  • WebMonk

    Dr. Veith, you really need to check your Internet sources a bit more carefully. Don’t just take the first thing that pops up on Google.

    For one, check the name of the site (American Antiquities).
    Check the type of site (selling Americana odds and ends).
    Check the support given (none).

    Using a site that is focused on selling Americana brick-a-brack and makes a completely unsupported claim isn’t the best idea.

    I have found nothing going into depth in Seuss’s religious views, however there is a quote by a biographer of his that describes Seuss’s strong disavowal of religion.

    That, coupled with some of his political views, and that no one can find that he ever attended church after he left home tends to make me think he pretty soundly rejected his religious upbringing, as his biographer said.

  • WebMonk

    Dr. Veith, you really need to check your Internet sources a bit more carefully. Don’t just take the first thing that pops up on Google.

    For one, check the name of the site (American Antiquities).
    Check the type of site (selling Americana odds and ends).
    Check the support given (none).

    Using a site that is focused on selling Americana brick-a-brack and makes a completely unsupported claim isn’t the best idea.

    I have found nothing going into depth in Seuss’s religious views, however there is a quote by a biographer of his that describes Seuss’s strong disavowal of religion.

    That, coupled with some of his political views, and that no one can find that he ever attended church after he left home tends to make me think he pretty soundly rejected his religious upbringing, as his biographer said.

  • Grace

    WebMonk –

    I agree –

    I have researched the subject – but I have no intention of posting it on this thread.

  • Grace

    WebMonk –

    I agree –

    I have researched the subject – but I have no intention of posting it on this thread.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen (@51), I always thought Schultz cartoons had a Lutheran shine to them — especially the earlier ones that rarely get play anymore. I hope it’s not too much to say that they definitely have, if not a theology of the cross, something of an anti-theology-of-glory to them. And, “secular humanist” or not, Schultz’s Christmas special remains the only place you’re likely to hear Scripture quoted in earnest on TV anymore — and in the proper KJV, no less!

    Grace (@50), if you “cannot prove or disprove” something, why mention it? And … is there some theological or eternal significance to cremation (@49)?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen (@51), I always thought Schultz cartoons had a Lutheran shine to them — especially the earlier ones that rarely get play anymore. I hope it’s not too much to say that they definitely have, if not a theology of the cross, something of an anti-theology-of-glory to them. And, “secular humanist” or not, Schultz’s Christmas special remains the only place you’re likely to hear Scripture quoted in earnest on TV anymore — and in the proper KJV, no less!

    Grace (@50), if you “cannot prove or disprove” something, why mention it? And … is there some theological or eternal significance to cremation (@49)?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Webmonk, I was asking you for your sources. I wasn’t denying what they said. You often criticize my sources. Give yours. What is the biographer that you found that said he stopped going to church an disavowed religion? The Antiquities site gave lots of details about his contributions to the war and other biographical facts, which I assume came from somewhere. Are you saying they were made up? “No one can find that he ever attended church after he left home”? No one? ever? It would be really hard to prove such negatives. Yes, he was a liberal democrat. Are you saying that a liberal democrat can’t be a Lutheran? Lots were, especially back then, and lots still are.

    Of course there are other Lutherans who are greater literary figures, including Kierkegaard, Bo Giertz, and Lars Walker–also Thomas Mann, Walter Wangerin, and probably a lot of German and Scandinavian writers I’m not familiar with–but to my knowledge Kierkegaard was not a member of the Missouri Synod, nor are any of these others, including Lars.

    Todd, don’t you think there is a special tie with those you can have Communion with?

    The damning information about Dr. Seuss is what was said here about his not being pro-life.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Webmonk, I was asking you for your sources. I wasn’t denying what they said. You often criticize my sources. Give yours. What is the biographer that you found that said he stopped going to church an disavowed religion? The Antiquities site gave lots of details about his contributions to the war and other biographical facts, which I assume came from somewhere. Are you saying they were made up? “No one can find that he ever attended church after he left home”? No one? ever? It would be really hard to prove such negatives. Yes, he was a liberal democrat. Are you saying that a liberal democrat can’t be a Lutheran? Lots were, especially back then, and lots still are.

    Of course there are other Lutherans who are greater literary figures, including Kierkegaard, Bo Giertz, and Lars Walker–also Thomas Mann, Walter Wangerin, and probably a lot of German and Scandinavian writers I’m not familiar with–but to my knowledge Kierkegaard was not a member of the Missouri Synod, nor are any of these others, including Lars.

    Todd, don’t you think there is a special tie with those you can have Communion with?

    The damning information about Dr. Seuss is what was said here about his not being pro-life.

  • Grace

    tODD – 54

    Regarding my post #49

    I posted the material and the link – because “cremated” is stated in the piece has nothing to do with my beliefs, nor do I feel compeled to answer your question – of course you’re looking for more material for another disagreement, I cannot (will not) accommodate you. LOL

  • Grace

    tODD – 54

    Regarding my post #49

    I posted the material and the link – because “cremated” is stated in the piece has nothing to do with my beliefs, nor do I feel compeled to answer your question – of course you’re looking for more material for another disagreement, I cannot (will not) accommodate you. LOL

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    WebMonk (@52), I find it a little odd you’re challenging Veith’s claims, based on your as-yet unsupported assertion (@14) that Geisel “discarded everything Lutheran immediately upon leaving home at 17.” If you have sufficient evidence to gainsay Veith’s article, then ante up (you, too, Grace @53 … oh, wait, you say you know but you’re not going to tell us? How helpful of you).

    “There is a quote by a biographer of his that describes Seuss’s strong disavowal of religion”? [citation needed]

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    WebMonk (@52), I find it a little odd you’re challenging Veith’s claims, based on your as-yet unsupported assertion (@14) that Geisel “discarded everything Lutheran immediately upon leaving home at 17.” If you have sufficient evidence to gainsay Veith’s article, then ante up (you, too, Grace @53 … oh, wait, you say you know but you’re not going to tell us? How helpful of you).

    “There is a quote by a biographer of his that describes Seuss’s strong disavowal of religion”? [citation needed]

  • Grace

    tODD –

    “Grace @53 … oh, wait, you say you know but you’re not going to tell us? How helpful of you).”

    Sometimes it is prudent not say anymore, YOU DO UNDERSTAND, whether you understand or not, makes no difference.

  • Grace

    tODD –

    “Grace @53 … oh, wait, you say you know but you’re not going to tell us? How helpful of you).”

    Sometimes it is prudent not say anymore, YOU DO UNDERSTAND, whether you understand or not, makes no difference.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith asked (@55), “Todd, don’t you think there is a special tie with those you can have Communion with?” Well, yes, but isn’t that something special … the unity that comes from fellowship? And doesn’t unity in fellowship come from agreeing on what God’s Word tells us?

    As such, is there any special tie with someone who is nominally Lutheran, or at least was connected with Lutheranism at some point in his life? No, not unless they also have true fellowship with me. But nearly all of the famous Lutherans that are bandied about don’t share that with me — they tend to be Lutherans in name only. And for those few celebrities who actually lay claim to their Lutheranism, they’re not in fellowship with my church, anyhow.

    Again, I think there’s lots to appreciate about Dr. Seuss. I’m just not sure that his seemingly tenuous ties to Lutheranism are one of them.

    That said, I’m not sure what “the damning information about Dr. Seuss is what was said here about his not being pro-life” means. Do you mean “damning” in the theologial sense?

    Grace (@56), is there any point to your tossing out seemingly irrelevant facts quoted from other Web sites and then failing to explain why you did so? Wouldn’t it be easier to just … stop commenting here if you’re going to refuse to take part in the conversation? Claiming that you have secret knowledge, oh, but you’re not going to share it — whom does that benefit?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith asked (@55), “Todd, don’t you think there is a special tie with those you can have Communion with?” Well, yes, but isn’t that something special … the unity that comes from fellowship? And doesn’t unity in fellowship come from agreeing on what God’s Word tells us?

    As such, is there any special tie with someone who is nominally Lutheran, or at least was connected with Lutheranism at some point in his life? No, not unless they also have true fellowship with me. But nearly all of the famous Lutherans that are bandied about don’t share that with me — they tend to be Lutherans in name only. And for those few celebrities who actually lay claim to their Lutheranism, they’re not in fellowship with my church, anyhow.

    Again, I think there’s lots to appreciate about Dr. Seuss. I’m just not sure that his seemingly tenuous ties to Lutheranism are one of them.

    That said, I’m not sure what “the damning information about Dr. Seuss is what was said here about his not being pro-life” means. Do you mean “damning” in the theologial sense?

    Grace (@56), is there any point to your tossing out seemingly irrelevant facts quoted from other Web sites and then failing to explain why you did so? Wouldn’t it be easier to just … stop commenting here if you’re going to refuse to take part in the conversation? Claiming that you have secret knowledge, oh, but you’re not going to share it — whom does that benefit?

  • Grace

    tODD

    YOU WROTE: “Grace (@56), is there any point to your tossing out seemingly irrelevant facts quoted from other Web sites and then failing to explain why you did so? Wouldn’t it be easier to just … stop commenting here if you’re going to refuse to take part in the conversation?”

    Theodore Seuss Geisel instructions to those, after his death are not irrelevant as you claim.

    I don’t believe that giving out information regarding Theodore Seuss Geisel ( post 49) was irrelevant at all – it was information which Theodore Seuss Geisel instructed as to his wishes after death – somewhat an obituary. If the contents bother you, so what.

  • Grace

    tODD

    YOU WROTE: “Grace (@56), is there any point to your tossing out seemingly irrelevant facts quoted from other Web sites and then failing to explain why you did so? Wouldn’t it be easier to just … stop commenting here if you’re going to refuse to take part in the conversation?”

    Theodore Seuss Geisel instructions to those, after his death are not irrelevant as you claim.

    I don’t believe that giving out information regarding Theodore Seuss Geisel ( post 49) was irrelevant at all – it was information which Theodore Seuss Geisel instructed as to his wishes after death – somewhat an obituary. If the contents bother you, so what.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@60), do you have a point, and if so, are you going to share it with us?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@60), do you have a point, and if so, are you going to share it with us?

  • Larry

    Joe,

    I understood that, but thanks for explicitly stating it just in case some don’t know that. I was being a bit “tongue and cheek” seeing you got a good amen from a Baptist on the matter and knowing first hand what “role purging” means in that heterodoxy and the entirely ‘at odds’ theology/doctrine behind it. I wanted to dispel any assumed continuity that simply does not exist between orthodoxy and heterodoxy.

    When a baptist says, “purge the roles”, the details vary and just how the ‘read the heart’ via secondary means vary from church body to church body and deacon/elder/pastor to deacon/elder/pastor, but it means generically “purge them of the truly not regenerate so we can “get back to a truly regenerate only church” (this is held ironically by both arminian and Calvinistic baptist alike). So they start the various “fruit inspecting and blood hounding” which again varies greatly from church cult to church cult.
    e.g. For some it’s the more overtly silly beer, dancing, movies, smoking, tobacco otherwise – the ones you hear of; others the “eye” on the fruit begins when you don’t attend the other two or three bible studies where the “real Christians are” throughout the week; others the fruit sniffing begins at “do you do enough missions/evangelism (even though you might actually work for a living somewhere else and have 5 or more children – which brings up the original point on this post regarding vocation freedom versus church yard duty lists); etc, ad infinitum, ad nausem. I could list a hundred sundry things and not even scratch the surface. All of these and more could lead to a “purge from the roles”, hypothetically, and thus not truly regenerate being the ultimately reason for through secondary means they read the heart and detect a falling away (arminian) or not elect maybe reprobate (Calvinistic) which leads to IF you are restored re-baptism and “will just punt remain silent on that first water right we did”.

    The assumed “amen” on commonality as to “role purging” is a phantom leprechaun, since such one holding a heterodoxy would never be communing at the alter, let alone be on the roles, with those whom the “amen” on role purging was ‘amened’ with. Thus, we should not ever even imply we “purge the roles” the way the heterodox false churches do, lest we imply to those listening that we are purging legalistically and per their hidden works righteousness too. Because excommunication in an orthodox confessing church is a deeply serious sober issue ultimately driven to bring them back (e.g. Paul in 1 Cor. and 2 Cor.), and NOT to make a judgment of divine election by attempting to see through the things that are the secrets of God (theology of glory). I.e. excommunication is even to the end that the Gospel may reign and restore again, not the Law and certainly not the reduced legalistic versions of the law.

    The reason most unbelievers, and I know I was one once, don’t see Lutherans today as distinct is because most Lutherans, generally speaking because there are still, thank God, some STRONG true Lutherans out there, don’t distinguish their doctrine but align far too much with heterodoxy on these issues of morality. And thus they sound less like Martin Luther and more like Jerry Falwell and the Puritans. And thus outsiders, unbelievers, say, “see Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, Lutheran…six one way, half a dozen another”.

    And thus for example in the ELCA debacle last year what got press was, “they now approve of homosexual ministers” and not the real issue of “they opened their communion doors to the Reformed thus giving up their confession on an if not the CENTRAL article of faith”. And thus the conservative Lutherans get labeled, “eehh just like conservative southern baptist and presbyterians”. Yet, “conservative” does not mean “Orthodox”, one can conserve falsehood. Heterodoxy can and does fly both liberal and conservative flags.

    And so when the questions are asked regarding “What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism, and what does Lutheranism tell you about Dr. Seuss?” And suddenly it is launched into a debate more or less about morality and purging church roles across heterodoxy boards, what ultimately gets hidden is the original intent of the question which is to DISTINCTIVELY TELL “What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism, and what does Lutheranism tell you about Dr. Seuss?” (which several on here have done superbly, Todd, FWS and Tom to mention a few).

  • Larry

    Joe,

    I understood that, but thanks for explicitly stating it just in case some don’t know that. I was being a bit “tongue and cheek” seeing you got a good amen from a Baptist on the matter and knowing first hand what “role purging” means in that heterodoxy and the entirely ‘at odds’ theology/doctrine behind it. I wanted to dispel any assumed continuity that simply does not exist between orthodoxy and heterodoxy.

    When a baptist says, “purge the roles”, the details vary and just how the ‘read the heart’ via secondary means vary from church body to church body and deacon/elder/pastor to deacon/elder/pastor, but it means generically “purge them of the truly not regenerate so we can “get back to a truly regenerate only church” (this is held ironically by both arminian and Calvinistic baptist alike). So they start the various “fruit inspecting and blood hounding” which again varies greatly from church cult to church cult.
    e.g. For some it’s the more overtly silly beer, dancing, movies, smoking, tobacco otherwise – the ones you hear of; others the “eye” on the fruit begins when you don’t attend the other two or three bible studies where the “real Christians are” throughout the week; others the fruit sniffing begins at “do you do enough missions/evangelism (even though you might actually work for a living somewhere else and have 5 or more children – which brings up the original point on this post regarding vocation freedom versus church yard duty lists); etc, ad infinitum, ad nausem. I could list a hundred sundry things and not even scratch the surface. All of these and more could lead to a “purge from the roles”, hypothetically, and thus not truly regenerate being the ultimately reason for through secondary means they read the heart and detect a falling away (arminian) or not elect maybe reprobate (Calvinistic) which leads to IF you are restored re-baptism and “will just punt remain silent on that first water right we did”.

    The assumed “amen” on commonality as to “role purging” is a phantom leprechaun, since such one holding a heterodoxy would never be communing at the alter, let alone be on the roles, with those whom the “amen” on role purging was ‘amened’ with. Thus, we should not ever even imply we “purge the roles” the way the heterodox false churches do, lest we imply to those listening that we are purging legalistically and per their hidden works righteousness too. Because excommunication in an orthodox confessing church is a deeply serious sober issue ultimately driven to bring them back (e.g. Paul in 1 Cor. and 2 Cor.), and NOT to make a judgment of divine election by attempting to see through the things that are the secrets of God (theology of glory). I.e. excommunication is even to the end that the Gospel may reign and restore again, not the Law and certainly not the reduced legalistic versions of the law.

    The reason most unbelievers, and I know I was one once, don’t see Lutherans today as distinct is because most Lutherans, generally speaking because there are still, thank God, some STRONG true Lutherans out there, don’t distinguish their doctrine but align far too much with heterodoxy on these issues of morality. And thus they sound less like Martin Luther and more like Jerry Falwell and the Puritans. And thus outsiders, unbelievers, say, “see Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, Lutheran…six one way, half a dozen another”.

    And thus for example in the ELCA debacle last year what got press was, “they now approve of homosexual ministers” and not the real issue of “they opened their communion doors to the Reformed thus giving up their confession on an if not the CENTRAL article of faith”. And thus the conservative Lutherans get labeled, “eehh just like conservative southern baptist and presbyterians”. Yet, “conservative” does not mean “Orthodox”, one can conserve falsehood. Heterodoxy can and does fly both liberal and conservative flags.

    And so when the questions are asked regarding “What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism, and what does Lutheranism tell you about Dr. Seuss?” And suddenly it is launched into a debate more or less about morality and purging church roles across heterodoxy boards, what ultimately gets hidden is the original intent of the question which is to DISTINCTIVELY TELL “What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism, and what does Lutheranism tell you about Dr. Seuss?” (which several on here have done superbly, Todd, FWS and Tom to mention a few).

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    larry @ 62

    a Lutheran AMEN to what brother Larry said. All.of.it.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    larry @ 62

    a Lutheran AMEN to what brother Larry said. All.of.it.

  • Lily

    I would be interested in knowing if Dr. Suess was a member of an LCMS church in La Jolla or if he fell away from church. I’m afraid the link you provided, Dr. Veith, was a sanitized version of Suess’s life.

    My research found Dr. Suess’s life as one of a man with feet of clay. Not only was there valid information about his pro-abortion stand in several places, but his second marriage was disturbing.

    Wiki answered the reason for his first wife’s suicide like this:

    “After suffering for many years with cancer that left her debilitated and in constant pain, Dr. Seuss’ fairly open affair with another woman (Who he later married) was the last straw. She left him a suicide note claiming this is what caused her to lose the will to live.”

    Source: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_did_dr._seuss_wife_suicide#ixzz1Fdh24e4F

    I kept looking and found more information in a number of places about his second marriage that seemed to confirm Wiki. He married Audrey 8 months after Helen’s death. Here is a link to an article about it:

    “Ted about his decision to marry Audrey: “On the 21st of June, Audrey Dimond is going to Reno to divorce Grey Dimond … Audrey and I are going to be married about the first week in August… This is not a sudden nutty decision … This is an inevitable, inescapable conclusion to five years of four people’s frustration.

    “Helen’s last note to Ted: “Dear Ted, What has happened to us? I don’t know. I feel myself in a spiral, going down down down, into a black hole from which there is no escape, no brightness. And loud in my ears from every side I hear, ‘failure, failure, failure… I love you so much … I am too old and enmeshed in everything you do and are, that I cannot conceive of life without you … My going will leave quite a rumor but you can say I was overworked and overwrought. Your reputation with your friends and fans will not be harmed … Sometimes think of the fun we had all thru the years …”

    Source: Judith and Neil Morgan. Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography. pg. 195. http://marriage.about.com/od/thearts/a/tedgeisel.htm

  • Lily

    I would be interested in knowing if Dr. Suess was a member of an LCMS church in La Jolla or if he fell away from church. I’m afraid the link you provided, Dr. Veith, was a sanitized version of Suess’s life.

    My research found Dr. Suess’s life as one of a man with feet of clay. Not only was there valid information about his pro-abortion stand in several places, but his second marriage was disturbing.

    Wiki answered the reason for his first wife’s suicide like this:

    “After suffering for many years with cancer that left her debilitated and in constant pain, Dr. Seuss’ fairly open affair with another woman (Who he later married) was the last straw. She left him a suicide note claiming this is what caused her to lose the will to live.”

    Source: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_did_dr._seuss_wife_suicide#ixzz1Fdh24e4F

    I kept looking and found more information in a number of places about his second marriage that seemed to confirm Wiki. He married Audrey 8 months after Helen’s death. Here is a link to an article about it:

    “Ted about his decision to marry Audrey: “On the 21st of June, Audrey Dimond is going to Reno to divorce Grey Dimond … Audrey and I are going to be married about the first week in August… This is not a sudden nutty decision … This is an inevitable, inescapable conclusion to five years of four people’s frustration.

    “Helen’s last note to Ted: “Dear Ted, What has happened to us? I don’t know. I feel myself in a spiral, going down down down, into a black hole from which there is no escape, no brightness. And loud in my ears from every side I hear, ‘failure, failure, failure… I love you so much … I am too old and enmeshed in everything you do and are, that I cannot conceive of life without you … My going will leave quite a rumor but you can say I was overworked and overwrought. Your reputation with your friends and fans will not be harmed … Sometimes think of the fun we had all thru the years …”

    Source: Judith and Neil Morgan. Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography. pg. 195. http://marriage.about.com/od/thearts/a/tedgeisel.htm

  • kerner

    My favorite was “On Beyond Zebra” which was about humility and continuing to learn, even when one has already learned all that has been asked.

    As for other Lutherans, (whether faithful to their confirmations ot not) this is a more fun way to remember them than a written list:

    actually, I hear that Garrison Keeler was never a Lutheran, Just a Minnesotan.

  • kerner

    My favorite was “On Beyond Zebra” which was about humility and continuing to learn, even when one has already learned all that has been asked.

    As for other Lutherans, (whether faithful to their confirmations ot not) this is a more fun way to remember them than a written list:

    actually, I hear that Garrison Keeler was never a Lutheran, Just a Minnesotan.

  • Joe

    tODD wrote: “Again, I think there’s lots to appreciate about Dr. Seuss. I’m just not sure that his seemingly tenuous ties to Lutheranism are one of them.”

    Big old amen to that.

  • Joe

    tODD wrote: “Again, I think there’s lots to appreciate about Dr. Seuss. I’m just not sure that his seemingly tenuous ties to Lutheranism are one of them.”

    Big old amen to that.

  • kerner

    Sometomes I suppose the the proportion of strong Lutherans is about the same as that of strong people generally. Lutheran converts tend to be stronger tyhat cradle Lutherans because the converts had to reject the teachings of our youth to believe Lutheranism. For a lot of Cradle Lutherans (cradle anything, really) staying with the way you were brought up is the easy road. And for whatever it may be worth, the easy road is not where you find the greatest proportion of strong people.

  • kerner

    Sometomes I suppose the the proportion of strong Lutherans is about the same as that of strong people generally. Lutheran converts tend to be stronger tyhat cradle Lutherans because the converts had to reject the teachings of our youth to believe Lutheranism. For a lot of Cradle Lutherans (cradle anything, really) staying with the way you were brought up is the easy road. And for whatever it may be worth, the easy road is not where you find the greatest proportion of strong people.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Lily @ 64

    Wow. What is it do you suppose that gives us the moral right or duty to delve into the lives of others this way?

    Where is the love in this that God says is the basis and end purpose for all morality. Without love Jesus and St. Paul, and St. John say, there can be no morality.

    “love your neighbor as you love your own self.”

    To me this love looks like covering up the flaws and faults of others in mercy and grace. Our example is Noah´s good sons covering up their father in his drunken alcoholic nakedness as the good sons of a alcoholic father would do.

    It would feel like love to me and my relatives and children, if others would do this for me even after my death. I am a sinner deserving or earthly and eternal punishment from God.

    There is no doubt about this being a fact, and no need to look for evidence that this is true about me. God´s Word says it is true.

    And it is true for you too Lily.

    I can say with absolute certainty, from God´s Word this about Lily:

    that Lily sins against God daily in thought , word and deed by what Lily has done and left undone. Lily has not loved God from the bottom of your heart or your neighbor as yourself. Lily is best described as “unclean”. Even Lily´s best good works and life are as filthy as a used menstrual rag in God´s eyes.

    So is FWS!

    Based on what God´s Word says about the both of us Lily, I just do not understand your post.

    I asssume that you are baptized Lily. So in love I must assume that you are a christian who presents the righeousness of Christ to God as your own righeousness rather than your own putrid “righteousness”. I assume that this is how you USE Christ and not just say His name. This is to use Christ as a Propitiation. Propitiation is a big theological word. Your post strongly implies that you present instead your Spirit Sanctified Life to God as your personal propitiation.

    Here is what “propitiation ” means:

    ‘propitiation’ to mean the act whereby someone’s anger is either averted or satisfied – resulting in mercy being received in the case of it being averted or judgment in the case of it being satisfied.

    To give a natural example, if you stayed at my house and decided that you wanted to smear the entire contents of your chocolate wrapper all over the living room carpet then you can rest assured that I would be angry (who wouldn’t?).

    But, should you then arrange for a brand new carpet to be bought for us and did the hard work of removing all the furniture out of the room and arranging to be in when the carpet layers arrived, then my anger would be ‘averted’ and you would not have received mercy in that case.

    You would have merely done what the law required of you to avert punishment. Nothing praiseworthy in that at all. That would bring you up to “even” legally. Almost. You would probably have to do more. You inconvenienced me. You offended me personally. To win back my friendship and be invited back into my home, you would need to do much, much more!

    Of course, had you not offered to replace the carpet I may have made you make that same sacrifice. And that route would have been alot more painful for you. I would have maybe even put you in prison and take away your very life by taking your liberty and your possessions from you by force of the law. In that case too, it could be said that my anger had been ‘satisfied’, even though you wouldn’t have received ‘mercy’ but ‘judgment’ (and you deserved it, too! Look what a mess you made of the carpet!).

    And I think it is safe to say that you would not love me in the middle of the actions I would take to satisfy my anger. You would maybe not take my phone calls and avoid opening mail from me and my attorneys. Maybe or probably you would come to hate me. I would be threatening your very life and existence. And I would have the full power of the law at my disposal to ruin your life Lily.

    But what if you did that terrible thing, for no good motive, and then Someone comes along and intervenes. Let´say even that it is Someone that you hate and distrust.

    This Someone does something that looks like foolishness and craziness. He says: “look, I will replace that carpet at my own expense. I will make that sacrifice. Further, my purpose for doing all that is to have Lily be the guest of honor at a big party that I plan to throw in that same house, and I want to invite only people who are just like Lily, the péople who make a habit of doing things like smearing chocolate over the carpets of others. ”

    That would be Mercy Lily. And it would seem really, really crazy and unlikely and improbably. You could really like or even LOVE a Somebody who would be crazy towards you like that.

    And this Mercy is what your Jesus did for you and me Lily.

    It is described by St Paul as “foolishness”. Now you see why.

    And it is this kind of love God demands of us towards others. Anything short of that kind of love, God calls “used menstrual rags”. We fall short of this love that God demands don´t we dear sister Lily? And so this is exactly why it is that we need toi USE the “propitiation” of the Love of Christ as our sacrifice to appease the anger of God. We just don´´t have in our actions our in ourselves what it would take to appease God. Our best effort would at best get us “back to even”. But we would not ever be invited back into that house would we? It would be crazy to think the Owner of the house would let someone like us in even if we could manage to fix the carpet we ruined.

    But with Christ we become the honored guest at a party thrown in our honor at that very house we ruined. This is the point of the story of the prodigal son. And that older son who kept the house in good shape and never smeared chocolate on the carpet…. he was resentful of that party thrown for you. That makes perfect sense too doesn´t it? Anyone would be resentful. But wouldn´t it be better for that older son to join in the happiness of your party dear Lily?

    I hope you feel loved by this post dear sister.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Lily @ 64

    Wow. What is it do you suppose that gives us the moral right or duty to delve into the lives of others this way?

    Where is the love in this that God says is the basis and end purpose for all morality. Without love Jesus and St. Paul, and St. John say, there can be no morality.

    “love your neighbor as you love your own self.”

    To me this love looks like covering up the flaws and faults of others in mercy and grace. Our example is Noah´s good sons covering up their father in his drunken alcoholic nakedness as the good sons of a alcoholic father would do.

    It would feel like love to me and my relatives and children, if others would do this for me even after my death. I am a sinner deserving or earthly and eternal punishment from God.

    There is no doubt about this being a fact, and no need to look for evidence that this is true about me. God´s Word says it is true.

    And it is true for you too Lily.

    I can say with absolute certainty, from God´s Word this about Lily:

    that Lily sins against God daily in thought , word and deed by what Lily has done and left undone. Lily has not loved God from the bottom of your heart or your neighbor as yourself. Lily is best described as “unclean”. Even Lily´s best good works and life are as filthy as a used menstrual rag in God´s eyes.

    So is FWS!

    Based on what God´s Word says about the both of us Lily, I just do not understand your post.

    I asssume that you are baptized Lily. So in love I must assume that you are a christian who presents the righeousness of Christ to God as your own righeousness rather than your own putrid “righteousness”. I assume that this is how you USE Christ and not just say His name. This is to use Christ as a Propitiation. Propitiation is a big theological word. Your post strongly implies that you present instead your Spirit Sanctified Life to God as your personal propitiation.

    Here is what “propitiation ” means:

    ‘propitiation’ to mean the act whereby someone’s anger is either averted or satisfied – resulting in mercy being received in the case of it being averted or judgment in the case of it being satisfied.

    To give a natural example, if you stayed at my house and decided that you wanted to smear the entire contents of your chocolate wrapper all over the living room carpet then you can rest assured that I would be angry (who wouldn’t?).

    But, should you then arrange for a brand new carpet to be bought for us and did the hard work of removing all the furniture out of the room and arranging to be in when the carpet layers arrived, then my anger would be ‘averted’ and you would not have received mercy in that case.

    You would have merely done what the law required of you to avert punishment. Nothing praiseworthy in that at all. That would bring you up to “even” legally. Almost. You would probably have to do more. You inconvenienced me. You offended me personally. To win back my friendship and be invited back into my home, you would need to do much, much more!

    Of course, had you not offered to replace the carpet I may have made you make that same sacrifice. And that route would have been alot more painful for you. I would have maybe even put you in prison and take away your very life by taking your liberty and your possessions from you by force of the law. In that case too, it could be said that my anger had been ‘satisfied’, even though you wouldn’t have received ‘mercy’ but ‘judgment’ (and you deserved it, too! Look what a mess you made of the carpet!).

    And I think it is safe to say that you would not love me in the middle of the actions I would take to satisfy my anger. You would maybe not take my phone calls and avoid opening mail from me and my attorneys. Maybe or probably you would come to hate me. I would be threatening your very life and existence. And I would have the full power of the law at my disposal to ruin your life Lily.

    But what if you did that terrible thing, for no good motive, and then Someone comes along and intervenes. Let´say even that it is Someone that you hate and distrust.

    This Someone does something that looks like foolishness and craziness. He says: “look, I will replace that carpet at my own expense. I will make that sacrifice. Further, my purpose for doing all that is to have Lily be the guest of honor at a big party that I plan to throw in that same house, and I want to invite only people who are just like Lily, the péople who make a habit of doing things like smearing chocolate over the carpets of others. ”

    That would be Mercy Lily. And it would seem really, really crazy and unlikely and improbably. You could really like or even LOVE a Somebody who would be crazy towards you like that.

    And this Mercy is what your Jesus did for you and me Lily.

    It is described by St Paul as “foolishness”. Now you see why.

    And it is this kind of love God demands of us towards others. Anything short of that kind of love, God calls “used menstrual rags”. We fall short of this love that God demands don´t we dear sister Lily? And so this is exactly why it is that we need toi USE the “propitiation” of the Love of Christ as our sacrifice to appease the anger of God. We just don´´t have in our actions our in ourselves what it would take to appease God. Our best effort would at best get us “back to even”. But we would not ever be invited back into that house would we? It would be crazy to think the Owner of the house would let someone like us in even if we could manage to fix the carpet we ruined.

    But with Christ we become the honored guest at a party thrown in our honor at that very house we ruined. This is the point of the story of the prodigal son. And that older son who kept the house in good shape and never smeared chocolate on the carpet…. he was resentful of that party thrown for you. That makes perfect sense too doesn´t it? Anyone would be resentful. But wouldn´t it be better for that older son to join in the happiness of your party dear Lily?

    I hope you feel loved by this post dear sister.

  • Lily

    FWS: The tirade and sarcasm are both unnecessary. The question I’m trying to answer is whether Dr. Seuss remained a Lutheran in his adult life. I am looking at evidence to try to confirm the truth and the truth bites at times unless one lives in a monastery.

  • Lily

    FWS: The tirade and sarcasm are both unnecessary. The question I’m trying to answer is whether Dr. Seuss remained a Lutheran in his adult life. I am looking at evidence to try to confirm the truth and the truth bites at times unless one lives in a monastery.

  • Lily

    It seems good to post more links because I do question whether Dr. Suess continued in his Lutheran faith in his adult years. Here are quotes that seem to give evidence of his not remaining a Lutheran. I hope there is evidence to show otherwise:

    First: his first wife was given a memorial service rather than a funeral service:

    “Helen committed suicide on October 23, 1967 at the age of 69 from an overdose of sodium phenobarbital capsules. Helen had been ill since 1954 suffering from cancer, constant pain in her legs and feet, and partial paralysis. Her memorial service was on November 9, 1967.”

    Second, here is what Dr. Suess chose:

    “Judith and Neil Morgan: “… as Ted had instructed, his body was cremated; there was no funeral service, nor any grave or marker.”
    Source: Judith and Neil Morgan.Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography. pg. 289.”

    Source: http://marriage.about.com/od/thearts/p/tgeisel.htm

    Can anyone give evidence of whether Dr. Suess remained Lutheran in his adult life or not? Are there any church records? So many things seem at odds with being a “life-long devout Lutheran”:

    Audrey Dimond was married with two children when she fell in love with Ted Geisel. Mr. Geisel, 18 years her senior, was also married. In the wake of their affair, Mr. Geisel’s wife, Helen, committed suicide, causing, as Mrs. Geisel puts it, ”a rather large ripple in the community of La Jolla.” Mrs. Dimond divorced her husband to marry Mr. Geisel, 64, and when she did, her daughters, 9 and 14, were sent away to school.

    ”They wouldn’t have been happy with Ted, and Ted wouldn’t have been happy with them. He’s the man who said of children, ‘You have ‘em and I’ll entertain ‘em.’ ”

    ”Ted’s a hard man to break down, but this is who he was. He lived his whole life without children and he was very happy without children. I’ve never been very maternal. There were too many other things I wanted to do. My life with him was what I wanted my life to be.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/29/nyregion/public-lives-mrs-seuss-hears-a-who-and-tells-about-it.html

  • Lily

    It seems good to post more links because I do question whether Dr. Suess continued in his Lutheran faith in his adult years. Here are quotes that seem to give evidence of his not remaining a Lutheran. I hope there is evidence to show otherwise:

    First: his first wife was given a memorial service rather than a funeral service:

    “Helen committed suicide on October 23, 1967 at the age of 69 from an overdose of sodium phenobarbital capsules. Helen had been ill since 1954 suffering from cancer, constant pain in her legs and feet, and partial paralysis. Her memorial service was on November 9, 1967.”

    Second, here is what Dr. Suess chose:

    “Judith and Neil Morgan: “… as Ted had instructed, his body was cremated; there was no funeral service, nor any grave or marker.”
    Source: Judith and Neil Morgan.Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography. pg. 289.”

    Source: http://marriage.about.com/od/thearts/p/tgeisel.htm

    Can anyone give evidence of whether Dr. Suess remained Lutheran in his adult life or not? Are there any church records? So many things seem at odds with being a “life-long devout Lutheran”:

    Audrey Dimond was married with two children when she fell in love with Ted Geisel. Mr. Geisel, 18 years her senior, was also married. In the wake of their affair, Mr. Geisel’s wife, Helen, committed suicide, causing, as Mrs. Geisel puts it, ”a rather large ripple in the community of La Jolla.” Mrs. Dimond divorced her husband to marry Mr. Geisel, 64, and when she did, her daughters, 9 and 14, were sent away to school.

    ”They wouldn’t have been happy with Ted, and Ted wouldn’t have been happy with them. He’s the man who said of children, ‘You have ‘em and I’ll entertain ‘em.’ ”

    ”Ted’s a hard man to break down, but this is who he was. He lived his whole life without children and he was very happy without children. I’ve never been very maternal. There were too many other things I wanted to do. My life with him was what I wanted my life to be.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/29/nyregion/public-lives-mrs-seuss-hears-a-who-and-tells-about-it.html

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    lily @ 70

    there was not even the tiniest drop of sarcasm in what I wrote to you dear Lily.

    Feel free to imagine me smiling in the most warm and friendly and loving way to you as you read my post.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    lily @ 70

    there was not even the tiniest drop of sarcasm in what I wrote to you dear Lily.

    Feel free to imagine me smiling in the most warm and friendly and loving way to you as you read my post.

  • Lily

    FWS: Drop the “dear Lily” and it is plausible that there is no sarcasm. It is still a tirade that makes accusations with no evidence to support your views on what my motives are for wanting to know the truth. Wanting to know the truth does not make me unmerciful or deny that I am a sinner, and other such ilk.

  • Lily

    FWS: Drop the “dear Lily” and it is plausible that there is no sarcasm. It is still a tirade that makes accusations with no evidence to support your views on what my motives are for wanting to know the truth. Wanting to know the truth does not make me unmerciful or deny that I am a sinner, and other such ilk.

  • Steve in Toronto

    I am reminded of Mordecai Richler’s joke about Jewish parochialism in the “Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz”. Jewish Daily New headline: “Boston Marathon Goldberg 12th!”
    Cheers
    Steve in Toronto
    P.S. John Updike died an Episcopalian

  • Steve in Toronto

    I am reminded of Mordecai Richler’s joke about Jewish parochialism in the “Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz”. Jewish Daily New headline: “Boston Marathon Goldberg 12th!”
    Cheers
    Steve in Toronto
    P.S. John Updike died an Episcopalian

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    lily @ 72

    I want to say dear Lily to telegraph what typed words cannot. But I will not do that Lily.

    Yes, the lack of sarcasm is not only plausible. It is what it is. Thanks for the kind charity of granting me that sister Lily.

    ” It is still a tirade that makes accusations with no evidence ”

    Which part of what I wrote is a tirade with no evidence? that you are sinful and unclean? that everything in your life and actions and thoughts are dirty menstrual rags to our Lord. That this is true about me and my life too?

    I think the “evidence” is what I hear every sunday in the liturgy in church and in the Scriptures right? I can know these things about you and my own self withhout knowing anything at all about you personally right Lily?

    My point is that none of the research you are doing on dr seuss will uncover anything more putrid in the eyes of God than you and I already know about each other from God´s Word .

    Can you give me an AMEN here sister?

    :))

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    lily @ 72

    I want to say dear Lily to telegraph what typed words cannot. But I will not do that Lily.

    Yes, the lack of sarcasm is not only plausible. It is what it is. Thanks for the kind charity of granting me that sister Lily.

    ” It is still a tirade that makes accusations with no evidence ”

    Which part of what I wrote is a tirade with no evidence? that you are sinful and unclean? that everything in your life and actions and thoughts are dirty menstrual rags to our Lord. That this is true about me and my life too?

    I think the “evidence” is what I hear every sunday in the liturgy in church and in the Scriptures right? I can know these things about you and my own self withhout knowing anything at all about you personally right Lily?

    My point is that none of the research you are doing on dr seuss will uncover anything more putrid in the eyes of God than you and I already know about each other from God´s Word .

    Can you give me an AMEN here sister?

    :))

  • Lily

    FWS: The fact that you may be misapplying scripture seems to evade you as well as not dropping the inappropriate familiarity with a woman you do not know. Irrespective, you are in no position to judge me for my research.

  • Lily

    FWS: The fact that you may be misapplying scripture seems to evade you as well as not dropping the inappropriate familiarity with a woman you do not know. Irrespective, you are in no position to judge me for my research.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    lily @ 75

    educate me here. How am i misapplying scripture to my person or to yours?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    lily @ 75

    educate me here. How am i misapplying scripture to my person or to yours?

  • Lily

    FWS: I assume you have a pastor; you need to go to him as your teacher. He should be able to teach you the difference in being a sinner saved by grace through faith in Christ versus specious accusations of sin and the dangers of judging your brother. I will not comment to any more your attempts to dig your hole deeper. Pax.

  • Lily

    FWS: I assume you have a pastor; you need to go to him as your teacher. He should be able to teach you the difference in being a sinner saved by grace through faith in Christ versus specious accusations of sin and the dangers of judging your brother. I will not comment to any more your attempts to dig your hole deeper. Pax.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Lily, it’s odd. When I first read your comment (@77), I thought for some reason — this actually happened — that it was FWS responding to you (and not the other way around). What’s odd about this is how well your own words could be directed at your self — specifically, your comments here.

    Point being, people who warn others of “the dangers of judging your brother” probably shouldn’t have spent the bulk of the thread digging up dirt on others.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Lily, it’s odd. When I first read your comment (@77), I thought for some reason — this actually happened — that it was FWS responding to you (and not the other way around). What’s odd about this is how well your own words could be directed at your self — specifically, your comments here.

    Point being, people who warn others of “the dangers of judging your brother” probably shouldn’t have spent the bulk of the thread digging up dirt on others.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    lily @ 77

    You are telling me that it is specious and dangerous to tell you that:

    you are sinful and unclean …

    ….and that God considers that all that you do as being the equivalent in purity to a used menstrual rag.

    Does the propitiation of Christ subtantively change these two things about you Lily, or does it rather merely cover them with the propitiation of Another?

    I would check this with your pastor if you have any uncertainty about this at all. But it sounds like you are certain and you most certainly disagree with me sister! :))

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    lily @ 77

    You are telling me that it is specious and dangerous to tell you that:

    you are sinful and unclean …

    ….and that God considers that all that you do as being the equivalent in purity to a used menstrual rag.

    Does the propitiation of Christ subtantively change these two things about you Lily, or does it rather merely cover them with the propitiation of Another?

    I would check this with your pastor if you have any uncertainty about this at all. But it sounds like you are certain and you most certainly disagree with me sister! :))

  • Porcell

    Doctor Seuss, while probably not a devout orthodox Lutheran, wrote brilliant children’s poetry. I read his wonderful books to both my children and grandchildren who delighted in them.

    I should say that Dr. Seuss absorbed by osmosis the orthodox Lutheran view that God’s Creation is a splendid place. Neither a mystic nor a naturalist, he delighting in the wonder and even the fun of creation he wrote children’s poetry that will probably last.

    He was most likely an ordinary liberal who was skeptical of religion, favoring planned parenthood and abortion, while conducting an affair that at least in part caused his first wife’s suicide. However, we must understand that at both Dartmouth and Oxford liberalism was de rigueur; few people at these places were able to adhere to their ancestral religion.

    Dr. Seuss partook of much of God’s common grace and provided children with a marvelous literature. Let us not righteously judge this great writer.

  • Porcell

    Doctor Seuss, while probably not a devout orthodox Lutheran, wrote brilliant children’s poetry. I read his wonderful books to both my children and grandchildren who delighted in them.

    I should say that Dr. Seuss absorbed by osmosis the orthodox Lutheran view that God’s Creation is a splendid place. Neither a mystic nor a naturalist, he delighting in the wonder and even the fun of creation he wrote children’s poetry that will probably last.

    He was most likely an ordinary liberal who was skeptical of religion, favoring planned parenthood and abortion, while conducting an affair that at least in part caused his first wife’s suicide. However, we must understand that at both Dartmouth and Oxford liberalism was de rigueur; few people at these places were able to adhere to their ancestral religion.

    Dr. Seuss partook of much of God’s common grace and provided children with a marvelous literature. Let us not righteously judge this great writer.

  • Lily

    tODD: I think you are mistaken. Please reread my posts from the beginning that proceed FWS’s comment #68 where he made the specious accusations. To provide information and wonder if Dr. Suess was truly a “life-long devout LCMS Lutheran” is not a matter of judging Dr. Suess, but judging the adjective. The question is whether “life-long devout LCMS Lutheran” is true or not.

  • Lily

    tODD: I think you are mistaken. Please reread my posts from the beginning that proceed FWS’s comment #68 where he made the specious accusations. To provide information and wonder if Dr. Suess was truly a “life-long devout LCMS Lutheran” is not a matter of judging Dr. Suess, but judging the adjective. The question is whether “life-long devout LCMS Lutheran” is true or not.

  • Lily

    Porcell #80: Amen.

  • Lily

    Porcell #80: Amen.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 80

    AMEN brother.

    Whatever what going on spiritually under the hood of dr seuss, we can see, enjoy and appreciate what God worked through the man.

    This is what Lutherans mean by “in, with and under”.

    God works in the earthly kingdom “in with and under” the works of even pagans, malfeasants, and atheists to work His Goodness and Mercy in all the arts and disciplines.

    This is exactly why we can thank God for pagan aristotle, and even for the art of persons who disturb us like Roger Maplethorpe.

    It is no accident that Maplethorpe desecrated christian sacred symbols. Those symbols obviously affected him and greatly disturbed him. I hope that somehow the crucifix that he placed in a jar of urine disturbed him enough that at the end of his life someone told him what that crucifix meant and so he trusted in that dead jew depicted by it for life eternal.

    All we can see, our loving Heavenly Father promises that he will make serve us, to give us mercy and goodness God demands we have. This might happen sometimes if only to make us react and wonder about things that we would otherwise take for granted.

    We christians do not need to circle the wagons in fear. Christ has won the victory over all this even if we cannot yet fully see it.

    We can wonder and praise God for what He works even out of each of us in our unfaithfullness to him. We can trust that God will even use our imperfections and error for the good of others we love. Isn´t that a very comforting thought Porcell?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Porcell @ 80

    AMEN brother.

    Whatever what going on spiritually under the hood of dr seuss, we can see, enjoy and appreciate what God worked through the man.

    This is what Lutherans mean by “in, with and under”.

    God works in the earthly kingdom “in with and under” the works of even pagans, malfeasants, and atheists to work His Goodness and Mercy in all the arts and disciplines.

    This is exactly why we can thank God for pagan aristotle, and even for the art of persons who disturb us like Roger Maplethorpe.

    It is no accident that Maplethorpe desecrated christian sacred symbols. Those symbols obviously affected him and greatly disturbed him. I hope that somehow the crucifix that he placed in a jar of urine disturbed him enough that at the end of his life someone told him what that crucifix meant and so he trusted in that dead jew depicted by it for life eternal.

    All we can see, our loving Heavenly Father promises that he will make serve us, to give us mercy and goodness God demands we have. This might happen sometimes if only to make us react and wonder about things that we would otherwise take for granted.

    We christians do not need to circle the wagons in fear. Christ has won the victory over all this even if we cannot yet fully see it.

    We can wonder and praise God for what He works even out of each of us in our unfaithfullness to him. We can trust that God will even use our imperfections and error for the good of others we love. Isn´t that a very comforting thought Porcell?

  • Stephen

    Dr. Veith,

    I rushed in without thinking when I made the comment about Kierkegaard. I was thinking “Lutheran” and not “LCMS.” I assumed as much about Charles Schultz too because he seemed so prevalent growing up. I remember his books even being around our church. If I were to pick a “Lutheran” literary figure that had the most impact it would have to be Nietzsche actually, and that goes to the discussion here. It is interesting to see how things turn towards determining “just how Lutheran” Theodore Geisel really was. I assume this is some underhanded way of determining someone’s sanctification. What else could it possibly be? It seems like such an un-Lutheran exercise as Larry and FWS are saying. Who can say what was in Nietzsche’s heart for those last ten years of his life when he sat catatonic waiting to die? Doesn’t St. Paul say rather emphatically that we were washed, we were sanctified, we were justified by his grace (1 Cor 6:11). Something is at work and it aint us and our doing of the law, keeping of the commandments, showing up for church and/or showing how Lutheran we are.

    It reminds me of the two thieves crucified beside Jesus. One demands proof of Jesus’ holiness and power – a work. None is given, not even a word. The only sign is suffering right along down into death, silently, into the same death that criminal deserves. And to the other, the one who utters a plea of faith without any illusions about his own sin, knowing he deserves what he is getting? To him comes promise – everything, treasure in heaven. How do we not know that “liberal” (sheesh) Theodore Geisel, secular humanist Charles Schultz, and atheist Lutheran Fredric Nietzsche did not utter “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” by the power of the Holy Spirit, calling them to their baptismal promise? Would it matter if it touched anyone’s ears but the ears of God? Do we not believe in a God of power and might who can make all things possible? Look what he did on a trash heap outside the walls of Jerusalem for us. We are baptized into that reality. Why are we so concerned about sizing each other up on these terms, terms that Christ has made complete on that cross and given to us as a free gift of his grace?

    If my questions sound like some kind of indictment, I include myself. I’m always looking for proof, even in myself. It’s that 1st commandment stuff we cannot get past, going everywhere else but to Christ alone.

  • Stephen

    Dr. Veith,

    I rushed in without thinking when I made the comment about Kierkegaard. I was thinking “Lutheran” and not “LCMS.” I assumed as much about Charles Schultz too because he seemed so prevalent growing up. I remember his books even being around our church. If I were to pick a “Lutheran” literary figure that had the most impact it would have to be Nietzsche actually, and that goes to the discussion here. It is interesting to see how things turn towards determining “just how Lutheran” Theodore Geisel really was. I assume this is some underhanded way of determining someone’s sanctification. What else could it possibly be? It seems like such an un-Lutheran exercise as Larry and FWS are saying. Who can say what was in Nietzsche’s heart for those last ten years of his life when he sat catatonic waiting to die? Doesn’t St. Paul say rather emphatically that we were washed, we were sanctified, we were justified by his grace (1 Cor 6:11). Something is at work and it aint us and our doing of the law, keeping of the commandments, showing up for church and/or showing how Lutheran we are.

    It reminds me of the two thieves crucified beside Jesus. One demands proof of Jesus’ holiness and power – a work. None is given, not even a word. The only sign is suffering right along down into death, silently, into the same death that criminal deserves. And to the other, the one who utters a plea of faith without any illusions about his own sin, knowing he deserves what he is getting? To him comes promise – everything, treasure in heaven. How do we not know that “liberal” (sheesh) Theodore Geisel, secular humanist Charles Schultz, and atheist Lutheran Fredric Nietzsche did not utter “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” by the power of the Holy Spirit, calling them to their baptismal promise? Would it matter if it touched anyone’s ears but the ears of God? Do we not believe in a God of power and might who can make all things possible? Look what he did on a trash heap outside the walls of Jerusalem for us. We are baptized into that reality. Why are we so concerned about sizing each other up on these terms, terms that Christ has made complete on that cross and given to us as a free gift of his grace?

    If my questions sound like some kind of indictment, I include myself. I’m always looking for proof, even in myself. It’s that 1st commandment stuff we cannot get past, going everywhere else but to Christ alone.

  • Stephen

    Porcell@80

    You wrote this, which I like very much:

    “Dr. Seuss partook of much of God’s common grace and provided children with a marvelous literature. Let us not righteously judge this great writer.”

    What if I wrote this:

    “Nietzsche partook of much of God’s common grace and provided humanity with an insightful and penetrating literature. Let us not righteously judge this great writer.”

    How does that work in your theology?

  • Stephen

    Porcell@80

    You wrote this, which I like very much:

    “Dr. Seuss partook of much of God’s common grace and provided children with a marvelous literature. Let us not righteously judge this great writer.”

    What if I wrote this:

    “Nietzsche partook of much of God’s common grace and provided humanity with an insightful and penetrating literature. Let us not righteously judge this great writer.”

    How does that work in your theology?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Stephen – exactly. Hence my original comment @ #20 – this whole thing of this guy is one of us, that guy isn’t, I’m not sure about that other one…. is nothing more than an example of Social Identity Theory at work. But the point about SIT is that this type of thing is invariably an exercise in building self-worth and self-esteem, and as such I feel it is an unworthy thing to do, because we are all unworthy. Christ alone is worthy. So to prop up our ego’s by “naming and claiming” important figures really, really misses the point.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Stephen – exactly. Hence my original comment @ #20 – this whole thing of this guy is one of us, that guy isn’t, I’m not sure about that other one…. is nothing more than an example of Social Identity Theory at work. But the point about SIT is that this type of thing is invariably an exercise in building self-worth and self-esteem, and as such I feel it is an unworthy thing to do, because we are all unworthy. Christ alone is worthy. So to prop up our ego’s by “naming and claiming” important figures really, really misses the point.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 83, whatever our differences on issues, I basically agree with your point that God’s common [and special] grace, however mysterious, rules in the world.

  • Porcell

    FWS, at 83, whatever our differences on issues, I basically agree with your point that God’s common [and special] grace, however mysterious, rules in the world.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, at 86, I understand that Nietzsche was a prophet in pointing out the hollowness of modern liberal pieties, though his view that the will reigns supreme and that Socrates and Christ were basically wimps is satanic, as the history of the twentieth-century richly proved.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, at 86, I understand that Nietzsche was a prophet in pointing out the hollowness of modern liberal pieties, though his view that the will reigns supreme and that Socrates and Christ were basically wimps is satanic, as the history of the twentieth-century richly proved.

  • WebMonk

    Nearly got kicked out of college at Dartmouth because of a part he threw which had drinking during Prohibition years.
    – lots and lots of places and supported by the seussville dot com site’s biography, though glossed over there. (understandably :-) )

    “Like most works of merit, the works of Dr. Seuss have been overanalyzed; many scholars have found devices where there are truly none to be found.”
    http://www.seussville.com/lb/bio_text3.html

    To resolve Ted’s concern that the story [Grinch Who Stole Christmas] end in a way that was not trite or overly religious, the script called for a star to rise to the heavens (rather than drop from the sky) to emphasize the power of the heart.
    http://www.seussville.com/lb/bio_text4.html

    Those are just the ones that other people haven’t already mentioned above. No one has ever been able to show he ever went to church after college, which if he were a devout Lutheran, one would think he would at least occasionally go to receive the elements.

    The biographer was Fenkle, and you can find his quote repeated a hundred times across the web. Fenkle was of the opinion that there were lots of deep and mystical meanings buried in Seuss’s works, particularly using Kabbalist techniques, which would tend to go against what the Seuss foundation has said about Seuss, but Fenkle does confirm that Seuss disavowed any interest in religion.
    http://www.endicott-studio.com/rdrm/forseus.html

    Not only that, but I doubt he was very Lutheran since apparently he attended an Episcopal church with his mother.
    Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel: a Biography by Judith and Neil Morgan, pg 11.

    All in all, I’ve spent nearly an hour looking this stuff up. It’s not hard to find, it’s really not.

  • WebMonk

    Nearly got kicked out of college at Dartmouth because of a part he threw which had drinking during Prohibition years.
    – lots and lots of places and supported by the seussville dot com site’s biography, though glossed over there. (understandably :-) )

    “Like most works of merit, the works of Dr. Seuss have been overanalyzed; many scholars have found devices where there are truly none to be found.”
    http://www.seussville.com/lb/bio_text3.html

    To resolve Ted’s concern that the story [Grinch Who Stole Christmas] end in a way that was not trite or overly religious, the script called for a star to rise to the heavens (rather than drop from the sky) to emphasize the power of the heart.
    http://www.seussville.com/lb/bio_text4.html

    Those are just the ones that other people haven’t already mentioned above. No one has ever been able to show he ever went to church after college, which if he were a devout Lutheran, one would think he would at least occasionally go to receive the elements.

    The biographer was Fenkle, and you can find his quote repeated a hundred times across the web. Fenkle was of the opinion that there were lots of deep and mystical meanings buried in Seuss’s works, particularly using Kabbalist techniques, which would tend to go against what the Seuss foundation has said about Seuss, but Fenkle does confirm that Seuss disavowed any interest in religion.
    http://www.endicott-studio.com/rdrm/forseus.html

    Not only that, but I doubt he was very Lutheran since apparently he attended an Episcopal church with his mother.
    Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel: a Biography by Judith and Neil Morgan, pg 11.

    All in all, I’ve spent nearly an hour looking this stuff up. It’s not hard to find, it’s really not.

  • WebMonk

    Whoops, my previous post must have had too many links in it. It’s not showing up. If someone could pull it out of the spam folder, I would appreciate it.

  • WebMonk

    Whoops, my previous post must have had too many links in it. It’s not showing up. If someone could pull it out of the spam folder, I would appreciate it.

  • Stephen

    Louis @ 86

    Touché my good brother! We love this don’t we. Name-dropping. If we could just think of some more we would feel better about ourselves! It is essentially idolatry.

    Porcell @88

    I know you are no fan of Nietzsche. My point is – do we like or approve of people because we deem the things they do good and useful for our own purposes. In other words, are we okay with the guy just because we like his work and he fits our values based on what we know about his life and work, therefore, we can say that surely this person was a Christian/Lutheran/saved/in God’s grace or whatever eternal thing we are trying to say? What really is the metric being applied?

    Myself, I think the whole project is false and reminds me of the Pharisees picking up stones against the harlot (not accusing you by mentioning that). I don’t think we are given to know the heart of another. That is not to say that I would not kill with my bare hands any man who was attacking my family or fail to do a number of other things to defend weaker neighbors, support my own country, etc. That is a different matter.

    But i think it would be tough to be a pastor who was charged with making distinctions about the “worthiness,” let’s say, of someone to receive the sacrament, because they supported Planned Parenthood. Even though I disagree with that wholeheartedly, it is the law of the land, and god has instituted such laws for his purposes. We teach our children to obey those laws for the sake of peace among our neighbor.

    Anyway, some random thoughts.

  • Stephen

    Louis @ 86

    Touché my good brother! We love this don’t we. Name-dropping. If we could just think of some more we would feel better about ourselves! It is essentially idolatry.

    Porcell @88

    I know you are no fan of Nietzsche. My point is – do we like or approve of people because we deem the things they do good and useful for our own purposes. In other words, are we okay with the guy just because we like his work and he fits our values based on what we know about his life and work, therefore, we can say that surely this person was a Christian/Lutheran/saved/in God’s grace or whatever eternal thing we are trying to say? What really is the metric being applied?

    Myself, I think the whole project is false and reminds me of the Pharisees picking up stones against the harlot (not accusing you by mentioning that). I don’t think we are given to know the heart of another. That is not to say that I would not kill with my bare hands any man who was attacking my family or fail to do a number of other things to defend weaker neighbors, support my own country, etc. That is a different matter.

    But i think it would be tough to be a pastor who was charged with making distinctions about the “worthiness,” let’s say, of someone to receive the sacrament, because they supported Planned Parenthood. Even though I disagree with that wholeheartedly, it is the law of the land, and god has instituted such laws for his purposes. We teach our children to obey those laws for the sake of peace among our neighbor.

    Anyway, some random thoughts.

  • Grace

    Lily – 75

    “FWS: The fact that you may be misapplying scripture seems to evade you as well as not dropping the inappropriate familiarity with a woman you do not know. Irrespective, you are in no position to judge me for my research.”

    “Inappropriate familiarity” is a trade mark, which is often used to depreciate what has been posted – but usually has the opposite boomerang effect, lost on the individual most every time.

    Your research is excellent. The truth doesn’t always set well, but it answers many questions.

  • Grace

    Lily – 75

    “FWS: The fact that you may be misapplying scripture seems to evade you as well as not dropping the inappropriate familiarity with a woman you do not know. Irrespective, you are in no position to judge me for my research.”

    “Inappropriate familiarity” is a trade mark, which is often used to depreciate what has been posted – but usually has the opposite boomerang effect, lost on the individual most every time.

    Your research is excellent. The truth doesn’t always set well, but it answers many questions.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, at 91, we ought not ultimately judge according to what suits our own purposes, rather, as to what is the truth. Nietzsche was brilliant in pointing out the logical fallacies of liberalism, though, again, he overvalued the will and was terribly mistaken to regard Christ and Socrates as wimps.

    The truth is that both Hitler and Nietzsche refer to the Jews and Christians as clever folk who were responsible for the slave revolt; further that both were involved in a ferocious attack of the Judeo-Christian ethic. Nietzsche essentially despised life; Dr. Seuss embraced and delighted in it.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, at 91, we ought not ultimately judge according to what suits our own purposes, rather, as to what is the truth. Nietzsche was brilliant in pointing out the logical fallacies of liberalism, though, again, he overvalued the will and was terribly mistaken to regard Christ and Socrates as wimps.

    The truth is that both Hitler and Nietzsche refer to the Jews and Christians as clever folk who were responsible for the slave revolt; further that both were involved in a ferocious attack of the Judeo-Christian ethic. Nietzsche essentially despised life; Dr. Seuss embraced and delighted in it.

  • Lily

    Grace #92,

    Thank you. I am glad the research was helpful. I wish I could have found info on his church involvement as an adult, but as far as I can tell, the evidence is non-existent.

    You are so right about “inappropriate familiarity” – strange men would never dare call a woman dear Lily or sister in front of their husband – especially repeatedly! Neither would a husband put up with a strange man trying to browbeat his wife with specious accusations in order to shut her up!

    Que sera. If #68 wants to accuse me of not understanding that I am a sinner (eg: presenting my own righteousness to the Lord and not understanding propitiation) because I have the audacity to question and research something, it is his lack of understanding not mine.

  • Lily

    Grace #92,

    Thank you. I am glad the research was helpful. I wish I could have found info on his church involvement as an adult, but as far as I can tell, the evidence is non-existent.

    You are so right about “inappropriate familiarity” – strange men would never dare call a woman dear Lily or sister in front of their husband – especially repeatedly! Neither would a husband put up with a strange man trying to browbeat his wife with specious accusations in order to shut her up!

    Que sera. If #68 wants to accuse me of not understanding that I am a sinner (eg: presenting my own righteousness to the Lord and not understanding propitiation) because I have the audacity to question and research something, it is his lack of understanding not mine.

  • kerner

    Look guys, I have to defend Lily just a bit here. She was responding to the assertion that Theodore Geisel was a “devout Lutheran” throughout his life. She said she was judging the adjectives, not the man, and I think that was a fair distinction.

    While I basically agree with the statements of several commenters above on sin, grace, sanctification, and repentence late in life, I have to agree with Lily if she was trying to say that calling someone a “great Lutheran literary figure” simply because that figure was raised in a Lutheran Church body is a little silly and misleading.

    I mean, would we call Madonna or Lady Gaga great Roman Catholic vocal artists simply because they were raised in that Church? Or would we call Napolean Bonaparte and Adolph Hitler significant Roman Catholic political figures because they were raised Catholic? And if not, why then call Theodore Geisel, much less Frederic Nietzsche, “Lutheran” literary figures?

    If Lily is suggesting that his adult behavior and opinions deviated so significantly from Lutheran teaching that calling the late Mr. Geisel a “Lutheran literary figure” is not really appropriate, I think she is taking a fair position, and researching his life and statements is a fair way to determine the strength of that position.

    Now, might there have been a prodigal repentance near the end of Mr. Geisel’s life? Of course. But we don’t know that; we can only hope.

  • kerner

    Look guys, I have to defend Lily just a bit here. She was responding to the assertion that Theodore Geisel was a “devout Lutheran” throughout his life. She said she was judging the adjectives, not the man, and I think that was a fair distinction.

    While I basically agree with the statements of several commenters above on sin, grace, sanctification, and repentence late in life, I have to agree with Lily if she was trying to say that calling someone a “great Lutheran literary figure” simply because that figure was raised in a Lutheran Church body is a little silly and misleading.

    I mean, would we call Madonna or Lady Gaga great Roman Catholic vocal artists simply because they were raised in that Church? Or would we call Napolean Bonaparte and Adolph Hitler significant Roman Catholic political figures because they were raised Catholic? And if not, why then call Theodore Geisel, much less Frederic Nietzsche, “Lutheran” literary figures?

    If Lily is suggesting that his adult behavior and opinions deviated so significantly from Lutheran teaching that calling the late Mr. Geisel a “Lutheran literary figure” is not really appropriate, I think she is taking a fair position, and researching his life and statements is a fair way to determine the strength of that position.

    Now, might there have been a prodigal repentance near the end of Mr. Geisel’s life? Of course. But we don’t know that; we can only hope.

  • Grace

    I’m surprised that any church would put on a show like this, Seuss hats, etc. The video is odd.

    Dr. Seuss Sunday Transfiguration Lutheran Church

    http://uservideos.smashits.com/video/MRSKsSE4d5I/dr-seuss-sunday-tlc-27feb2011.html

  • Grace

    I’m surprised that any church would put on a show like this, Seuss hats, etc. The video is odd.

    Dr. Seuss Sunday Transfiguration Lutheran Church

    http://uservideos.smashits.com/video/MRSKsSE4d5I/dr-seuss-sunday-tlc-27feb2011.html

  • kerner

    Grace:

    That is a strange display. But, since we are spending all this time determining appropriate adjectives, I’m going to chalk that up to being a function of the culture in upstate New York, not Lutheranism. Maybe that’s a cop-out, but I’m still taking it. :)

  • kerner

    Grace:

    That is a strange display. But, since we are spending all this time determining appropriate adjectives, I’m going to chalk that up to being a function of the culture in upstate New York, not Lutheranism. Maybe that’s a cop-out, but I’m still taking it. :)

  • Grace

    Kerner –

    “I’m going to chalk that up to being a function of the culture in upstate New York, not Lutheranism. Maybe that’s a cop-out, but I’m still taking it”

    I don’t blame you – there are other groups in West Hollywood and the hills, that could have done the same thing, however it doesn’t represent most Churches.

  • Grace

    Kerner –

    “I’m going to chalk that up to being a function of the culture in upstate New York, not Lutheranism. Maybe that’s a cop-out, but I’m still taking it”

    I don’t blame you – there are other groups in West Hollywood and the hills, that could have done the same thing, however it doesn’t represent most Churches.

  • Stephen

    kerner@ 95

    I’d say you make a very solid point. I just reread the original question that Dr. Veith asked:

    “What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism, and what does Lutheranism tell you about Dr. Seuss?”

    I’m going to say nada. zippo. zilch. Big, fat zero. I think his books are tedious, hectoring, and often political. My daughter has very little patience for them, thank goodness.

    I’ve learned more from Nietzsche, via negativa perhaps, but more just the same.
    ;)

  • Stephen

    kerner@ 95

    I’d say you make a very solid point. I just reread the original question that Dr. Veith asked:

    “What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism, and what does Lutheranism tell you about Dr. Seuss?”

    I’m going to say nada. zippo. zilch. Big, fat zero. I think his books are tedious, hectoring, and often political. My daughter has very little patience for them, thank goodness.

    I’ve learned more from Nietzsche, via negativa perhaps, but more just the same.
    ;)

  • kerner

    Stephen:

    Thanks. I liked Dr. Seuss’ earlier work. Whatever he was trying to say he said with a delicate and subtle touch. My Dad read “On, Beyond Zebra” to me when I was 5, and I have read it to my children and now my grandchildren.

    But his later works were obvious and preachy, and devoid of new ideas. Sometimes he seemed to be saying the same things, but more disagreeably.

  • kerner

    Stephen:

    Thanks. I liked Dr. Seuss’ earlier work. Whatever he was trying to say he said with a delicate and subtle touch. My Dad read “On, Beyond Zebra” to me when I was 5, and I have read it to my children and now my grandchildren.

    But his later works were obvious and preachy, and devoid of new ideas. Sometimes he seemed to be saying the same things, but more disagreeably.

  • Stephen

    My point being should we not judge the work and not the person if we are talking about literary merits? What would make for “Lutheran” literary work after all? That would be an interesting discussion. I think Dostoevsky might rate on that score, though he was actually Orthodox. But instead, this seems to be focused more on whether or not he was actually devoted to his LCMS church. That was the gist of what I was hearing.

    The question was about Lutheranism showing up in literature, not about his personal piety and church attendance.

  • Stephen

    My point being should we not judge the work and not the person if we are talking about literary merits? What would make for “Lutheran” literary work after all? That would be an interesting discussion. I think Dostoevsky might rate on that score, though he was actually Orthodox. But instead, this seems to be focused more on whether or not he was actually devoted to his LCMS church. That was the gist of what I was hearing.

    The question was about Lutheranism showing up in literature, not about his personal piety and church attendance.

  • Stephen

    Kerner,

    I think we stepped on each other’s posts.

    I don’t know that one. I find him repetivie too. He often seems smart-alec to me – lots of kids telling off adults, and he just goes on and on. And yes, preachy to no end.

    If he’s Lutheran, I’m out!!!

  • Stephen

    Kerner,

    I think we stepped on each other’s posts.

    I don’t know that one. I find him repetivie too. He often seems smart-alec to me – lots of kids telling off adults, and he just goes on and on. And yes, preachy to no end.

    If he’s Lutheran, I’m out!!!

  • Grace

    Stephen – 101 YOU WROTE: “The question was about Lutheranism showing up in literature, not about his personal piety and church attendance.”

    The question posed was from the start was:

    “What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism, and what does Lutheranism tell you about Dr. Seuss?”

    As it appears, Theodor Geisel was not affilated with any church – there is no reason to believe he could tell anyone about Lutheranism. What it says about Geisel is; he had no interest in the Gospel, or placed any importance on it.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 101 YOU WROTE: “The question was about Lutheranism showing up in literature, not about his personal piety and church attendance.”

    The question posed was from the start was:

    “What does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism, and what does Lutheranism tell you about Dr. Seuss?”

    As it appears, Theodor Geisel was not affilated with any church – there is no reason to believe he could tell anyone about Lutheranism. What it says about Geisel is; he had no interest in the Gospel, or placed any importance on it.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 91

    “I know you are no fan of Nietzsche. My point is – do we like or approve of people because we deem the things they do good and useful for our own purposes. In other words, are we okay with the guy just because we like his work and he fits our values based on what we know about his life and work, therefore, we can say that surely this person was a Christian”

    I would look upon a man as to his fruits, if they are against Christ then there is nothing about them to admire or approve of. Believing and loving Christ is more than anything else, it is valuable and truth – without which there is nothing. It is the value’s we read of in the Word of God, …. should we not emulate Christ, and follow His teaching?

    Nietzsche, without Christ didn’t serve anyone but himself, and those like Hitler who admired Nietzsche.

    “I am unable to determine what was the target of the insurrection said to have been led (whether rightly or wrongly) by Jesus, if it was not the Jewish church–”church” being here used in exactly the same sense that the word has today. It was an insurrection against the “good and just,” against the “prophets of Israel,” against the whole hierarchy of society–not against corruption, but against caste, privilege, order, formalism. It was unbelief in “superior men,” a Nay flung at everything that priests and theologians stood for. But the hierarchy that was called into question, if only for an instant, by this movement was the structure of piles which, above everything, was necessary to the safety of the Jewish people in the midst of the “waters”–it represented theirlast possibility of survival; it was the final residuum of their independent political existence; an attack upon it was an attack upon the most profound national instinct, the most powerful national will to live, that has ever appeared on earth. This saintly anarchist, who aroused the people of the abyss, the outcasts and “sinners,” the Chandala of Judaism, to rise in revolt against the established order of things–and in language which, if the Gospels are to be credited, would get him sent to Siberia today–this man was certainly a political criminal, at least in so far as it was possible to be one in so absurdly unpolitical a community. This is what brought him to the cross: the proof thereof is to be found in the inscription that was put upon the cross. He died for his own sins–there is not the slightest ground for believing, no matter how often it is asserted, that he died for the sins of others.”
    page 27 – Friedrich Nietzsche, THE ANTICHRIST,
    Published 1895

  • Grace

    Stephen – 91

    “I know you are no fan of Nietzsche. My point is – do we like or approve of people because we deem the things they do good and useful for our own purposes. In other words, are we okay with the guy just because we like his work and he fits our values based on what we know about his life and work, therefore, we can say that surely this person was a Christian”

    I would look upon a man as to his fruits, if they are against Christ then there is nothing about them to admire or approve of. Believing and loving Christ is more than anything else, it is valuable and truth – without which there is nothing. It is the value’s we read of in the Word of God, …. should we not emulate Christ, and follow His teaching?

    Nietzsche, without Christ didn’t serve anyone but himself, and those like Hitler who admired Nietzsche.

    “I am unable to determine what was the target of the insurrection said to have been led (whether rightly or wrongly) by Jesus, if it was not the Jewish church–”church” being here used in exactly the same sense that the word has today. It was an insurrection against the “good and just,” against the “prophets of Israel,” against the whole hierarchy of society–not against corruption, but against caste, privilege, order, formalism. It was unbelief in “superior men,” a Nay flung at everything that priests and theologians stood for. But the hierarchy that was called into question, if only for an instant, by this movement was the structure of piles which, above everything, was necessary to the safety of the Jewish people in the midst of the “waters”–it represented theirlast possibility of survival; it was the final residuum of their independent political existence; an attack upon it was an attack upon the most profound national instinct, the most powerful national will to live, that has ever appeared on earth. This saintly anarchist, who aroused the people of the abyss, the outcasts and “sinners,” the Chandala of Judaism, to rise in revolt against the established order of things–and in language which, if the Gospels are to be credited, would get him sent to Siberia today–this man was certainly a political criminal, at least in so far as it was possible to be one in so absurdly unpolitical a community. This is what brought him to the cross: the proof thereof is to be found in the inscription that was put upon the cross. He died for his own sins–there is not the slightest ground for believing, no matter how often it is asserted, that he died for the sins of others.”
    page 27 – Friedrich Nietzsche, THE ANTICHRIST,
    Published 1895

  • Larry

    Maybe the question should be rephrased to:

    “What can sectarian confessors who hardly know a thing about Lutheran doctrine and if they know anything about it reject it, tell us what does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism, and what can sectarian confessors who hardly know a thing about Lutheran doctrine and if they know anything about it reject it, tell us what do does Lutheranism tell you about Dr. Seuss?”

    Its rather amusing to listen to sectarians babble on – whose confessions and churches we firmly reject as false and do not commune with due to their false teachings tell orthodox confessing Lutherans how a Lutheran ought be measure and rejected according to their obvious false doctrine and pietism by his church.

    I wonder if Luther would have let Zwingli or Calvin tell him how to reject a member of the Lutheran confessing church?

    Perhaps if we listen long enough we can let them talk us into rebaptism, nullifying absolution and having a cracker and grape juice toast in memory of.

  • Larry

    Maybe the question should be rephrased to:

    “What can sectarian confessors who hardly know a thing about Lutheran doctrine and if they know anything about it reject it, tell us what does Dr. Seuss tell you about Lutheranism, and what can sectarian confessors who hardly know a thing about Lutheran doctrine and if they know anything about it reject it, tell us what do does Lutheranism tell you about Dr. Seuss?”

    Its rather amusing to listen to sectarians babble on – whose confessions and churches we firmly reject as false and do not commune with due to their false teachings tell orthodox confessing Lutherans how a Lutheran ought be measure and rejected according to their obvious false doctrine and pietism by his church.

    I wonder if Luther would have let Zwingli or Calvin tell him how to reject a member of the Lutheran confessing church?

    Perhaps if we listen long enough we can let them talk us into rebaptism, nullifying absolution and having a cracker and grape juice toast in memory of.

  • Stephen

    So I took a look at “Oh The Places You’ll Go” to see if there might be something Lutheran in it and . . . I’d have to say yes.

    Life is a Great Balancing Act – earthly kingdom and law. And then on the very next page, he says “Kid, you’ll move mountains” concluding with this sentiment “your mountain is waiting” which is essentially to say life is about believing and having faith. Seems I may need to eat some crow.

    I’m still not sure if that answers the two questions though.

    What does Dr. Suess tell me about Lutheranism. Maybe that we do not produce a lot of artists. Why is that? What does Lutheranism tell me about Dr. Suess? That God has given us many great artists and literary figures for reasons we do not and cannot comprehend.

    Do Christians like “The Passion of The Christ” so much because of the content? It’s certainly fairly crumby film making. And Mel Gibson seems like no great example of human being – abandoned his family, drunkard, anti-semite. Or how about the works of Caravaggio, truly a master painter of religious images of monumental significance, very Lutheran if you asked me, but also a debauched murderer and a homosexual? There are a number of things about Nietzsche that make him at least “Lutheran-esque” – lover of great music, anti-metaphysical, lover of language, dialectical, passionate, concerned about ultimate values and moving past all pretensions to truth, and extremely misunderstood. What about that does not sound Lutheran? His work still makes people’s heads spin, mine included.

    I’d really like to know what Lutheran work of art is supposed to do, or mean, or be, or say. Can someone tell me please? I’m a Lutheran. I’m also an artist. I’ve worked on that my whole life. Help out with that. Seems to me if you were baptized Lutheran and you made art, you are a Lutheran artist, or is there more to it than that? I really want to know. I’m not kidding. Does it need to preach?

  • Stephen

    So I took a look at “Oh The Places You’ll Go” to see if there might be something Lutheran in it and . . . I’d have to say yes.

    Life is a Great Balancing Act – earthly kingdom and law. And then on the very next page, he says “Kid, you’ll move mountains” concluding with this sentiment “your mountain is waiting” which is essentially to say life is about believing and having faith. Seems I may need to eat some crow.

    I’m still not sure if that answers the two questions though.

    What does Dr. Suess tell me about Lutheranism. Maybe that we do not produce a lot of artists. Why is that? What does Lutheranism tell me about Dr. Suess? That God has given us many great artists and literary figures for reasons we do not and cannot comprehend.

    Do Christians like “The Passion of The Christ” so much because of the content? It’s certainly fairly crumby film making. And Mel Gibson seems like no great example of human being – abandoned his family, drunkard, anti-semite. Or how about the works of Caravaggio, truly a master painter of religious images of monumental significance, very Lutheran if you asked me, but also a debauched murderer and a homosexual? There are a number of things about Nietzsche that make him at least “Lutheran-esque” – lover of great music, anti-metaphysical, lover of language, dialectical, passionate, concerned about ultimate values and moving past all pretensions to truth, and extremely misunderstood. What about that does not sound Lutheran? His work still makes people’s heads spin, mine included.

    I’d really like to know what Lutheran work of art is supposed to do, or mean, or be, or say. Can someone tell me please? I’m a Lutheran. I’m also an artist. I’ve worked on that my whole life. Help out with that. Seems to me if you were baptized Lutheran and you made art, you are a Lutheran artist, or is there more to it than that? I really want to know. I’m not kidding. Does it need to preach?

  • Stephen

    Larry @ 105

    You said it.

  • Stephen

    Larry @ 105

    You said it.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 106

    There are a number of things about Nietzsche that make him at least “Lutheran-esque” – lover of great music, anti-metaphysical, lover of language, dialectical, passionate, concerned about ultimate values and moving past all pretensions to truth, and extremely misunderstood.”

    “Lutheran-esque” – that doesn’t make one a Christian Believer – what you’ve just mapped out is a facade. Nietzsche made it clear he didn’t believe in Christ. He wasn’t misunderstood, he was defiant against the LORD Jesus Christ, he made it very plain.

    26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

    27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
    Matthew 16

  • Grace

    Stephen – 106

    There are a number of things about Nietzsche that make him at least “Lutheran-esque” – lover of great music, anti-metaphysical, lover of language, dialectical, passionate, concerned about ultimate values and moving past all pretensions to truth, and extremely misunderstood.”

    “Lutheran-esque” – that doesn’t make one a Christian Believer – what you’ve just mapped out is a facade. Nietzsche made it clear he didn’t believe in Christ. He wasn’t misunderstood, he was defiant against the LORD Jesus Christ, he made it very plain.

    26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

    27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
    Matthew 16

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 104

    Grace thanks for this excellent nietzche quote. This sounds very Lutheran and Christian actually…..

    “I am unable to determine what was the target of the insurrection said to have been led (whether rightly or wrongly) by Jesus, if it was not the Jewish church–”church” being here used in exactly the same sense that the word has today. It was an insurrection against the “good and just,” against the “prophets of Israel,” against the whole hierarchy of society–not against corruption, but against caste, privilege, order, formalism. It was unbelief in “superior men,” a Nay flung at everything that priests and theologians stood for. But the hierarchy that was called into question, if only for an instant, by this movement was the structure of piles which, above everything, was necessary to the safety of the Jewish people in the midst of the “waters”–it represented theirlast possibility of survival; it was the final residuum of their independent political existence; an attack upon it was an attack upon the most profound national instinct, the most powerful national will to live, that has ever appeared on earth. This saintly anarchist, who aroused the people of the abyss, the outcasts and “sinners,” the Chandala of Judaism, to rise in revolt against the established order of things–and in language which, if the Gospels are to be credited, would get him sent to Siberia today–this man was certainly a political criminal, at least in so far as it was possible to be one in so absurdly unpolitical a community. This is what brought him to the cross: the proof thereof is to be found in the inscription that was put upon the cross. He died for his own sins–there is not the slightest ground for believing, no matter how often it is asserted, that he died for the sins of others.”
    page 27 – Friedrich Nietzsche, THE ANTICHRIST,
    Published 1895

    especially this part…. brilliant!:

    “It was an insurrection against the “good and just,” against the “prophets of Israel,” against the whole hierarchy of society–not against corruption, but against caste, privilege, order, formalism. It was unbelief in “superior men,” a Nay flung at everything that priests and theologians stood for. But the hierarchy that was called into question, if only for an instant, by this movement was the structure of piles which, above everything, was necessary”

    Now I know why you do not like Nietzche Grace! Porcell, what do you make of this passage?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 104

    Grace thanks for this excellent nietzche quote. This sounds very Lutheran and Christian actually…..

    “I am unable to determine what was the target of the insurrection said to have been led (whether rightly or wrongly) by Jesus, if it was not the Jewish church–”church” being here used in exactly the same sense that the word has today. It was an insurrection against the “good and just,” against the “prophets of Israel,” against the whole hierarchy of society–not against corruption, but against caste, privilege, order, formalism. It was unbelief in “superior men,” a Nay flung at everything that priests and theologians stood for. But the hierarchy that was called into question, if only for an instant, by this movement was the structure of piles which, above everything, was necessary to the safety of the Jewish people in the midst of the “waters”–it represented theirlast possibility of survival; it was the final residuum of their independent political existence; an attack upon it was an attack upon the most profound national instinct, the most powerful national will to live, that has ever appeared on earth. This saintly anarchist, who aroused the people of the abyss, the outcasts and “sinners,” the Chandala of Judaism, to rise in revolt against the established order of things–and in language which, if the Gospels are to be credited, would get him sent to Siberia today–this man was certainly a political criminal, at least in so far as it was possible to be one in so absurdly unpolitical a community. This is what brought him to the cross: the proof thereof is to be found in the inscription that was put upon the cross. He died for his own sins–there is not the slightest ground for believing, no matter how often it is asserted, that he died for the sins of others.”
    page 27 – Friedrich Nietzsche, THE ANTICHRIST,
    Published 1895

    especially this part…. brilliant!:

    “It was an insurrection against the “good and just,” against the “prophets of Israel,” against the whole hierarchy of society–not against corruption, but against caste, privilege, order, formalism. It was unbelief in “superior men,” a Nay flung at everything that priests and theologians stood for. But the hierarchy that was called into question, if only for an instant, by this movement was the structure of piles which, above everything, was necessary”

    Now I know why you do not like Nietzche Grace! Porcell, what do you make of this passage?

  • Grace

    fws – 109

    fws WRITES: “Grace thanks for this excellent nietzche quote. This sounds very Lutheran and Christian actually”

    Really? – you think Nietzsche believes in the LORD Jesus Christ as Savior? Nietzsche’s statement is heresy.

    From page 27 – Friedrich Nietzsche, THE ANTICHRIST,
    Published 1895

    ” This is what brought him to the cross: the proof thereof is to be found in the inscription that was put upon the cross. He died for his own sins–there is not the slightest ground for believing, no matter how often it is asserted, that he died for the sins of others.”
    page 27 – Friedrich Nietzsche, THE ANTICHRIST,
    Published 1895

  • Grace

    fws – 109

    fws WRITES: “Grace thanks for this excellent nietzche quote. This sounds very Lutheran and Christian actually”

    Really? – you think Nietzsche believes in the LORD Jesus Christ as Savior? Nietzsche’s statement is heresy.

    From page 27 – Friedrich Nietzsche, THE ANTICHRIST,
    Published 1895

    ” This is what brought him to the cross: the proof thereof is to be found in the inscription that was put upon the cross. He died for his own sins–there is not the slightest ground for believing, no matter how often it is asserted, that he died for the sins of others.”
    page 27 – Friedrich Nietzsche, THE ANTICHRIST,
    Published 1895

  • Grace

    Does this sound like Lutheranism?

    Nietzsche and Zarathustra

    “Women are still on their knees before an error because they have been told that some one died on the cross for it. Is the cross, then, an argument?–But about all these things there is one, and one only, who has said what has been needed for thousands of years Zarathustra.

    They made signs in blood along the way that they went, and their folly taught them that the truth is proved by blood.
    But blood is the worst of all testimonies to the truth; blood poisoneth even the purest teaching and turneth it into madness and hatred in the heart.
    And when one goeth through fire for his teaching–what doth that prove? Verily, it is more when one’s teaching cometh out of one’s own burning!”
    page 53 Friedrich Nietzsche, THE ANTICHRIST, Published 1895

    Zarathustra – Persian prophet who founded Zoroastrianism (circa 628-551 BC)

  • Grace

    Does this sound like Lutheranism?

    Nietzsche and Zarathustra

    “Women are still on their knees before an error because they have been told that some one died on the cross for it. Is the cross, then, an argument?–But about all these things there is one, and one only, who has said what has been needed for thousands of years Zarathustra.

    They made signs in blood along the way that they went, and their folly taught them that the truth is proved by blood.
    But blood is the worst of all testimonies to the truth; blood poisoneth even the purest teaching and turneth it into madness and hatred in the heart.
    And when one goeth through fire for his teaching–what doth that prove? Verily, it is more when one’s teaching cometh out of one’s own burning!”
    page 53 Friedrich Nietzsche, THE ANTICHRIST, Published 1895

    Zarathustra – Persian prophet who founded Zoroastrianism (circa 628-551 BC)

  • Grace

    Nietzsche and Zarathustra

    “Women are still on their knees before an error because they have been told that some one died on the cross for it. Is the cross, then, an argument?–But about all these things there is one, and one only, who has said what has been needed for thousands of years Zarathustra.

    They made signs in blood along the way that they went, and their folly taught them that the truth is proved by blood.
    But blood is the worst of all testimonies to the truth; blood poisoneth even the purest teaching and turneth it into madness and hatred in the heart.
    And when one goeth through fire for his teaching–what doth that prove? Verily, it is more when one’s teaching cometh out of one’s own burning!”
    page 53 Friedrich Nietzsche, THE ANTICHRIST, Published 1895

    Zarathustra – Persian prophet who founded Zoroastrianism (circa 628-551 BC)

    Does this sound like Lutheranism?

  • Grace

    Nietzsche and Zarathustra

    “Women are still on their knees before an error because they have been told that some one died on the cross for it. Is the cross, then, an argument?–But about all these things there is one, and one only, who has said what has been needed for thousands of years Zarathustra.

    They made signs in blood along the way that they went, and their folly taught them that the truth is proved by blood.
    But blood is the worst of all testimonies to the truth; blood poisoneth even the purest teaching and turneth it into madness and hatred in the heart.
    And when one goeth through fire for his teaching–what doth that prove? Verily, it is more when one’s teaching cometh out of one’s own burning!”
    page 53 Friedrich Nietzsche, THE ANTICHRIST, Published 1895

    Zarathustra – Persian prophet who founded Zoroastrianism (circa 628-551 BC)

    Does this sound like Lutheranism?

  • Grace

    fws – 109

    “Now I know why you do not like Nietzche Grace! Porcell, what do you make of this passage?”

    Why is that fws ?

  • Grace

    fws – 109

    “Now I know why you do not like Nietzche Grace! Porcell, what do you make of this passage?”

    Why is that fws ?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @113

    I was responding to the first nietzche quote you gave us. And I indicated the part I liked. You are taking that last sentence out of context from what comes before it.

    I don´t have any comment on the zarathustra quote. I dont have a clue what nietzche means there.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @113

    I was responding to the first nietzche quote you gave us. And I indicated the part I liked. You are taking that last sentence out of context from what comes before it.

    I don´t have any comment on the zarathustra quote. I dont have a clue what nietzche means there.

  • Tom Hering

    “I’d really like to know what Lutheran work of art is supposed to do, or mean, or be, or say. Can someone tell me please? I’m a Lutheran. I’m also an artist. I’ve worked on that my whole life. Help out with that. Seems to me if you were baptized Lutheran and you made art, you are a Lutheran artist, or is there more to it than that? I really want to know. I’m not kidding. Does it need to preach?” – Stephen @ 106.

    Lutheranism was, is, and always will be about faithfulness to the Word of God. Western art (as opposed to popular culture, and including all the forms – music, painting, writing, etc.) has developed into a pursuit that seeks to break our habits of perception.

    These are fundamentally different ways for the mind to operate. Which explains why Christians (and people in general) prefer the art of the past. The mind only has to operate in one way – only has to deal with things that are settled. (It also explains why Christian art movements tend to be revivals of old aims and methods.)

    So the mind of the person who is both a faithful Lutheran and a serious contemporary artist has to learn to function in two different modes that really can’t be unified. But that’s okay. Because our vocations don’t have to be religious in order to serve our neighbor and please our God. Which is, of course, a distinctively Lutheran insight. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    “I’d really like to know what Lutheran work of art is supposed to do, or mean, or be, or say. Can someone tell me please? I’m a Lutheran. I’m also an artist. I’ve worked on that my whole life. Help out with that. Seems to me if you were baptized Lutheran and you made art, you are a Lutheran artist, or is there more to it than that? I really want to know. I’m not kidding. Does it need to preach?” – Stephen @ 106.

    Lutheranism was, is, and always will be about faithfulness to the Word of God. Western art (as opposed to popular culture, and including all the forms – music, painting, writing, etc.) has developed into a pursuit that seeks to break our habits of perception.

    These are fundamentally different ways for the mind to operate. Which explains why Christians (and people in general) prefer the art of the past. The mind only has to operate in one way – only has to deal with things that are settled. (It also explains why Christian art movements tend to be revivals of old aims and methods.)

    So the mind of the person who is both a faithful Lutheran and a serious contemporary artist has to learn to function in two different modes that really can’t be unified. But that’s okay. Because our vocations don’t have to be religious in order to serve our neighbor and please our God. Which is, of course, a distinctively Lutheran insight. :-)

  • Stephen

    Tom @ 115

    Finally someone says something that makes sense!!! That was wonderful gift to me. Thanks. You get the gold star.

    There has been so little conversation about the man’s work and so much about his supposed Lutheran-ness (as if we can ferret this out) that it makes me nervous and sort of sad for any artist out there who makes the claim to being a Christian of any sort. What then are they going to measured against? Christians will look at their lives and say thumbs up or thumbs down based on their “morals” (usually determined by whatever era the judges are living in), and/or their work determining that it either did or didn’t reflect some list of Christian virtues that such art “ought to” have if it’s done by a Christian.

    It’s all incredibly intimidating for a Christian with artistic abilities. They are stuck imitating the past because they dare not break out and do something new and challenging. It’s stifling. No wonder there aren’t more really great Christian artists. They flee the church so they can live their vocation. And it’s a good thing they do or we would not have 99% of the art that we have now, including all the movies everyone in this country goes to see, that people talk about and that shape our awareness as a culture. Most of the stuff I’ve seen labeled “Christian” is rehashed and not very good, and this includes most of the music.

    Dr. Suess broke ground in a field that was fairly new. His whimsical style was unique. I suspect that is why he gained such fame. Later on, his works seemed to me overly preachy and politicized, but by then he had made his mark and as dug in and accepted. He also lived in an era when politics were very much surging forward and perhaps he felt the need to use his place and vocation as something of a bully pulpit. Not sure if that is a right to foist such things on kids, but then I’m also not sure one can help doing so either.

    He will likely be remembered best for his holiday classic “How the Grinch . . .” and for that he deserves much applause. It’s good I think.

  • Stephen

    Tom @ 115

    Finally someone says something that makes sense!!! That was wonderful gift to me. Thanks. You get the gold star.

    There has been so little conversation about the man’s work and so much about his supposed Lutheran-ness (as if we can ferret this out) that it makes me nervous and sort of sad for any artist out there who makes the claim to being a Christian of any sort. What then are they going to measured against? Christians will look at their lives and say thumbs up or thumbs down based on their “morals” (usually determined by whatever era the judges are living in), and/or their work determining that it either did or didn’t reflect some list of Christian virtues that such art “ought to” have if it’s done by a Christian.

    It’s all incredibly intimidating for a Christian with artistic abilities. They are stuck imitating the past because they dare not break out and do something new and challenging. It’s stifling. No wonder there aren’t more really great Christian artists. They flee the church so they can live their vocation. And it’s a good thing they do or we would not have 99% of the art that we have now, including all the movies everyone in this country goes to see, that people talk about and that shape our awareness as a culture. Most of the stuff I’ve seen labeled “Christian” is rehashed and not very good, and this includes most of the music.

    Dr. Suess broke ground in a field that was fairly new. His whimsical style was unique. I suspect that is why he gained such fame. Later on, his works seemed to me overly preachy and politicized, but by then he had made his mark and as dug in and accepted. He also lived in an era when politics were very much surging forward and perhaps he felt the need to use his place and vocation as something of a bully pulpit. Not sure if that is a right to foist such things on kids, but then I’m also not sure one can help doing so either.

    He will likely be remembered best for his holiday classic “How the Grinch . . .” and for that he deserves much applause. It’s good I think.

  • Stephen

    Tom @115

    Man, I am sticking what you said up on my wall! Whenever you meet an artist, tell them that. It will help them.

  • Stephen

    Tom @115

    Man, I am sticking what you said up on my wall! Whenever you meet an artist, tell them that. It will help them.

  • Stephen

    My point for bringing up “other” literary figures was not to get things off track. I hope others realize that. It was to talk about the value of the literature of Dr. Suess for understanding our particular confessional Christian faith, which seems to be what Dr. Veith is indicating in his question, or at least that is how I am taking it.

    I apologize that it seems to have veered of into a discussion as to how “Christian” Nietzsche was AS A PERSON, something I never asserted and do not claim to know in any ultimate sense. but then again, we seem to have been trying to gauge how Lutheran Geisel was.

    Without belaboring the point but hopefully to put it to rest, the fact that Nazis put Neitzsche’s work to some use means nothing. They did that with Luther too, and a number of other things, as we all know. Your Krups brand coffee maker is made by the same company that engineered the gas chamebers and the ovens. Did you know that? Think of that the next time your brewing some Ethiopian Harrar. They also “liked” Bach, Strauss, Mozart and Wagner and had Jewish prisoners perform concerts for them while they hereded the rest into gas chambers. The horror of that cannot be comprehended except in the cross of Christ, not by any moral calculus of people and what they do or do not do.

    For what it’s worth, Nietzsche didn’t kill anyone. He wrote books, lived alone and in pain mostly, and was a tormented genius. His works have value as signposts in understanding the history of thought in western culture. We can ignore what we don’t like, try to erase it, ban books from libraries, etc. and then we become exactly like those we think we are doing away with – tyrannts of virtue who try to lord it over others. That is fear and not faith.

  • Stephen

    My point for bringing up “other” literary figures was not to get things off track. I hope others realize that. It was to talk about the value of the literature of Dr. Suess for understanding our particular confessional Christian faith, which seems to be what Dr. Veith is indicating in his question, or at least that is how I am taking it.

    I apologize that it seems to have veered of into a discussion as to how “Christian” Nietzsche was AS A PERSON, something I never asserted and do not claim to know in any ultimate sense. but then again, we seem to have been trying to gauge how Lutheran Geisel was.

    Without belaboring the point but hopefully to put it to rest, the fact that Nazis put Neitzsche’s work to some use means nothing. They did that with Luther too, and a number of other things, as we all know. Your Krups brand coffee maker is made by the same company that engineered the gas chamebers and the ovens. Did you know that? Think of that the next time your brewing some Ethiopian Harrar. They also “liked” Bach, Strauss, Mozart and Wagner and had Jewish prisoners perform concerts for them while they hereded the rest into gas chambers. The horror of that cannot be comprehended except in the cross of Christ, not by any moral calculus of people and what they do or do not do.

    For what it’s worth, Nietzsche didn’t kill anyone. He wrote books, lived alone and in pain mostly, and was a tormented genius. His works have value as signposts in understanding the history of thought in western culture. We can ignore what we don’t like, try to erase it, ban books from libraries, etc. and then we become exactly like those we think we are doing away with – tyrannts of virtue who try to lord it over others. That is fear and not faith.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Some of Geisel’s work is anti-Christian and anti-Lutheran. In particular his ‘Grinch that stole Christmas’. Christmas is portrayed as pure sentimentality. The climactic song doesn’t even use words. Compare this with Schultz’s Charlie Browns Christmas, were Linus reads the Bible.
    Why wasn’t he (Add Senator Paul Simon) excommunicated? Why, instead of making a witness to the Church’s beliefs do we permit people to soil the Church’s name as the damn their own souls?
    Looking at a list of Lutheran celebrities is an embarrassment, from Martin Mary to Bruce Willis.
    Add to this that the countries that are suppose to be Lutheran (Scandinavia, Germany) are Godless places with empty churches.
    Consequently, I must conclude that we are doing something wrong in our indoctrination.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Some of Geisel’s work is anti-Christian and anti-Lutheran. In particular his ‘Grinch that stole Christmas’. Christmas is portrayed as pure sentimentality. The climactic song doesn’t even use words. Compare this with Schultz’s Charlie Browns Christmas, were Linus reads the Bible.
    Why wasn’t he (Add Senator Paul Simon) excommunicated? Why, instead of making a witness to the Church’s beliefs do we permit people to soil the Church’s name as the damn their own souls?
    Looking at a list of Lutheran celebrities is an embarrassment, from Martin Mary to Bruce Willis.
    Add to this that the countries that are suppose to be Lutheran (Scandinavia, Germany) are Godless places with empty churches.
    Consequently, I must conclude that we are doing something wrong in our indoctrination.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    P.S. The best work of Lutheran art is Grunewald’s Crucifixion. It’s human, it’s divine, it’s international. It’s Christocentric.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    P.S. The best work of Lutheran art is Grunewald’s Crucifixion. It’s human, it’s divine, it’s international. It’s Christocentric.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 118

    “For what it’s worth, Nietzsche didn’t kill anyone. He wrote books, lived alone and in pain mostly, and was a tormented genius. His works have value as signposts in understanding the history of thought in western culture.”

    No Nietzsche was not a genius, he was ignorant to the core. There is nothing brilliant about anyone who can make the statements this man made.

    “I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.”
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Grace

    Stephen – 118

    “For what it’s worth, Nietzsche didn’t kill anyone. He wrote books, lived alone and in pain mostly, and was a tormented genius. His works have value as signposts in understanding the history of thought in western culture.”

    No Nietzsche was not a genius, he was ignorant to the core. There is nothing brilliant about anyone who can make the statements this man made.

    “I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.”
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Porcell

    Pastor Spooner: I must conclude that we are doing something wrong in our indoctrination.

    The problem is that due to the dominance of Spener’s pietism, Schleiermacher’s romanticism, and Rauschenbusch’s social gospel little Christian doctrine is taught to young people and adults.

    A good antidote to this is Michael Horton’s recent book, The ChristianFaith A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way that in effect is newly minted Reformation theology, emphasizing Calvin and Luther, as well as the Apostles, along with medieval and modern orthodox Christians. The book is written well for laymen as well as theologians.

    Dorothy Sayers in her fine book Why Christians Must Choose Either Dogma or Disaster (Or, Why It Really Does Matter What You Believe), makes the point that most modern folk suffer the pious illusion that they may relate to Christ and God at the mystical, feeling level without any serious understanding of Christian creeds and doctrine. Many Americans regard theology as abstruse pretension that ought to be virtuously avoided, pretending to be just ordinary good folk.

    While Dr. Seuss’s works are theologically dubious, a bit didactic, and conventionally liberal romanticism, they do interest and delight young people and reflect his basic love of life.

  • Porcell

    Pastor Spooner: I must conclude that we are doing something wrong in our indoctrination.

    The problem is that due to the dominance of Spener’s pietism, Schleiermacher’s romanticism, and Rauschenbusch’s social gospel little Christian doctrine is taught to young people and adults.

    A good antidote to this is Michael Horton’s recent book, The ChristianFaith A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way that in effect is newly minted Reformation theology, emphasizing Calvin and Luther, as well as the Apostles, along with medieval and modern orthodox Christians. The book is written well for laymen as well as theologians.

    Dorothy Sayers in her fine book Why Christians Must Choose Either Dogma or Disaster (Or, Why It Really Does Matter What You Believe), makes the point that most modern folk suffer the pious illusion that they may relate to Christ and God at the mystical, feeling level without any serious understanding of Christian creeds and doctrine. Many Americans regard theology as abstruse pretension that ought to be virtuously avoided, pretending to be just ordinary good folk.

    While Dr. Seuss’s works are theologically dubious, a bit didactic, and conventionally liberal romanticism, they do interest and delight young people and reflect his basic love of life.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 118

    “Your Krups brand coffee maker is made by the same company that engineered the gas chamebers and the ovens. “

    Not so fast ——- we don’t use “Krups” or “Braun” coffee makers – Starbucks uses Bunn, it is made in the USA and Canada.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 118

    “Your Krups brand coffee maker is made by the same company that engineered the gas chamebers and the ovens. “

    Not so fast ——- we don’t use “Krups” or “Braun” coffee makers – Starbucks uses Bunn, it is made in the USA and Canada.

  • http://journeytoluther.blogspot.com/ moallen

    I think if I have followed all the comments, Dr. Seuss was a Lutheran supporter of well constructed freeways and German Lutheran Christ-centered philosophy as typified by Nietzche. As one of Lutheranisam most famous modern authors, he is second only to Nietzche. Also, he may have had a deathbed reversion to his childhood Lutheran faith, thus perhaps allowing us to exult in his life as a Lutheran celebrity. Or maybe not.

    All kidding aside, as a supporter of life and experience in pro-life actvism I had heard years ago of his objections to the pro-life cause identifying with his great book “Horton Hears a Who.” This disturbed him greatly. Doesn’t mean I still don’t love the book and view it as very pro-life (despite Theodor Geisel’s intentions). I use it with my kids – “a person’s a person no matter how small!”

  • http://journeytoluther.blogspot.com/ moallen

    I think if I have followed all the comments, Dr. Seuss was a Lutheran supporter of well constructed freeways and German Lutheran Christ-centered philosophy as typified by Nietzche. As one of Lutheranisam most famous modern authors, he is second only to Nietzche. Also, he may have had a deathbed reversion to his childhood Lutheran faith, thus perhaps allowing us to exult in his life as a Lutheran celebrity. Or maybe not.

    All kidding aside, as a supporter of life and experience in pro-life actvism I had heard years ago of his objections to the pro-life cause identifying with his great book “Horton Hears a Who.” This disturbed him greatly. Doesn’t mean I still don’t love the book and view it as very pro-life (despite Theodor Geisel’s intentions). I use it with my kids – “a person’s a person no matter how small!”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen (@118), I’m glad to see you bring up “how ‘Christian’ Nietzsche was AS A PERSON”. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long — my computer’s been crunching the numbers for over a day now — but I’ve finally got some real data on just that question.

    It turns out that Nietzsche rates a 32.6 on the 100-point Monroe-Sheldon scale. Good enough to get into heaven (but just barely; you need 30 points to do so), but typically a person needs to get well into the 50s before one can recommend his work. And, of course, most Christian bookstores these days won’t place a product whose author rates anything less than a 70.

    On the other hand, Theodore Geisel rates a fairly paltry 22.7. I think we all know what that means.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Stephen (@118), I’m glad to see you bring up “how ‘Christian’ Nietzsche was AS A PERSON”. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long — my computer’s been crunching the numbers for over a day now — but I’ve finally got some real data on just that question.

    It turns out that Nietzsche rates a 32.6 on the 100-point Monroe-Sheldon scale. Good enough to get into heaven (but just barely; you need 30 points to do so), but typically a person needs to get well into the 50s before one can recommend his work. And, of course, most Christian bookstores these days won’t place a product whose author rates anything less than a 70.

    On the other hand, Theodore Geisel rates a fairly paltry 22.7. I think we all know what that means.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Pastor Spomer writes (@119),

    Some of Geisel’s work is anti-Christian and anti-Lutheran. In particular his ‘Grinch that stole Christmas’. Christmas is portrayed as pure sentimentality. The climactic song doesn’t even use words.

    Wow. I’d expect that for such powerful accusations as “anti-Christian” and “anti-Lutheran”, one would at least offer a smidgen of evidence. And yet, what do we find in your comment? “Sentimentality” and a song that “doesn’t even use words”.

    My, how … anti-Christian. You can just smell the persecution!

    Is it too much to expect that claims of works’ opposing Christianity (much less Lutheranism) show, well, how they do that? Is sentimentality “anti-Christian”? Is it wrong for me to feel certain emotions around Christmas? Should we forbid Christians to gather together with family and eat special foods? Perhaps we should ban all sentimental Christmas music.

    If I read How the Grinch Stole Christmas (which is, you know, the actual title), will my child’s faith be shaken by its strident anti-Christian rhetoric? Can my own faith survive such an onslaught?

    Is The Grinch anti-Christian because it fails to include explicit Scripture quotations (as you imply)? If not, how, exactly, does it qualify as such?

    And then once we’ve established that, I suppose we can get to the anti-Lutheranism inherent in the book.

    Also, for what it’s worth, I’d expect a pastor to be a bit more circumspect with his words, which would probably preclude him from declaring any country — much less one with actual Christians and actual Christian churches — as “Godless”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Pastor Spomer writes (@119),

    Some of Geisel’s work is anti-Christian and anti-Lutheran. In particular his ‘Grinch that stole Christmas’. Christmas is portrayed as pure sentimentality. The climactic song doesn’t even use words.

    Wow. I’d expect that for such powerful accusations as “anti-Christian” and “anti-Lutheran”, one would at least offer a smidgen of evidence. And yet, what do we find in your comment? “Sentimentality” and a song that “doesn’t even use words”.

    My, how … anti-Christian. You can just smell the persecution!

    Is it too much to expect that claims of works’ opposing Christianity (much less Lutheranism) show, well, how they do that? Is sentimentality “anti-Christian”? Is it wrong for me to feel certain emotions around Christmas? Should we forbid Christians to gather together with family and eat special foods? Perhaps we should ban all sentimental Christmas music.

    If I read How the Grinch Stole Christmas (which is, you know, the actual title), will my child’s faith be shaken by its strident anti-Christian rhetoric? Can my own faith survive such an onslaught?

    Is The Grinch anti-Christian because it fails to include explicit Scripture quotations (as you imply)? If not, how, exactly, does it qualify as such?

    And then once we’ve established that, I suppose we can get to the anti-Lutheranism inherent in the book.

    Also, for what it’s worth, I’d expect a pastor to be a bit more circumspect with his words, which would probably preclude him from declaring any country — much less one with actual Christians and actual Christian churches — as “Godless”.

  • Grace

    Theodor Geisel (Seuss) left Christ out of The Grinch who stole Christmas. Seuss doesn’t even mention Jesus Christ, the reason for Christmas. When you leave Jesus out of Christmas you don’t have a story. An ugly Grinch who steals trees, gifts, and food, is really a fallen world that doesn’t know Jesus Christ is what their missing.

    The songs are never revealed as to what was being sung. The whole story has no meaning, what it does have is greed. The story isn’t about Christmas whatsoever, it’s about ignoring the Savior, the one to whom Christmas stands for.

  • Grace

    Theodor Geisel (Seuss) left Christ out of The Grinch who stole Christmas. Seuss doesn’t even mention Jesus Christ, the reason for Christmas. When you leave Jesus out of Christmas you don’t have a story. An ugly Grinch who steals trees, gifts, and food, is really a fallen world that doesn’t know Jesus Christ is what their missing.

    The songs are never revealed as to what was being sung. The whole story has no meaning, what it does have is greed. The story isn’t about Christmas whatsoever, it’s about ignoring the Savior, the one to whom Christmas stands for.

  • Grace

    When Pastor Spomer posted – 119 he was tellling the truth. Anti-Christian is a dirty word now? Stories for children, or ignorant adults, especially when they twist the meaning of Christmas need to be voiced LOUD and CLEAR. Pastor Spomer is has back-bone, something a lot of pastors and congregants have traded in for nonsense and apostasy.

    “Some of Geisel’s work is anti-Christian and anti-Lutheran. In particular his ‘Grinch that stole Christmas’. Christmas is portrayed as pure sentimentality. The climactic song doesn’t even use words.”

    I am not Lutheran, however I very much respect Pastor Spomer’s fine post. My father a pastor, would have stood tall, making the same statements. Thank God!

  • Grace

    When Pastor Spomer posted – 119 he was tellling the truth. Anti-Christian is a dirty word now? Stories for children, or ignorant adults, especially when they twist the meaning of Christmas need to be voiced LOUD and CLEAR. Pastor Spomer is has back-bone, something a lot of pastors and congregants have traded in for nonsense and apostasy.

    “Some of Geisel’s work is anti-Christian and anti-Lutheran. In particular his ‘Grinch that stole Christmas’. Christmas is portrayed as pure sentimentality. The climactic song doesn’t even use words.”

    I am not Lutheran, however I very much respect Pastor Spomer’s fine post. My father a pastor, would have stood tall, making the same statements. Thank God!

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Here’s a paragraph from Wikipedia’s entry on Norwegian church attendance. ( I know that Wikipedia hasn’t the highest veracity, but I doubt if other sources will differ much.)
    “Norway has one of the lowest church attendance in the world. Below is a table that compares Norway with other countries in a regularly church attendance. In contrast to 250,000 in whole Norway, 43,500 attend just one church in the United States every week (Lakewood Church) and 23,000 attend just one church in Australia (Hillsong Church).”
    The table gives Norway’s attendance at 5%. I’m thankful for those 250,000 church attenders, but Yes Norway is hence Godless. How deep do things need to sink until we say what’s obviously true? Godlessness isn’t necessarily running through the streets with a butcher knife. Godlessness is yawning when you’re called to confess.
    Also with How the Grinch Stole Christmas It is indeed destructively Godless in the same way that, say, a Pharmacist who replaces a patient’s life-saving medicine with a placebo is a criminal.
    Sentimentality is no evil, however when it is a replacement for the saving gospel it is. People who are given this replacement think that they have encountered Christmas when in reality, they haven’t encountered it at all.
    This glass is half full thinking drives me nuts. What if someone were to say, “Look Dr. Luther, just because Mr. Tetzel is selling indulgences, that doesn’t mean that he believes we are saved by works.”
    Look, I’m not saying this to be mean to the memory of Dr. Seuss. I’m saying that we must have a higher standard. If my son had written How the Grinch Stole Christmas and consequently sold millions of copies, I’d still ask him, “How does this praise God? How are you being a steward of your gifts?”

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Here’s a paragraph from Wikipedia’s entry on Norwegian church attendance. ( I know that Wikipedia hasn’t the highest veracity, but I doubt if other sources will differ much.)
    “Norway has one of the lowest church attendance in the world. Below is a table that compares Norway with other countries in a regularly church attendance. In contrast to 250,000 in whole Norway, 43,500 attend just one church in the United States every week (Lakewood Church) and 23,000 attend just one church in Australia (Hillsong Church).”
    The table gives Norway’s attendance at 5%. I’m thankful for those 250,000 church attenders, but Yes Norway is hence Godless. How deep do things need to sink until we say what’s obviously true? Godlessness isn’t necessarily running through the streets with a butcher knife. Godlessness is yawning when you’re called to confess.
    Also with How the Grinch Stole Christmas It is indeed destructively Godless in the same way that, say, a Pharmacist who replaces a patient’s life-saving medicine with a placebo is a criminal.
    Sentimentality is no evil, however when it is a replacement for the saving gospel it is. People who are given this replacement think that they have encountered Christmas when in reality, they haven’t encountered it at all.
    This glass is half full thinking drives me nuts. What if someone were to say, “Look Dr. Luther, just because Mr. Tetzel is selling indulgences, that doesn’t mean that he believes we are saved by works.”
    Look, I’m not saying this to be mean to the memory of Dr. Seuss. I’m saying that we must have a higher standard. If my son had written How the Grinch Stole Christmas and consequently sold millions of copies, I’d still ask him, “How does this praise God? How are you being a steward of your gifts?”

  • Grace

    Pastor Phil Spomer,

    A friend of mine, who was born in Norway told me when she visited, she observed just about what you posted above. My friend said the people have turned very worldly – she added that she would never return to Norway again.

    England is no different, count Demark as well. The world has turned its back on Christ and the Gospel. Those of us who know the truth are responsible in giving it out, not adding to the delusions the unsaved world lives under, listens to and accepts without question, because no one corrects false teaching.

    “Also with How the Grinch Stole Christmas It is indeed destructively Godless in the same way that, say, a Pharmacist who replaces a patient’s life-saving medicine with a placebo is a criminal.
    Sentimentality is no evil, however when it is a replacement for the saving gospel it is. People who are given this replacement think that they have encountered Christmas when in reality, they haven’t encountered it at all.”

    You are one on fire pastor. God bless you!

  • Grace

    Pastor Phil Spomer,

    A friend of mine, who was born in Norway told me when she visited, she observed just about what you posted above. My friend said the people have turned very worldly – she added that she would never return to Norway again.

    England is no different, count Demark as well. The world has turned its back on Christ and the Gospel. Those of us who know the truth are responsible in giving it out, not adding to the delusions the unsaved world lives under, listens to and accepts without question, because no one corrects false teaching.

    “Also with How the Grinch Stole Christmas It is indeed destructively Godless in the same way that, say, a Pharmacist who replaces a patient’s life-saving medicine with a placebo is a criminal.
    Sentimentality is no evil, however when it is a replacement for the saving gospel it is. People who are given this replacement think that they have encountered Christmas when in reality, they haven’t encountered it at all.”

    You are one on fire pastor. God bless you!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Pastor Spomer said (@129), “I’m thankful for those 250,000 church attenders, but Yes Norway is hence Godless.” It still seems to me that you don’t know what “godless” means. It appears to be a word that you use rather casually, which I find strange for a pastor. God is in Scandinavia and Germany, and so are his people. But why let facts like that get in the way of your feeling “embarrassed”? Ah well, it wasn’t the main point, anyhow.

    “Also with How the Grinch Stole Christmas It is indeed destructively Godless.” Well now, you seem to have changed your claim, haven’t you? You’ve gone from “anti-Christian and anti-Lutheran” — words you never actually defended, in spite of the many follow-up questions I asked for clarification — to “Godless”. One begins to suspect that you don’t see a distinction between those words. So a book that merely doesn’t mention God (like Esther?) is, it would seem, equivalent to you to a book that viciously attacks the message of the Gospel. Or perhaps this is just more of your casual use of words again?

    But no, The Grinch, you claim, “is indeed destructively Godless in the same way that, say, a Pharmacist who replaces a patient’s life-saving medicine with a placebo is a criminal.” Which is, quite frankly, an ill-thought-out comparison. I mean, honestly, you’re saying that the Bible : life-saving medicine :: The Grinch : placebo-in-lieu-of-medicine. So you’re accusing of people swapping out The Grinch in lieu of Scripture. And not only are you accusing people of doing this (for surely there are people who read Seuss but not the Bible), but you are saying that this is endemic to Seuss’s work. To read The Grinch, goes your metaphor, is to deprive one’s self of Scripture. Even if you also read Scripture. Ah, but perhaps you doubt that is possible! Surely only the “Godless” read such “anti-Christian” material! And maybe the book of Esther.

    “If my son had written How the Grinch Stole Christmas … I’d still ask him, ‘How does this praise God? How are you being a steward of your gifts?’” Look, I’ll be frank. For a Lutheran pastor reading Dr. Veith’s blog, you seem surprisingly unaware of the doctrine of vocation. The words I’ve quoted here very much suggest a neo-monasticism in which things are only considered good and God-pleasing if they explicitly mention God, explicitly praise him. It is the same thinking (courtesy of Evangelicals, like the one on this blog praising your comments) that tells a person that having a regular job is not God-pleasing, but instead they must have some sort of “ministry” which with they can praise God. Or, as happened in the Baptist church of my wife’s youth, the same attitude led to youth leaders prohibiting classical music from being played in the church’s van, only allowing “Christian” music, because, you know, classical music doesn’t praise God explicitly enough.

    God is praised everytime anyone uses the gifts he gave them to serve his fellow man. As Luther once noted, God is praised when you change your baby’s diapers. You don’t have to make people feel bad — much less accuse them baselessly of being “anti-Christian”! — merely because that diaper doesn’t have a Bible verse embroidered across the front.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Pastor Spomer said (@129), “I’m thankful for those 250,000 church attenders, but Yes Norway is hence Godless.” It still seems to me that you don’t know what “godless” means. It appears to be a word that you use rather casually, which I find strange for a pastor. God is in Scandinavia and Germany, and so are his people. But why let facts like that get in the way of your feeling “embarrassed”? Ah well, it wasn’t the main point, anyhow.

    “Also with How the Grinch Stole Christmas It is indeed destructively Godless.” Well now, you seem to have changed your claim, haven’t you? You’ve gone from “anti-Christian and anti-Lutheran” — words you never actually defended, in spite of the many follow-up questions I asked for clarification — to “Godless”. One begins to suspect that you don’t see a distinction between those words. So a book that merely doesn’t mention God (like Esther?) is, it would seem, equivalent to you to a book that viciously attacks the message of the Gospel. Or perhaps this is just more of your casual use of words again?

    But no, The Grinch, you claim, “is indeed destructively Godless in the same way that, say, a Pharmacist who replaces a patient’s life-saving medicine with a placebo is a criminal.” Which is, quite frankly, an ill-thought-out comparison. I mean, honestly, you’re saying that the Bible : life-saving medicine :: The Grinch : placebo-in-lieu-of-medicine. So you’re accusing of people swapping out The Grinch in lieu of Scripture. And not only are you accusing people of doing this (for surely there are people who read Seuss but not the Bible), but you are saying that this is endemic to Seuss’s work. To read The Grinch, goes your metaphor, is to deprive one’s self of Scripture. Even if you also read Scripture. Ah, but perhaps you doubt that is possible! Surely only the “Godless” read such “anti-Christian” material! And maybe the book of Esther.

    “If my son had written How the Grinch Stole Christmas … I’d still ask him, ‘How does this praise God? How are you being a steward of your gifts?’” Look, I’ll be frank. For a Lutheran pastor reading Dr. Veith’s blog, you seem surprisingly unaware of the doctrine of vocation. The words I’ve quoted here very much suggest a neo-monasticism in which things are only considered good and God-pleasing if they explicitly mention God, explicitly praise him. It is the same thinking (courtesy of Evangelicals, like the one on this blog praising your comments) that tells a person that having a regular job is not God-pleasing, but instead they must have some sort of “ministry” which with they can praise God. Or, as happened in the Baptist church of my wife’s youth, the same attitude led to youth leaders prohibiting classical music from being played in the church’s van, only allowing “Christian” music, because, you know, classical music doesn’t praise God explicitly enough.

    God is praised everytime anyone uses the gifts he gave them to serve his fellow man. As Luther once noted, God is praised when you change your baby’s diapers. You don’t have to make people feel bad — much less accuse them baselessly of being “anti-Christian”! — merely because that diaper doesn’t have a Bible verse embroidered across the front.

  • Tom Hering

    “If my son had written How the Grinch Stole Christmas and consequently sold millions of copies, I’d still ask him, ‘How does this praise God? How are you being a steward of your gifts?’” – @ 129.

    “By buying you and Mom a condo in Florida, and setting aside a percentage of the royalties to take care of you in your old age, Dad.”

    “Oh, well, that’s different then – my dear, dear boy.”

  • Tom Hering

    “If my son had written How the Grinch Stole Christmas and consequently sold millions of copies, I’d still ask him, ‘How does this praise God? How are you being a steward of your gifts?’” – @ 129.

    “By buying you and Mom a condo in Florida, and setting aside a percentage of the royalties to take care of you in your old age, Dad.”

    “Oh, well, that’s different then – my dear, dear boy.”

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Once again, this thread has some beautiful examples of SIT, both in the positive and in the negative sense.

    One could earn a PhD, (well maybe a Masters) by studying blog comments…

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Once again, this thread has some beautiful examples of SIT, both in the positive and in the negative sense.

    One could earn a PhD, (well maybe a Masters) by studying blog comments…

  • Porcell

    Pastor Spooner is correct that Norway is an essentially godless country. Only a nitpicker would question this proposition. I’ve traveled often to this land where even the few devout Christians regard the country as essentially pagan.

    While Dr. Seuss works are rich with common grace, they are totally lacking in the covenant of Christian grace. I fully understand that Pastor Spooner, being a devout Christian leader, would regard Dr. Seuss’s work as lacking in orthodox Christianity. He is telling in remarking that he would criticize even his son if he published a popular literary work that lacked a Christian theme.

  • Porcell

    Pastor Spooner is correct that Norway is an essentially godless country. Only a nitpicker would question this proposition. I’ve traveled often to this land where even the few devout Christians regard the country as essentially pagan.

    While Dr. Seuss works are rich with common grace, they are totally lacking in the covenant of Christian grace. I fully understand that Pastor Spooner, being a devout Christian leader, would regard Dr. Seuss’s work as lacking in orthodox Christianity. He is telling in remarking that he would criticize even his son if he published a popular literary work that lacked a Christian theme.

  • Grace

    131 tODD

    “For a Lutheran pastor reading Dr. Veith’s blog, you seem surprisingly unaware of the doctrine of vocation. The words I’ve quoted here very much suggest a neo-monasticism in which things are only considered good and God-pleasing if they explicitly mention God, explicitly praise him. It is the same thinking (courtesy of Evangelicals, like the one on this blog praising your comments) that tells a person that having a regular job is not God-pleasing, but instead they must have some sort of “ministry” which with they can praise God.”

    Millions of Christian Believers have regular jobs, I have never said anything to the contrary, nor has anyone else. We all, as Believers have a “ministry” that which is living for Christ, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

    Whether a Believer is a teacher, lawyer, taxi driver, doctor, nurse, janitor, or any other position we are all to serve the LORD, as Believers in Christ.

    “Or, as happened in the Baptist church of my wife’s youth, the same attitude led to youth leaders prohibiting classical music from being played in the church’s van, only allowing “Christian” music, because, you know, classical music doesn’t praise God explicitly enough.”

    I’ve known lots of Baptist’s, Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists, and many others,…. but I have yet to meet one who prohibited “classical music” being played on the radio in the car, home, or anywhere else. That sounds like the Mennonites, or any of a group who practice “isolationism” – I have known very few. One of my mothers best friends, a missionary loved the opera, and so did my mother,… My husband and I have enjoyed many a night at the opera, symphony, and the ballet.

  • Grace

    131 tODD

    “For a Lutheran pastor reading Dr. Veith’s blog, you seem surprisingly unaware of the doctrine of vocation. The words I’ve quoted here very much suggest a neo-monasticism in which things are only considered good and God-pleasing if they explicitly mention God, explicitly praise him. It is the same thinking (courtesy of Evangelicals, like the one on this blog praising your comments) that tells a person that having a regular job is not God-pleasing, but instead they must have some sort of “ministry” which with they can praise God.”

    Millions of Christian Believers have regular jobs, I have never said anything to the contrary, nor has anyone else. We all, as Believers have a “ministry” that which is living for Christ, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

    Whether a Believer is a teacher, lawyer, taxi driver, doctor, nurse, janitor, or any other position we are all to serve the LORD, as Believers in Christ.

    “Or, as happened in the Baptist church of my wife’s youth, the same attitude led to youth leaders prohibiting classical music from being played in the church’s van, only allowing “Christian” music, because, you know, classical music doesn’t praise God explicitly enough.”

    I’ve known lots of Baptist’s, Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists, and many others,…. but I have yet to meet one who prohibited “classical music” being played on the radio in the car, home, or anywhere else. That sounds like the Mennonites, or any of a group who practice “isolationism” – I have known very few. One of my mothers best friends, a missionary loved the opera, and so did my mother,… My husband and I have enjoyed many a night at the opera, symphony, and the ballet.

  • Stephen

    It just gets worse. Now Porcell has to chime in with more nonsense.

    So basically, because people do not go to church, this means God is not in operation in a country, thus making God a projection of the conjuring that goes on in church. God is just an imaginary being in that system, something we collectively agree is there (or not). And if we aren’t busy agreeing and conjuring, well then, no God. Stupidity.

    And anything that does not bear the stamp of Christianity with a “alleluia, praise Him!” in every sentence is likewise not to God’s glory. Is that it? I better tell my mechanic, or the Hindu heart surgeon who helped my father in law, or all those other countless godless things going on around me where God isn’t getting his rightful praise 24/7, all the beauty and wonder, and kindness and just simple people going about their days and being good citizens and respecting their neighbors, not to mention all the monumental change that happens and needs to happen that has nothing to do with church-going, self-righteous, bible-believing Christians. More stupidity.

    What “Christian morality” disagrees with is godless is what you are saying. You’re not saying anything about God, you are talking about yourself. Sounds like vanity to me, and breaking the 2nd commandment as well. Who is really being praised?

  • Stephen

    It just gets worse. Now Porcell has to chime in with more nonsense.

    So basically, because people do not go to church, this means God is not in operation in a country, thus making God a projection of the conjuring that goes on in church. God is just an imaginary being in that system, something we collectively agree is there (or not). And if we aren’t busy agreeing and conjuring, well then, no God. Stupidity.

    And anything that does not bear the stamp of Christianity with a “alleluia, praise Him!” in every sentence is likewise not to God’s glory. Is that it? I better tell my mechanic, or the Hindu heart surgeon who helped my father in law, or all those other countless godless things going on around me where God isn’t getting his rightful praise 24/7, all the beauty and wonder, and kindness and just simple people going about their days and being good citizens and respecting their neighbors, not to mention all the monumental change that happens and needs to happen that has nothing to do with church-going, self-righteous, bible-believing Christians. More stupidity.

    What “Christian morality” disagrees with is godless is what you are saying. You’re not saying anything about God, you are talking about yourself. Sounds like vanity to me, and breaking the 2nd commandment as well. Who is really being praised?

  • Grace

    136 – Stephen

    Your third paragraph reeks with sarcasm – it serves no purpose – extended verbalism that accomplishes nothing.

  • Grace

    136 – Stephen

    Your third paragraph reeks with sarcasm – it serves no purpose – extended verbalism that accomplishes nothing.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, I’m afraid you suffer from the romantic illusion that we’re all just good Christian folk, whether an ordinary agnostic mechanic or a Hindu heart surgeon. This is the sort of mainline easy Christianity that has brought the West rather low.

    Christianity requires firm belief in the doctrinal creeds that have been revealed in the Bible and richly interpreted by assorted historical Christian traditions. I certainly respect any ordinary mechanic or Hindu surgeon, as well as some accomplished pagan artists and skeptics, including Dr.Seuss, though one need not suffer the illusion that they are necessarily serious Christians.

    Christian doctrine and creeds precede doxological praise. Your reduction of orthodox Christianity to crude alleluia praise is mistaken and typical of shallow critics of orthodox Christianity who curry favor with cultured despisers of Christianity.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, I’m afraid you suffer from the romantic illusion that we’re all just good Christian folk, whether an ordinary agnostic mechanic or a Hindu heart surgeon. This is the sort of mainline easy Christianity that has brought the West rather low.

    Christianity requires firm belief in the doctrinal creeds that have been revealed in the Bible and richly interpreted by assorted historical Christian traditions. I certainly respect any ordinary mechanic or Hindu surgeon, as well as some accomplished pagan artists and skeptics, including Dr.Seuss, though one need not suffer the illusion that they are necessarily serious Christians.

    Christian doctrine and creeds precede doxological praise. Your reduction of orthodox Christianity to crude alleluia praise is mistaken and typical of shallow critics of orthodox Christianity who curry favor with cultured despisers of Christianity.

  • Stephen

    Oh yes, almost forgot . . .

    All of this can be proven by some numbers on how many people go to church, simple observation by “real” Christians, personal experience, and stuff my friend told me. That clinches the deal. Very sound doctrine indeed.

    It is the opinions of men, and one woman.

  • Stephen

    Oh yes, almost forgot . . .

    All of this can be proven by some numbers on how many people go to church, simple observation by “real” Christians, personal experience, and stuff my friend told me. That clinches the deal. Very sound doctrine indeed.

    It is the opinions of men, and one woman.

  • Stephen

    Porcell,

    You need to go back and read the things you’ve written. You don’t understand yourself or me.

  • Stephen

    Porcell,

    You need to go back and read the things you’ve written. You don’t understand yourself or me.

  • Porcell

    All of this can be proven… All of what can be proven? Your art can perhaps be vague, though it helps to explain any logical assertion.

  • Porcell

    All of this can be proven… All of what can be proven? Your art can perhaps be vague, though it helps to explain any logical assertion.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, at 140, again you are being obtuse. Just how is it that I don’t understand myself or you?

  • Porcell

    Stephen, at 140, again you are being obtuse. Just how is it that I don’t understand myself or you?

  • Grace

    Stephen

    Norway has a state church – that doesn’t make anyone a Christian Believer.

    I have a friend whom I’ve known a long time, she was born in Berlin. To my knowledge she has never attended church in all the years I’ve known her, …. ask her what she believes, she will answer Lutheran, ask her about Lutheranism and she’s tongue tied, she hasn’t a single clue.

    Most all countries in Europe align themselves with one church or another, it proves nothing – most people in Europe do not attend church, nor if asked cannot tell you much about what that church believes. When they die, most often their services are held in the church they didn’t attend, nor did they know much about.

    Religion in Europe

    Lack of Importance of Religion in Europe by Gallup poll (2007–2008)

    Country Percentage
    Estonia   84%
    Sweden   83%
    Denmark   80%
    Norway   78%
    Azerbaijan   74%
    Czech Republic   74%
    France   73%
    United Kingdom   71%
    Finland   69%
    Netherlands   66%
    Belarus   65%
    Russia   63%
    Albania   63%
    Bulgaria   62%
    Latvia   62%
    Belgium   61%
    Hungary   59%
    Slovenia   59%
    Spain   59%
    Germany   57%
    Switzerland   56%
    Ukraine   54%
    Lithuania   52%
    Slovakia   51%
    Montenegro   48%
    Serbia   45%
    Kazakhstan   43%
    Austria   42%
    Ireland   42%
    Moldova   31%
    Croatia   30%
    Greece   30%
    Armenia   29%
    Bosnia and Herzegovina   29%
    Portugal   27%
    Italy   26%
    Cyprus   24%
    Poland   23%
    Georgia   22%
    Macedonia   20%
    Romania   18%
    Turkey   9%

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Europe

  • Grace

    Stephen

    Norway has a state church – that doesn’t make anyone a Christian Believer.

    I have a friend whom I’ve known a long time, she was born in Berlin. To my knowledge she has never attended church in all the years I’ve known her, …. ask her what she believes, she will answer Lutheran, ask her about Lutheranism and she’s tongue tied, she hasn’t a single clue.

    Most all countries in Europe align themselves with one church or another, it proves nothing – most people in Europe do not attend church, nor if asked cannot tell you much about what that church believes. When they die, most often their services are held in the church they didn’t attend, nor did they know much about.

    Religion in Europe

    Lack of Importance of Religion in Europe by Gallup poll (2007–2008)

    Country Percentage
    Estonia   84%
    Sweden   83%
    Denmark   80%
    Norway   78%
    Azerbaijan   74%
    Czech Republic   74%
    France   73%
    United Kingdom   71%
    Finland   69%
    Netherlands   66%
    Belarus   65%
    Russia   63%
    Albania   63%
    Bulgaria   62%
    Latvia   62%
    Belgium   61%
    Hungary   59%
    Slovenia   59%
    Spain   59%
    Germany   57%
    Switzerland   56%
    Ukraine   54%
    Lithuania   52%
    Slovakia   51%
    Montenegro   48%
    Serbia   45%
    Kazakhstan   43%
    Austria   42%
    Ireland   42%
    Moldova   31%
    Croatia   30%
    Greece   30%
    Armenia   29%
    Bosnia and Herzegovina   29%
    Portugal   27%
    Italy   26%
    Cyprus   24%
    Poland   23%
    Georgia   22%
    Macedonia   20%
    Romania   18%
    Turkey   9%

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Europe

  • Grace

    NOTICE: Belief in a God

    Religion in the European Union
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Belief in a God

    Estonia 16%
    Czech Republic 19%
    Sweden 23%
    Denmark 31%
    Norway 32%
    Netherlands 34%
    France 34%
    Slovenia 37%
    Latvia 37%
    United Kingdom 38%
    Iceland 38%
    Bulgaria 40%
    Finland 41%
    Belgium 43%
    Hungary 44%
    Luxembourg 44%
    *Germany 47%
    *West Germany 54%
    *East Germany 19%
    Switzerland 48%
    Lithuania 49%
    Austria 54%
    Spain 59%
    Slovakia 61%
    Croatia 67%
    Ireland 73%
    Italy 74%
    Poland 80%
    Portugal 81%
    Greece 81%
    Cyprus 90%
    Romania 90%
    Turkey 95%
    Malta 95%

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_European_Union

  • Grace

    NOTICE: Belief in a God

    Religion in the European Union
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Belief in a God

    Estonia 16%
    Czech Republic 19%
    Sweden 23%
    Denmark 31%
    Norway 32%
    Netherlands 34%
    France 34%
    Slovenia 37%
    Latvia 37%
    United Kingdom 38%
    Iceland 38%
    Bulgaria 40%
    Finland 41%
    Belgium 43%
    Hungary 44%
    Luxembourg 44%
    *Germany 47%
    *West Germany 54%
    *East Germany 19%
    Switzerland 48%
    Lithuania 49%
    Austria 54%
    Spain 59%
    Slovakia 61%
    Croatia 67%
    Ireland 73%
    Italy 74%
    Poland 80%
    Portugal 81%
    Greece 81%
    Cyprus 90%
    Romania 90%
    Turkey 95%
    Malta 95%

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_European_Union

  • Grace

    Stephen – 139

    ” Oh yes, almost forgot . . .

    All of this can be proven by some numbers on how many people go to church, simple observation by “real” Christians, personal experience, and stuff my friend told me. That clinches the deal. Very sound doctrine indeed.

    It is the opinions of men, and one woman.”

    “It is” NOT – “the opinion of men and one woman” it is statistics – most of the Europe is godless, they don’t care about God and they don’t believe in God.

  • Grace

    Stephen – 139

    ” Oh yes, almost forgot . . .

    All of this can be proven by some numbers on how many people go to church, simple observation by “real” Christians, personal experience, and stuff my friend told me. That clinches the deal. Very sound doctrine indeed.

    It is the opinions of men, and one woman.”

    “It is” NOT – “the opinion of men and one woman” it is statistics – most of the Europe is godless, they don’t care about God and they don’t believe in God.

  • Tom Hering

    “Millions of Christian Believers have regular jobs, I have never said anything to the contrary, nor has anyone else. We all, as Believers have a ‘ministry’ that which is living for Christ …” – @ 135.

    The point is missed that the regular job, in and of itself, is a way to love and serve one’s neighbor. There’s absolutely no need to for the person holding a regular job to additionally “live for Christ” by being a good moral example in the workplace, or evangelizing coworkers and others. The person holding a regular job doesn’t even have to be conscious of the fact that his work is a way of loving and serving his neighbor. Because the result is the same if he does his job well – and God is pleased.

  • Tom Hering

    “Millions of Christian Believers have regular jobs, I have never said anything to the contrary, nor has anyone else. We all, as Believers have a ‘ministry’ that which is living for Christ …” – @ 135.

    The point is missed that the regular job, in and of itself, is a way to love and serve one’s neighbor. There’s absolutely no need to for the person holding a regular job to additionally “live for Christ” by being a good moral example in the workplace, or evangelizing coworkers and others. The person holding a regular job doesn’t even have to be conscious of the fact that his work is a way of loving and serving his neighbor. Because the result is the same if he does his job well – and God is pleased.

  • Stephen

    Grace – you are like an American tourist who thinks that if they shout in English the people in their own country who do not understand what they are saying will catch on. Your ridiculous statistics are that much more ridiculous the more you keep hammering away at the same idea which totally misses the point.

    Porcell- Try to keep up. Using pompous Ivy league language, as you so often do, to poison the well by calling me unorthodox and obtuse because you don’t have anything to refute an argument is transparent and silly. It’s nothing new from you. I’m not going to bother to restate what those arguments are because, once again, you either do not seem to be able to follow them or cannot fully understand them. Instead, you resort to calling me names, ones which, I might add, do not fit at all. But you wouldn’t know that because by the things you write repeatedly, such as views on baptism, the Sermon on the Mount, the difference between law and gospel to name a few, it seems pretty clear you don’t understand what they mean anyway. All that reading you claim to be doing isn’t helping much I’d say.

  • Stephen

    Grace – you are like an American tourist who thinks that if they shout in English the people in their own country who do not understand what they are saying will catch on. Your ridiculous statistics are that much more ridiculous the more you keep hammering away at the same idea which totally misses the point.

    Porcell- Try to keep up. Using pompous Ivy league language, as you so often do, to poison the well by calling me unorthodox and obtuse because you don’t have anything to refute an argument is transparent and silly. It’s nothing new from you. I’m not going to bother to restate what those arguments are because, once again, you either do not seem to be able to follow them or cannot fully understand them. Instead, you resort to calling me names, ones which, I might add, do not fit at all. But you wouldn’t know that because by the things you write repeatedly, such as views on baptism, the Sermon on the Mount, the difference between law and gospel to name a few, it seems pretty clear you don’t understand what they mean anyway. All that reading you claim to be doing isn’t helping much I’d say.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, so my views on assorted issues don’t accord with yours, ergo, I don’t understand them and that whatever reading I do doesn’t help anyway. I appreciate the sage advice and shall give up reading, except perhaps to go back over Nietzsche and attempt to discover his virtues in order to approximate your state of enlightenment.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, so my views on assorted issues don’t accord with yours, ergo, I don’t understand them and that whatever reading I do doesn’t help anyway. I appreciate the sage advice and shall give up reading, except perhaps to go back over Nietzsche and attempt to discover his virtues in order to approximate your state of enlightenment.

  • Larry

    “The point is missed that the regular job, in and of itself, is a way to love and serve one’s neighbor. There’s absolutely no need to for the person holding a regular job to additionally “live for Christ” by being a good moral example in the workplace, or evangelizing coworkers and others. The person holding a regular job doesn’t even have to be conscious of the fact that his work is a way of loving and serving his neighbor. Because the result is the same if he does his job well – and God is pleased.”

    Spot on the money Tom!!!

    In the heterodox world that’s where it gets lost. It goes this way, and these are first hand examples at MULTIPLE Baptist churches. I have family entrenched in that religious ministry, attend Southern no less. This problem is NOT isolated cases, its an outcome of DOCTRINE, plain and simple.

    It’s not that being a fry cook or garbage man is bad, nor is going to the orchestra. It NEVER sells that way, that gross method is NOT how the pietism slips in, even a fool can recognize that, even an unbeliever. No it comes in SS teachings, writings, and preaching (and stump speeches disguised as “prayers”). It always comes in the form of, “yes but of course those are godly jobs and callings and not sins, but the MORE spiritual is (fill in the blank)….”

    Roman monkery has never gone away, the sects NEVER really left Rome, just changed garments. A few real life examples: (it’s ALL about BINDING the Conscience for the purpose of coercion which in and of itself is direct sin on top of sin against God’s Word, both Law and Gospel) In NUMEROUS SB churches I/we attended that was “high on missions and so called evangelism, it was NEVER said that marriage was wrong or evil. But the singles were constantly ENCOURAGED that serving God on the “mission field” is greatly enhanced and superior if one is not marriage, more “committed”, etc… To the point in more cases than I can count college age youth were “hyped up” to serve, then when some form of dating or such occurred, well temptation came, and they failed resulting in pregnancy. The teaching of the “superior spiritual” dedication of one’s time toward missions, evangelism, the church yard was so deeply entrenched that the parents would want to hide this. I saw one poor girl have this happen to them and the choir director kicked her out of the choir lest she “give it a poor witness”. Right! The witness of that church and denomination was, “sinners, real sinners, are not welcome her, but those ‘not needing a physician”. Is it no wonder Mormons draw SB like flies. In fact the accidental pregnancy against the youth, which is forced upon them by the monkery doctrine of such denominations so badly that the guilt and shame it creates is nearly like Islam less the violence. It is no wonder our country is highest in abortions, for this is the fruit of the legalistic pietistic religions and denominations that prance around calling themselves “Christian”. Their doctrines condemn themselves openly before the world.

    Another example, a sermon from a Calvinist SB church, no slackers for the work of doing doctrine, was that wine is not evil and a sin, but the ….wait for it…hold…HOLD…HOLD…’more spiritual person will not…”. See the conscience receives a devilish sleight of hand, “not a sin”, “Whew!” (the conscience thinks itself free in Christ and starts to rejoice), BUT (there’s ALWAYS a “but” in hidden works righteousness religion) “the REAL spiritual Christian will not drink….” (CHOKE) the conscience finds its leash was short and is bound now tighter than constricting snake squeezing the life out of it.

    And these REAL stories are easily multiplied into the thousands!

    But like Luther said the fox is not revealed so easily when you ask directly “do you believe in works righteousness”, the poison is not revealed that way. Rather it must be something that tests what is REALLY believed! Thus, Luther said of the Lord’s Supper, “ask them what it is that they put INTO your mouth!” Then the doctrine of demons is revealed point blank!

    Thus, test their pseudo freedom in Christ, which is not any such thing! Yes, drink a beer in front of them and see what they REALLY believe. Tell them, I’ve a job God called me to do, to serve food, be a scientist or writer and I’m not going to evangelize one bit while I’m doing it…then you’ll know what they REALLY believe.

    I don’t recommend Puritans very much because they are pietist and enthusiast par excellent, but like anyone they have some gifted observations that are in fact apropos. Thomas Hooker recognized back in the Puritan days, because they deny the sacraments, that something was wrong with their doctrine. The final straw was a woman so terrified of not knowing if she was elect or not threw her infant child down a well killing it. She said to that, “There, now I know at least that I’m going to hell.” The knowing of even HELL was superior to the not knowing and lack of assurance garnered by their combo doctrines of double predestination and empty sacraments. Thomas recognized this was grossly wrong and wrote a book in which he gives up front a nice examination of ‘what does your heart really believe’. But he did not pick out the normal idolatries one say might find among the heathen, no he picked out the highest of Christian religious value, like prayer and such. He said the next time you find yourself wondering about your salvation, note what your heart is drawn to, e.g. prayer, (now he was NOT against prayer, but showing how it can be idolatry). He said, ‘then don’t do it’ (whatever that religious affection is). Then note how your heart reacts and MUST do it. There you will find your idol.

    Put these, then to the test that way and in this way you will discover their real (false) beliefs based upon their doctrines. It’s one thing to be amongst pietist who don’t want to be seen as foolish pietist that say, “don’t drink, dance, smoke…etc…”, more clever pietist see that as basically “hillbilly” pietism and obviously wrong. But it’s quite another to pull that cork in front of them and have a drink.

    This is connected with Luther’s advice for he was the first to really see how Satan operates rather piously, when Luther advised do the opposite of what the devil tells you, for the sake of the Gospel and faith! If the devil says, “don’t drink, don’t eat” (either in your mind or via pietist mouths), then you must and you must say as Luther said, “Devil, not only will I drink and eat but I shall drink and eat extra and more…just because you said not to.” (paraphrased).

    Thus is the way you must deal with false religion that says this is “christ”, “faith”, “grace”…etc…you must offend it directly and egregiously, yes polemically lest the Gospel and Christ in truth be obscured and you end up unwittingly denying him.

    Its childishly EASY to take the blows of rank unbelievers for the sake of the Gospel and bear that cross, it is, however, not so easy to do so among the heterodoxy and pious religious opinions fouling up the truth and under the guise of the truth. For all the sheep spy out the uncovered wolf and sound the alarm as they circle themselves in defense. But the wolf in sheep’s clothing, he is different because he will gather up sheep to side with him so as to kill opposing sheep and those whom he as gathered for his purpose as well. But what the wolf in sheep’s clothing cannot STAND in the least is the polemical barking of the guard dog, this pisses him off and his sheep’s wool begins to droop off of his should revealing his black wolf’s hair.

  • Larry

    “The point is missed that the regular job, in and of itself, is a way to love and serve one’s neighbor. There’s absolutely no need to for the person holding a regular job to additionally “live for Christ” by being a good moral example in the workplace, or evangelizing coworkers and others. The person holding a regular job doesn’t even have to be conscious of the fact that his work is a way of loving and serving his neighbor. Because the result is the same if he does his job well – and God is pleased.”

    Spot on the money Tom!!!

    In the heterodox world that’s where it gets lost. It goes this way, and these are first hand examples at MULTIPLE Baptist churches. I have family entrenched in that religious ministry, attend Southern no less. This problem is NOT isolated cases, its an outcome of DOCTRINE, plain and simple.

    It’s not that being a fry cook or garbage man is bad, nor is going to the orchestra. It NEVER sells that way, that gross method is NOT how the pietism slips in, even a fool can recognize that, even an unbeliever. No it comes in SS teachings, writings, and preaching (and stump speeches disguised as “prayers”). It always comes in the form of, “yes but of course those are godly jobs and callings and not sins, but the MORE spiritual is (fill in the blank)….”

    Roman monkery has never gone away, the sects NEVER really left Rome, just changed garments. A few real life examples: (it’s ALL about BINDING the Conscience for the purpose of coercion which in and of itself is direct sin on top of sin against God’s Word, both Law and Gospel) In NUMEROUS SB churches I/we attended that was “high on missions and so called evangelism, it was NEVER said that marriage was wrong or evil. But the singles were constantly ENCOURAGED that serving God on the “mission field” is greatly enhanced and superior if one is not marriage, more “committed”, etc… To the point in more cases than I can count college age youth were “hyped up” to serve, then when some form of dating or such occurred, well temptation came, and they failed resulting in pregnancy. The teaching of the “superior spiritual” dedication of one’s time toward missions, evangelism, the church yard was so deeply entrenched that the parents would want to hide this. I saw one poor girl have this happen to them and the choir director kicked her out of the choir lest she “give it a poor witness”. Right! The witness of that church and denomination was, “sinners, real sinners, are not welcome her, but those ‘not needing a physician”. Is it no wonder Mormons draw SB like flies. In fact the accidental pregnancy against the youth, which is forced upon them by the monkery doctrine of such denominations so badly that the guilt and shame it creates is nearly like Islam less the violence. It is no wonder our country is highest in abortions, for this is the fruit of the legalistic pietistic religions and denominations that prance around calling themselves “Christian”. Their doctrines condemn themselves openly before the world.

    Another example, a sermon from a Calvinist SB church, no slackers for the work of doing doctrine, was that wine is not evil and a sin, but the ….wait for it…hold…HOLD…HOLD…’more spiritual person will not…”. See the conscience receives a devilish sleight of hand, “not a sin”, “Whew!” (the conscience thinks itself free in Christ and starts to rejoice), BUT (there’s ALWAYS a “but” in hidden works righteousness religion) “the REAL spiritual Christian will not drink….” (CHOKE) the conscience finds its leash was short and is bound now tighter than constricting snake squeezing the life out of it.

    And these REAL stories are easily multiplied into the thousands!

    But like Luther said the fox is not revealed so easily when you ask directly “do you believe in works righteousness”, the poison is not revealed that way. Rather it must be something that tests what is REALLY believed! Thus, Luther said of the Lord’s Supper, “ask them what it is that they put INTO your mouth!” Then the doctrine of demons is revealed point blank!

    Thus, test their pseudo freedom in Christ, which is not any such thing! Yes, drink a beer in front of them and see what they REALLY believe. Tell them, I’ve a job God called me to do, to serve food, be a scientist or writer and I’m not going to evangelize one bit while I’m doing it…then you’ll know what they REALLY believe.

    I don’t recommend Puritans very much because they are pietist and enthusiast par excellent, but like anyone they have some gifted observations that are in fact apropos. Thomas Hooker recognized back in the Puritan days, because they deny the sacraments, that something was wrong with their doctrine. The final straw was a woman so terrified of not knowing if she was elect or not threw her infant child down a well killing it. She said to that, “There, now I know at least that I’m going to hell.” The knowing of even HELL was superior to the not knowing and lack of assurance garnered by their combo doctrines of double predestination and empty sacraments. Thomas recognized this was grossly wrong and wrote a book in which he gives up front a nice examination of ‘what does your heart really believe’. But he did not pick out the normal idolatries one say might find among the heathen, no he picked out the highest of Christian religious value, like prayer and such. He said the next time you find yourself wondering about your salvation, note what your heart is drawn to, e.g. prayer, (now he was NOT against prayer, but showing how it can be idolatry). He said, ‘then don’t do it’ (whatever that religious affection is). Then note how your heart reacts and MUST do it. There you will find your idol.

    Put these, then to the test that way and in this way you will discover their real (false) beliefs based upon their doctrines. It’s one thing to be amongst pietist who don’t want to be seen as foolish pietist that say, “don’t drink, dance, smoke…etc…”, more clever pietist see that as basically “hillbilly” pietism and obviously wrong. But it’s quite another to pull that cork in front of them and have a drink.

    This is connected with Luther’s advice for he was the first to really see how Satan operates rather piously, when Luther advised do the opposite of what the devil tells you, for the sake of the Gospel and faith! If the devil says, “don’t drink, don’t eat” (either in your mind or via pietist mouths), then you must and you must say as Luther said, “Devil, not only will I drink and eat but I shall drink and eat extra and more…just because you said not to.” (paraphrased).

    Thus is the way you must deal with false religion that says this is “christ”, “faith”, “grace”…etc…you must offend it directly and egregiously, yes polemically lest the Gospel and Christ in truth be obscured and you end up unwittingly denying him.

    Its childishly EASY to take the blows of rank unbelievers for the sake of the Gospel and bear that cross, it is, however, not so easy to do so among the heterodoxy and pious religious opinions fouling up the truth and under the guise of the truth. For all the sheep spy out the uncovered wolf and sound the alarm as they circle themselves in defense. But the wolf in sheep’s clothing, he is different because he will gather up sheep to side with him so as to kill opposing sheep and those whom he as gathered for his purpose as well. But what the wolf in sheep’s clothing cannot STAND in the least is the polemical barking of the guard dog, this pisses him off and his sheep’s wool begins to droop off of his should revealing his black wolf’s hair.

  • Larry

    Another example toward Tom’s stupendous observation:

    Many times in my vocation history I found myself surrounded by a baptist pietist and say a RC. The former would be so busy not trying to cuss or show anger or “be good” in his vocation, yet he/she was the person doing the poorest job. While the other Christian, even unbeliever often times, was working their proverbial ass off.

    Which is Luther’s point! Who is really displaying they believe and are absolutely assured they are saved, forgiven, etc…the lady whistling a tune while sweeping the floor, or the piestist so neverously correcting every thing he says or does and never misses an outside of church bible study (or some other church yard duty) even when everybody else in the company is busting their asses to help get a special project out that might save the company from going under!

    I have to confess back in the day when I was in that stuff, I though my job was much secondary to the fact that I was their to evangelize and “be a good witness” to the unbelievers. To my great shame, and I am greatly ashamed of it, many times my “bold” witness and “evangelizing” under a cloak of “humility”, without polemics, was completely offensive. Looking back on myself in that stuff makes me want to evacuate myself!

    But then again that’s what we were taught in every church we ever attended of the SB. Arminian style, mega church style and even “calvinistic” ones.

  • Larry

    Another example toward Tom’s stupendous observation:

    Many times in my vocation history I found myself surrounded by a baptist pietist and say a RC. The former would be so busy not trying to cuss or show anger or “be good” in his vocation, yet he/she was the person doing the poorest job. While the other Christian, even unbeliever often times, was working their proverbial ass off.

    Which is Luther’s point! Who is really displaying they believe and are absolutely assured they are saved, forgiven, etc…the lady whistling a tune while sweeping the floor, or the piestist so neverously correcting every thing he says or does and never misses an outside of church bible study (or some other church yard duty) even when everybody else in the company is busting their asses to help get a special project out that might save the company from going under!

    I have to confess back in the day when I was in that stuff, I though my job was much secondary to the fact that I was their to evangelize and “be a good witness” to the unbelievers. To my great shame, and I am greatly ashamed of it, many times my “bold” witness and “evangelizing” under a cloak of “humility”, without polemics, was completely offensive. Looking back on myself in that stuff makes me want to evacuate myself!

    But then again that’s what we were taught in every church we ever attended of the SB. Arminian style, mega church style and even “calvinistic” ones.

  • Porcell

    Larry: I don’t recommend Puritans very much because they are pietist and enthusiast par excellent [sic]

    Actually, Pietism began as a Lutheran movement in the late 17 th century. The Puritans mainly followed Calvin who was far from being a Pietist. Today, there are not a few Lutheran pietists, while the true descendants of the Puritans, the Congregationalists and Unitarians are overly wedded to rationalism.

    The New England Puritans from Cotton through Edwards were known as much for their qualities of mind as for faith. Perry Miller in his volumes The New England Mind made clear that the Puritans highly valued the life of the mind. The Puritan colleges in New England were hardly influenced by Lutheran Pietism.

    My guess is that you have the Puritans confused with Anabaptists and Methodists.

  • Porcell

    Larry: I don’t recommend Puritans very much because they are pietist and enthusiast par excellent [sic]

    Actually, Pietism began as a Lutheran movement in the late 17 th century. The Puritans mainly followed Calvin who was far from being a Pietist. Today, there are not a few Lutheran pietists, while the true descendants of the Puritans, the Congregationalists and Unitarians are overly wedded to rationalism.

    The New England Puritans from Cotton through Edwards were known as much for their qualities of mind as for faith. Perry Miller in his volumes The New England Mind made clear that the Puritans highly valued the life of the mind. The Puritan colleges in New England were hardly influenced by Lutheran Pietism.

    My guess is that you have the Puritans confused with Anabaptists and Methodists.

  • Larry

    Porcell,

    Good clarification! Thanks.

    To clarify on my end; I did not mean to communicat the term “pietism” in its official Lutheran movement form that moved to Wesley, et. al., but in its sense that “PIETISM” is the natural fallen religion of man which includes the Puritans rationalism. As in Adam and Eve were the first pietist, the very fallen nature itself, again which includes the Puritans. Their rationalism was in fact a form of pietism.

    Pietism in this sense can be in any denomination, including Lutheran, but it is not intrinsic to its confessions like it is intrinsic to others.

    Rationalism itself is a form of enthusiasm (god-within-ness), pietism, in whatever its form, becomes the external expression of that “god-within-ness”.

    Which is what Hooker saw due to the double predestination/limited atonement problem of his day. Being natural Calvinist they had already unhinged the sacraments and so the souls of men naturally must “find god” (truly or falsely) in some expression they can touch, feel, sense, rationalize (theology of glory = thinks that it can by the things that are detect the invisible things of God). Thus, naturally men panic because no man can survive without a “pro me” as to their salvation.

    Thus, Owenian Calvinism, the natural and logical extension of Zwingli then Calvin, merges, in America, with Methodist and Wesley which begot many of the “high end” charisma we see to day. Eventually this collapses into rank spiritualism and superstition. Jonathan Edward “Religious Affections” was written due to the rise of this among the Puritans.

    This is why at the end of the day the wrestless and lack of assurance found in many despairing Calvinist is much like the “downer” depression one finds among the Charismatics. The Charismatics loose at length that feeling and experience they once had, and draw the conclusion “God must have abandoned me”, similarly the Calvinist over time sense his/her failure due to the law and gets exhausted “making sure of their election” and fall into despair of hope of salvation and worse, “I must be reprobate”.

    All theologies of glory, which includes Calvin as well as Benny Hinn, and would include false to their confession Lutheran churches, function this way upon the person…it slowly kills them. Thus one ends up with a church population of some who “think they are pulling it off”, the still experiencing it charismatics and the “this is proof of my election” on one hand, and the despairing of each on the other hand. Baptist wax and wane between these two poles. One ends up getting beat to death by the dual synergisms of Arminianism and Calvinist.

  • Larry

    Porcell,

    Good clarification! Thanks.

    To clarify on my end; I did not mean to communicat the term “pietism” in its official Lutheran movement form that moved to Wesley, et. al., but in its sense that “PIETISM” is the natural fallen religion of man which includes the Puritans rationalism. As in Adam and Eve were the first pietist, the very fallen nature itself, again which includes the Puritans. Their rationalism was in fact a form of pietism.

    Pietism in this sense can be in any denomination, including Lutheran, but it is not intrinsic to its confessions like it is intrinsic to others.

    Rationalism itself is a form of enthusiasm (god-within-ness), pietism, in whatever its form, becomes the external expression of that “god-within-ness”.

    Which is what Hooker saw due to the double predestination/limited atonement problem of his day. Being natural Calvinist they had already unhinged the sacraments and so the souls of men naturally must “find god” (truly or falsely) in some expression they can touch, feel, sense, rationalize (theology of glory = thinks that it can by the things that are detect the invisible things of God). Thus, naturally men panic because no man can survive without a “pro me” as to their salvation.

    Thus, Owenian Calvinism, the natural and logical extension of Zwingli then Calvin, merges, in America, with Methodist and Wesley which begot many of the “high end” charisma we see to day. Eventually this collapses into rank spiritualism and superstition. Jonathan Edward “Religious Affections” was written due to the rise of this among the Puritans.

    This is why at the end of the day the wrestless and lack of assurance found in many despairing Calvinist is much like the “downer” depression one finds among the Charismatics. The Charismatics loose at length that feeling and experience they once had, and draw the conclusion “God must have abandoned me”, similarly the Calvinist over time sense his/her failure due to the law and gets exhausted “making sure of their election” and fall into despair of hope of salvation and worse, “I must be reprobate”.

    All theologies of glory, which includes Calvin as well as Benny Hinn, and would include false to their confession Lutheran churches, function this way upon the person…it slowly kills them. Thus one ends up with a church population of some who “think they are pulling it off”, the still experiencing it charismatics and the “this is proof of my election” on one hand, and the despairing of each on the other hand. Baptist wax and wane between these two poles. One ends up getting beat to death by the dual synergisms of Arminianism and Calvinist.

  • http:theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Excellent post, Larry. I have observed the same, namely that all these religious/theological phenomena must end either in self deception or despair. I saw that clearly in the semi-pelagian sect I grew up in – because perfect law keeping is impossible, yet preachers would pound on the pulpit, and quote (out of context) You must be perfect!

    I therefore wonder if the black dog which still ocassionaly assails me doesn’t have a large part of its origin in these heresies.

  • http:theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Excellent post, Larry. I have observed the same, namely that all these religious/theological phenomena must end either in self deception or despair. I saw that clearly in the semi-pelagian sect I grew up in – because perfect law keeping is impossible, yet preachers would pound on the pulpit, and quote (out of context) You must be perfect!

    I therefore wonder if the black dog which still ocassionaly assails me doesn’t have a large part of its origin in these heresies.

  • Purple Koolaid

    Stephen at 91:
    Even though I disagree with that (planned parenthood)wholeheartedly, it is the law of the land, and god has instituted such laws for his purposes. We teach our children to obey those laws for the sake of peace among our neighbor.

    ME: I have a question about this theology. Is this what Lutherans believe? That we are to obey all laws for the sake of peace among our neighbor? What about laws against sharing the gospel? I have shared the gospel in countries it is illegal. Is that wrong? Do Lutherans not do that? What about Lutheran hero Dietrich Bonhoeffer?

  • Purple Koolaid

    Stephen at 91:
    Even though I disagree with that (planned parenthood)wholeheartedly, it is the law of the land, and god has instituted such laws for his purposes. We teach our children to obey those laws for the sake of peace among our neighbor.

    ME: I have a question about this theology. Is this what Lutherans believe? That we are to obey all laws for the sake of peace among our neighbor? What about laws against sharing the gospel? I have shared the gospel in countries it is illegal. Is that wrong? Do Lutherans not do that? What about Lutheran hero Dietrich Bonhoeffer?

  • boaz

    Citing a NY Times article about a famous figure is not “digging dirt” up on someone. Dr. Seuss lived a rather pathetic life. There isn’t anything Lutheran about how he lived or the works he authored.

    Gary Larson, on the other hand….

  • boaz

    Citing a NY Times article about a famous figure is not “digging dirt” up on someone. Dr. Seuss lived a rather pathetic life. There isn’t anything Lutheran about how he lived or the works he authored.

    Gary Larson, on the other hand….

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    tom ering @ 146

    great post. Luke 18 the lawless judge.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    tom ering @ 146

    great post. Luke 18 the lawless judge.

  • larry

    Purplekoolaid,

    You bring up a very lucid point and question!
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a very interesting figure in Lutheranism. He faced that moral dilemma about on the one hand obeying the Law of the land versus, well what he ended up doing. Because these moral dilemmas come up constantly. However, I think the best I’ve read on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and this, can’t recall exactly who it was but it was a Lutheran, was that basically what Bonhoeffer ended up practicing was Luther’s advice to Melancthon, “sin boldly and believe all the more boldly…the whole Gospel is outside of us”. Now outside of the Confessions and believing and adhering to them, which are simply faithful expositions of the Scriptures themselves, that will NEVER be understood correctly and lampooned falsely.

    This is why it is so CRITICAL that Lutherans understand what Luther, the Confessions and thus the Scriptures really teach concerning the Law!

    Ultimately the Law is to love the neighbor and not a “laundry list” of commands. This was Luther’s point of saying that “…you must know that if the Law has come to you and said, “do”/”don’t do”, you must realize you have ALREADY fallen into mortal (deadly damning) sin (before you think, say or even act). That’s what it means to be UNDER the Law not “in absolute syncopation” with it (original righteousness/what we will be in eternity). The real Law loves the creature and supplies him/her with earthly needs even through evil men and women, daily bread is given us even through unbelievers – thus God in this earthly way loves and gifts us. But when a Law is created that does not love the neighbor, that is not the Law of God, not even through the instrument of the State He has created to exercise the sword to love the neighbor thereby protecting from evil. We can even receive the sacraments and thus Christ and forgiveness from a complete fraud of a pastor! This aspect of even the sacraments being received by the church is Law, “the church must DO the giving”, “the gift” in, with and under the sacrament is the Gospel part.

    Thus, the moral “dilemma” gets created when the State or other entity is functioning within its office antichristically, church or state, and thus creates false laws that in fact do not love the creature at all but rather hate and despise him/her. “To be God”, said Luther, “is nothing other than to do good to man”. Thus when false teachers within the church create “new laws” via alternative doctrines to the confessions, they bind consciences and murder their souls, either in despair or proud delusional pharisaic “pulling it off”, such false teachers, churches and confessions drive to despair some souls and thus robs and murders their souls or they play the “yes man” to the deluded who think they are pulling it off – either way such teachers, churches and confessions are not loving the neighbor. Such a teacher, church and confession are beast-like, as in Satan.
    Similarly, when the state does not “DO” what it is to do as an office ordained by God to “DO earthly giving” of earthly “gifts” and becomes beast-like via its invented laws it robs and murders the body (here we see that ultimately the false churches are worse than the false states – yet our flesh sees the later as worse than the former and is oft subdued to fall sleeply and easily into the former). The beast-like state doesn’t bind consciences so much as it does the body, although indirectly this attacks the conscience (the devil’s real goal in all persecution, either by sword or false doctrine – the later is more direct, pungent and to the point, the later immediately attempts to rob and murder the soul while the former indirectly makes this assault).
    In such situations we find ourselves on an apparent “moral dilemma”, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, does one resist “the law” of the land, in his case the point had reached very drastically. Similarly, we find this apparent “moral dilemma” sometimes when we find the church and confession we once believe in is false and have to leave. And so we “dance” on the moral dilemma of a hairs breadth for so long in order to “not sin”. Here is where Luther’s advice is so apropos, “sin boldly but believe all the more boldly…the entire Gospel is outside of us”. Now that is not rash advice, because keep in mind it comes about WHEN the moral dilemma is being wrestled with greatly, not rash action! Rash action does not “wrestle” it blindly and rashly acts, and stupidly at that.

  • larry

    Purplekoolaid,

    You bring up a very lucid point and question!
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a very interesting figure in Lutheranism. He faced that moral dilemma about on the one hand obeying the Law of the land versus, well what he ended up doing. Because these moral dilemmas come up constantly. However, I think the best I’ve read on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and this, can’t recall exactly who it was but it was a Lutheran, was that basically what Bonhoeffer ended up practicing was Luther’s advice to Melancthon, “sin boldly and believe all the more boldly…the whole Gospel is outside of us”. Now outside of the Confessions and believing and adhering to them, which are simply faithful expositions of the Scriptures themselves, that will NEVER be understood correctly and lampooned falsely.

    This is why it is so CRITICAL that Lutherans understand what Luther, the Confessions and thus the Scriptures really teach concerning the Law!

    Ultimately the Law is to love the neighbor and not a “laundry list” of commands. This was Luther’s point of saying that “…you must know that if the Law has come to you and said, “do”/”don’t do”, you must realize you have ALREADY fallen into mortal (deadly damning) sin (before you think, say or even act). That’s what it means to be UNDER the Law not “in absolute syncopation” with it (original righteousness/what we will be in eternity). The real Law loves the creature and supplies him/her with earthly needs even through evil men and women, daily bread is given us even through unbelievers – thus God in this earthly way loves and gifts us. But when a Law is created that does not love the neighbor, that is not the Law of God, not even through the instrument of the State He has created to exercise the sword to love the neighbor thereby protecting from evil. We can even receive the sacraments and thus Christ and forgiveness from a complete fraud of a pastor! This aspect of even the sacraments being received by the church is Law, “the church must DO the giving”, “the gift” in, with and under the sacrament is the Gospel part.

    Thus, the moral “dilemma” gets created when the State or other entity is functioning within its office antichristically, church or state, and thus creates false laws that in fact do not love the creature at all but rather hate and despise him/her. “To be God”, said Luther, “is nothing other than to do good to man”. Thus when false teachers within the church create “new laws” via alternative doctrines to the confessions, they bind consciences and murder their souls, either in despair or proud delusional pharisaic “pulling it off”, such false teachers, churches and confessions drive to despair some souls and thus robs and murders their souls or they play the “yes man” to the deluded who think they are pulling it off – either way such teachers, churches and confessions are not loving the neighbor. Such a teacher, church and confession are beast-like, as in Satan.
    Similarly, when the state does not “DO” what it is to do as an office ordained by God to “DO earthly giving” of earthly “gifts” and becomes beast-like via its invented laws it robs and murders the body (here we see that ultimately the false churches are worse than the false states – yet our flesh sees the later as worse than the former and is oft subdued to fall sleeply and easily into the former). The beast-like state doesn’t bind consciences so much as it does the body, although indirectly this attacks the conscience (the devil’s real goal in all persecution, either by sword or false doctrine – the later is more direct, pungent and to the point, the later immediately attempts to rob and murder the soul while the former indirectly makes this assault).
    In such situations we find ourselves on an apparent “moral dilemma”, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, does one resist “the law” of the land, in his case the point had reached very drastically. Similarly, we find this apparent “moral dilemma” sometimes when we find the church and confession we once believe in is false and have to leave. And so we “dance” on the moral dilemma of a hairs breadth for so long in order to “not sin”. Here is where Luther’s advice is so apropos, “sin boldly but believe all the more boldly…the entire Gospel is outside of us”. Now that is not rash advice, because keep in mind it comes about WHEN the moral dilemma is being wrestled with greatly, not rash action! Rash action does not “wrestle” it blindly and rashly acts, and stupidly at that.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    larry @157

    that was great Larry. you are showing how the church is really just another form of God’s earthly government. but the church is more powerful precisely when they attempt to bind consciences with the Law by way of false doctrine.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    larry @157

    that was great Larry. you are showing how the church is really just another form of God’s earthly government. but the church is more powerful precisely when they attempt to bind consciences with the Law by way of false doctrine.

  • larry

    Frank,

    Thanks and for your help. Yea that has begun to really crystalize, one begins to get a “feel”, if you will, of why Luther and the reformers considered the matter of the papacy as antichrist so much. I mean, in our day and age we’ve nearly lost the weightiness of that, antichristic doctrine.

    Even though, even among Lutherans that our very own hymn most widely known, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” closes with the great crescendo of faith, “He’s by our side upon the plain With His good gifts and Spirit. And take they our life, Goods, fame, child and wife, Let these all be gone, They yet have nothing won; The Kingdom our remaineth.” contains that thought. We tend to think that the earthly loss, persecution by the sword, is worse (though both lead to the same persecution to give up the Promise). False doctrine is infinitely worse because it murders the soul and not “just the body”.

    Luther points out in several places in his works regarding the wrath of God, after he lists that it is written everywhere even if men don’t read the scriptures (e.g. animals against us, nature threatens us, our own bodies dying = all items of death and hence pointing back to sin and God’s wrath), that the WORSE exercise of His wrath is when He allows His Word to disappear from people (via the state or false teaching) and allows people to go their way and despise it and the sacraments, reject it and the sacraments.

    That’s some “bone chilling” reality, especially in America today with it plethora of and ever increasing numbers of heterodoxy. I.e. when men increasingly say “X is just a variant interpretation…non-essential…etc…”, that’s the very wrath of God working.

    And as Luther points out the most fearful thing about God is when He hides Himself (the revelation goes away) and you cannot find Him no matter how much one gropes – terrifying this is.

  • larry

    Frank,

    Thanks and for your help. Yea that has begun to really crystalize, one begins to get a “feel”, if you will, of why Luther and the reformers considered the matter of the papacy as antichrist so much. I mean, in our day and age we’ve nearly lost the weightiness of that, antichristic doctrine.

    Even though, even among Lutherans that our very own hymn most widely known, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” closes with the great crescendo of faith, “He’s by our side upon the plain With His good gifts and Spirit. And take they our life, Goods, fame, child and wife, Let these all be gone, They yet have nothing won; The Kingdom our remaineth.” contains that thought. We tend to think that the earthly loss, persecution by the sword, is worse (though both lead to the same persecution to give up the Promise). False doctrine is infinitely worse because it murders the soul and not “just the body”.

    Luther points out in several places in his works regarding the wrath of God, after he lists that it is written everywhere even if men don’t read the scriptures (e.g. animals against us, nature threatens us, our own bodies dying = all items of death and hence pointing back to sin and God’s wrath), that the WORSE exercise of His wrath is when He allows His Word to disappear from people (via the state or false teaching) and allows people to go their way and despise it and the sacraments, reject it and the sacraments.

    That’s some “bone chilling” reality, especially in America today with it plethora of and ever increasing numbers of heterodoxy. I.e. when men increasingly say “X is just a variant interpretation…non-essential…etc…”, that’s the very wrath of God working.

    And as Luther points out the most fearful thing about God is when He hides Himself (the revelation goes away) and you cannot find Him no matter how much one gropes – terrifying this is.

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