The new Lutheran denomination

Congregations dissenting from the ELCA’s embrace of homosexuality now have a bishop and have formed a new Lutheran denomination:  The North American Lutheran Church (NALC).  It has 250 congregations and some 100,000 members.  Check out their website, which details the NALC’s beliefs, government, and mission:

North American Lutheran Church (NALC).

My impression is that the NALC will still ordain women and be ecumenical in relation to other churches–the website specifically says it will co-operate with the new Anglican church, which the NALC seems to be emulating–while being more conservative than the ELCA on moral, Biblical, and theological issues.

What do you think about this?  Is this a promising development for Lutheranism in America?  Would this group attract those of you who are intrigued by Lutheranism but can’t handle the Missouri and Wisconsin Synod’s  practice of closed communion and standoffishness towards other churches, which probably won’t be issues in the NALC?

HT:  Bart Gingerich

 

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.

  • http://www.allenthemelancholy.com/ Allen

    I have concerns about ‘mini-denominations’. They are so geographically dispersed that even if I may find one in my town, chances are good that if I ever move there will not be another one.

    They remind me of the mini-denominations being formed by Driscoll, the new reformed folks, and other pastors.

  • http://www.allenthemelancholy.com/ Allen

    I have concerns about ‘mini-denominations’. They are so geographically dispersed that even if I may find one in my town, chances are good that if I ever move there will not be another one.

    They remind me of the mini-denominations being formed by Driscoll, the new reformed folks, and other pastors.

  • Joe

    I think it is a positive development only in the sense that these folks have been awakened to some (if not all) of the errors of the ELCA and might be open to examining the heterodox positions they have not shed.

  • Joe

    I think it is a positive development only in the sense that these folks have been awakened to some (if not all) of the errors of the ELCA and might be open to examining the heterodox positions they have not shed.

  • Kirk

    Well, they’re not LCMS so they’re probably heretics

  • Kirk

    Well, they’re not LCMS so they’re probably heretics

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

    I’ve long thought there was a significant “market” for a denomination like this, though I wouldn’t join one of their churches myself.

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

    I’ve long thought there was a significant “market” for a denomination like this, though I wouldn’t join one of their churches myself.

  • MissionMobilizer

    Until this group formed, we of the AFLC (www.aflc.org) were the fourth largest Lutheran body in the U.S. Don’t forget about us! We’re conservative like the LCMS but have a much different church polity structure. And I’m personally trying to work through the whole pietism thing and how that actually works out for us. No pun intended…

  • MissionMobilizer

    Until this group formed, we of the AFLC (www.aflc.org) were the fourth largest Lutheran body in the U.S. Don’t forget about us! We’re conservative like the LCMS but have a much different church polity structure. And I’m personally trying to work through the whole pietism thing and how that actually works out for us. No pun intended…

  • http://esgetology.com Christopher Esget

    They may prosper numerically, but in my mind they are not fundamentally different than the ELCA. As long as they are ordaining women (the last time I took a good look at the documents of Lutheran CORE, they had NO doctrine of the ministry at all), they still have a flawed understanding of Holy Scripture and the Predigtamt, which makes it a backward step for Lutherans in America.

  • http://esgetology.com Christopher Esget

    They may prosper numerically, but in my mind they are not fundamentally different than the ELCA. As long as they are ordaining women (the last time I took a good look at the documents of Lutheran CORE, they had NO doctrine of the ministry at all), they still have a flawed understanding of Holy Scripture and the Predigtamt, which makes it a backward step for Lutherans in America.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    We have a member congregation just down the road from us and so I have met their pastor. Largely, they are ELCA lite. They do not like the homosexual ruling, but largely hold to a similar position on the Confessions and the nature of Scripture.

    Is it a positive step? Maybe a tiny one. Until they stop saying Scripture contains the word of God and that it is the word of God, I do not hold out much hope they will return to historic confession of the Church

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    We have a member congregation just down the road from us and so I have met their pastor. Largely, they are ELCA lite. They do not like the homosexual ruling, but largely hold to a similar position on the Confessions and the nature of Scripture.

    Is it a positive step? Maybe a tiny one. Until they stop saying Scripture contains the word of God and that it is the word of God, I do not hold out much hope they will return to historic confession of the Church

  • Dennis Peskey

    A litmus test question: If newly elected NALC Bishop Rev John Bradosky found himself seated at the table during the Marburg Colloquy, realizing the only remaining issue dividing Lutherans from Zwingli was the issue of Holy Communion, would he write “Hoc est corpus” and be willing to abandon all other agreed upon issues for this one point of doctrine alone? Holding hands and singing cum-bye-yahoo is not how Lutherans uphold the historic traditions of scriptural doctrine. Let their name be LINO for their doctrinal positions are anathema.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    A litmus test question: If newly elected NALC Bishop Rev John Bradosky found himself seated at the table during the Marburg Colloquy, realizing the only remaining issue dividing Lutherans from Zwingli was the issue of Holy Communion, would he write “Hoc est corpus” and be willing to abandon all other agreed upon issues for this one point of doctrine alone? Holding hands and singing cum-bye-yahoo is not how Lutherans uphold the historic traditions of scriptural doctrine. Let their name be LINO for their doctrinal positions are anathema.
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Matt

    Theologically they seem to be where the ELCA was 10 to 20 years ago. Their fundamental view of Scripture is still much the same as ELCA. They seem to be to the ELCA as the peitistic Pharisees were to the libertine Saducees.

  • Matt

    Theologically they seem to be where the ELCA was 10 to 20 years ago. Their fundamental view of Scripture is still much the same as ELCA. They seem to be to the ELCA as the peitistic Pharisees were to the libertine Saducees.

  • Tom Hering

    A new Lutheran denomination? Since when is a rigid wrist a Lutheran distinctive?

  • Tom Hering

    A new Lutheran denomination? Since when is a rigid wrist a Lutheran distinctive?

  • Helen F

    I am really at a loss to understand how a new denomination can call itself Lutheran and have no problem ordaining women! I wonder what Luther and Walther would say?

  • Helen F

    I am really at a loss to understand how a new denomination can call itself Lutheran and have no problem ordaining women! I wonder what Luther and Walther would say?

  • Tom Hering

    I mean, if they had separated from the ELCA over their view of Scripture, or subscription to the Confessions, I’d say a new Lutheran denomination had been formed. But homosexuality? What we’ve got now is a new moralistic sect. With a rather narrow moral concern.

  • Tom Hering

    I mean, if they had separated from the ELCA over their view of Scripture, or subscription to the Confessions, I’d say a new Lutheran denomination had been formed. But homosexuality? What we’ve got now is a new moralistic sect. With a rather narrow moral concern.

  • Helen F

    Tom #12,
    Exactly! The ELCA stopped being “Lutheran” decades ago!

  • Helen F

    Tom #12,
    Exactly! The ELCA stopped being “Lutheran” decades ago!

  • Tom Hering

    Right, Helen. I don’t see anything that makes the NALC more Lutheran than the ELCA. They’re just less gay.

  • Tom Hering

    Right, Helen. I don’t see anything that makes the NALC more Lutheran than the ELCA. They’re just less gay.

  • Helen F

    Tom,
    Which begs the question: “What makes a church (cong.) Lutheran>?
    Answer: the pure preaching of the Word and the right administration of the sacraments. So, unless that is the case, no lutheran cong. should call itself “Lutheran”. There’s a lot of cong.
    that are LINOS, but I think not so many who can call themselves
    truly Lutheran.

  • Helen F

    Tom,
    Which begs the question: “What makes a church (cong.) Lutheran>?
    Answer: the pure preaching of the Word and the right administration of the sacraments. So, unless that is the case, no lutheran cong. should call itself “Lutheran”. There’s a lot of cong.
    that are LINOS, but I think not so many who can call themselves
    truly Lutheran.

  • Helen F

    Clarification: LINO’s = Lutheran In Name Only

  • Helen F

    Clarification: LINO’s = Lutheran In Name Only

  • Jonathan

    But is it a good thing? How can more division in the church be a good thing? O, bid our sad divisions cease, and be thyself our King of Peace.

  • Jonathan

    But is it a good thing? How can more division in the church be a good thing? O, bid our sad divisions cease, and be thyself our King of Peace.

  • Helen F

    Jonathan,
    No, it’s not a good thing, but who is walking away from the truth and causing the divisions?! Hmmm?

  • Helen F

    Jonathan,
    No, it’s not a good thing, but who is walking away from the truth and causing the divisions?! Hmmm?

  • Tom Hering

    Jonathan @ 17, division in the Church is God’s way. He calls us to separate ourselves from those who preach a false gospel or promote immorality. Ultimately, He will divide us into sheep and goats. Now, there’s no doubt that NALC has separated on moral grounds. But this, in and of itself, doesn’t make them Lutheran, much less more Lutheran.

  • Tom Hering

    Jonathan @ 17, division in the Church is God’s way. He calls us to separate ourselves from those who preach a false gospel or promote immorality. Ultimately, He will divide us into sheep and goats. Now, there’s no doubt that NALC has separated on moral grounds. But this, in and of itself, doesn’t make them Lutheran, much less more Lutheran.

  • John

    “Largely, they are ELCA lite. They do not like the homosexual ruling, but largely hold to a similar position on the Confessions and the nature of Scripture.”

    This. There is no foundation to stand against the homosexual ruling, so I see this as denomination by fiat.

  • John

    “Largely, they are ELCA lite. They do not like the homosexual ruling, but largely hold to a similar position on the Confessions and the nature of Scripture.”

    This. There is no foundation to stand against the homosexual ruling, so I see this as denomination by fiat.

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

    Joke told over dinner at CCLE X,

    What do you get when you have 3 Lutherans?

    A schism.

    It is a bad joke but makes a point about stubbornness for the the sake of stubbornness vs. stubbornness that is captive to the word of God.

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

    Joke told over dinner at CCLE X,

    What do you get when you have 3 Lutherans?

    A schism.

    It is a bad joke but makes a point about stubbornness for the the sake of stubbornness vs. stubbornness that is captive to the word of God.

  • Jonathan

    @21 LCMS and WELS.

  • Jonathan

    @21 LCMS and WELS.

  • Grace

    Century @ 7

    “Is it a positive step? Maybe a tiny one. Until they stop saying Scripture contains the word of God and that it is the word of God, I do not hold out much hope they will return to historic confession of the Church.

    Scripture doesn’t contain the Word of God?

  • Grace

    Century @ 7

    “Is it a positive step? Maybe a tiny one. Until they stop saying Scripture contains the word of God and that it is the word of God, I do not hold out much hope they will return to historic confession of the Church.

    Scripture doesn’t contain the Word of God?

  • Tom Hering

    “There is no foundation to stand against the homosexual ruling …”

    Sure there is. It’s called conscience. It’s never wise to go against conscience. Neither is it wise to ignore it. One must act. (I’ll repeat, however, that this doesn’t make one Lutheran.)

  • Tom Hering

    “There is no foundation to stand against the homosexual ruling …”

    Sure there is. It’s called conscience. It’s never wise to go against conscience. Neither is it wise to ignore it. One must act. (I’ll repeat, however, that this doesn’t make one Lutheran.)

  • Stephen

    Speaking as someone who was at one time inside that “beltway,” this was in the works since the ELCA was formed. When the first sexuality statements came out in the early 90s the writing was on the wall.

    But there actually are doctrinal issues that were driving this from the start, broad ecumenism and inclusive language being main ones, a loss of congregational identity and authority when the big synod was formed, and the obscuring of the name of the Trinity in the liturgy, especially in the new ELCA hymnal of 07 (that last one got to me). The gay thing was the straw that broke the camel’s back, though you’d think doctrinal stuff ought to have done the trick. There’s hurt feelings all over the place. There has always been something of a division regionally in the ELCA, especially between urban and rural congregations.

    And don’t forget that people like J. Nestigen, C. Braaten and R. Jensen (and even the influences of G. Forde to some degree perhaps), apparently beloved among Confessional Lutherans and the LCMS in some quarters, had a bit of a hand in this movement away from the ELCA to a kind of compromise position, i.e. women pastors, but no gays, and a certain appreciation for neo-orthodoxy and “higher” biblical criticism. It remains to be seen just how ecumenical they will be. My guess is “some, but not much.”

    Is it a good thing? Reform movements always seem to end up splintering the church further. We had our Reformation and we have our Confessions. The idea that Luther put forth that the church ought to be always reforming itself (there’s a Latin phrase that escapes me at the moment) is something I heard not infrequently in the ELCA. And let’s not foget that from the beginning, the Philipists and the Gnesios were at odds.

    So perhaps rather than criticize this particular situation, perhaps it is a good time to reflect. Is there reform needed elsewhere? Do the “conservative” synods really take the Confessions seriously, or are they used to suit cultural tastes and/or agendas? I think this is a sad development and maybe ought to lead all Lutherans to repentance on some level. Why was this not a moment of reconciliation instead of division?

    You can read their view of the Confessions here on the Lutheran CORE site:

    http://www.lutherancore.org/com_conf.shtml

  • Stephen

    Speaking as someone who was at one time inside that “beltway,” this was in the works since the ELCA was formed. When the first sexuality statements came out in the early 90s the writing was on the wall.

    But there actually are doctrinal issues that were driving this from the start, broad ecumenism and inclusive language being main ones, a loss of congregational identity and authority when the big synod was formed, and the obscuring of the name of the Trinity in the liturgy, especially in the new ELCA hymnal of 07 (that last one got to me). The gay thing was the straw that broke the camel’s back, though you’d think doctrinal stuff ought to have done the trick. There’s hurt feelings all over the place. There has always been something of a division regionally in the ELCA, especially between urban and rural congregations.

    And don’t forget that people like J. Nestigen, C. Braaten and R. Jensen (and even the influences of G. Forde to some degree perhaps), apparently beloved among Confessional Lutherans and the LCMS in some quarters, had a bit of a hand in this movement away from the ELCA to a kind of compromise position, i.e. women pastors, but no gays, and a certain appreciation for neo-orthodoxy and “higher” biblical criticism. It remains to be seen just how ecumenical they will be. My guess is “some, but not much.”

    Is it a good thing? Reform movements always seem to end up splintering the church further. We had our Reformation and we have our Confessions. The idea that Luther put forth that the church ought to be always reforming itself (there’s a Latin phrase that escapes me at the moment) is something I heard not infrequently in the ELCA. And let’s not foget that from the beginning, the Philipists and the Gnesios were at odds.

    So perhaps rather than criticize this particular situation, perhaps it is a good time to reflect. Is there reform needed elsewhere? Do the “conservative” synods really take the Confessions seriously, or are they used to suit cultural tastes and/or agendas? I think this is a sad development and maybe ought to lead all Lutherans to repentance on some level. Why was this not a moment of reconciliation instead of division?

    You can read their view of the Confessions here on the Lutheran CORE site:

    http://www.lutherancore.org/com_conf.shtml

  • Tom Hering

    No, Grace, Scripture doesn’t “contain” the Word of God, as what’s meant by this is that some parts of Scripture are the Word of God and some parts aren’t. Then, only some people (clergy, theologians) get to decide which parts are.

  • Tom Hering

    No, Grace, Scripture doesn’t “contain” the Word of God, as what’s meant by this is that some parts of Scripture are the Word of God and some parts aren’t. Then, only some people (clergy, theologians) get to decide which parts are.

  • helen

    No, Tom, the “theologians” decide which parts aren’t Scripture, (most of them, in some cases); then the laity lean back, although not too far. You see, “Grandpa built this building” but the synod owns it now, having cut a deal when they weren’t looking or consulted. So they stay, for the sake of the building.

    One of these days, unless LCMS starts listening to what different District Presidents are doing, LCMS laity will find themselves tenants on their own property also.

    I would be more impressed with these new “synods” if they had moved out when Scripture and the Confessions were downgraded, or at least when the women in the pulpit made it obvious.

  • helen

    No, Tom, the “theologians” decide which parts aren’t Scripture, (most of them, in some cases); then the laity lean back, although not too far. You see, “Grandpa built this building” but the synod owns it now, having cut a deal when they weren’t looking or consulted. So they stay, for the sake of the building.

    One of these days, unless LCMS starts listening to what different District Presidents are doing, LCMS laity will find themselves tenants on their own property also.

    I would be more impressed with these new “synods” if they had moved out when Scripture and the Confessions were downgraded, or at least when the women in the pulpit made it obvious.

  • Joe

    Grace – historic Lutheranism confesses that Scripture IS the Word of God. The ELCA stop confessing this and replaced it with a new confession: Scripture CONTAINS the Word of God. It is a subtle but foundational change. As Tom rightly notes, it allows them to disregard the parts of Scripture they don’t like.

  • Joe

    Grace – historic Lutheranism confesses that Scripture IS the Word of God. The ELCA stop confessing this and replaced it with a new confession: Scripture CONTAINS the Word of God. It is a subtle but foundational change. As Tom rightly notes, it allows them to disregard the parts of Scripture they don’t like.

  • Carl Vehse

    @5 on the AFLC: “We’re conservative like the LCMS but have a much different church polity structure.”

    According to the AFLC webpage, the AFLC holds a quia acceptance only for the Creeds, the UAC, and Luther’s Small Catechism. It does not even mention the Book of Concord, or individually the Apology, Smalcald Articles, the Treatise, Luther’s Large Catechism, or the Formula of Concord.

    That makes the AFLC quite a bit different than the LCMS (except for not mentioning the Treatise in its Constitution) even without polity considerations.

  • Carl Vehse

    @5 on the AFLC: “We’re conservative like the LCMS but have a much different church polity structure.”

    According to the AFLC webpage, the AFLC holds a quia acceptance only for the Creeds, the UAC, and Luther’s Small Catechism. It does not even mention the Book of Concord, or individually the Apology, Smalcald Articles, the Treatise, Luther’s Large Catechism, or the Formula of Concord.

    That makes the AFLC quite a bit different than the LCMS (except for not mentioning the Treatise in its Constitution) even without polity considerations.

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

    “Why was this not a moment of reconciliation instead of division?”
    Stephen great question. Perhaps there is still time for it to be that, I don’t know. I do wonder. Here in Utah we have the LCMC, I have to say I’m rather disappointed with that particular development. Those guys seem to actually have fewer Lutheran bearings than the ELCA, and the few conversations I have had with pastors and leaders of that organization don’t seem to care one iota for what the L stands for in their acronym. I can’t speak for core much.
    Then there is the repeated accusation that the LCMS is just too stuck on itself, or it needs reforming too, or they don’t take the confessions as seriously as they say they do, when we resist the confessions being used against scripture on say the issue of women’s ordination. As per a paper a couple years ago at the Ft. Wayne symposia claiming that LCMS is not confessional because the confessions say nothing about women’s ordination and yet we don’t ordain them… head spin. (Same argument could be made about this homosexual issue) When the confessions become scripture, you no longer have the confessional view of scripture.
    But all that aside, I think most in the LCMS know that we have issues in our own ranks that need to be dealt with, and those people are not as “stuck” on the LCMS as one might think. Most pastors,even if proud of the heritage, are aware of the need to reflect on what we are doing and why, and change if necessary. So why don’t these other groups talk?
    I do get the impression they are afraid of the “I told you so.” I suppose some of that is inevitable, but I do hope Missouri can refrain from uttering it. We all need to check pride at the door.

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

    “Why was this not a moment of reconciliation instead of division?”
    Stephen great question. Perhaps there is still time for it to be that, I don’t know. I do wonder. Here in Utah we have the LCMC, I have to say I’m rather disappointed with that particular development. Those guys seem to actually have fewer Lutheran bearings than the ELCA, and the few conversations I have had with pastors and leaders of that organization don’t seem to care one iota for what the L stands for in their acronym. I can’t speak for core much.
    Then there is the repeated accusation that the LCMS is just too stuck on itself, or it needs reforming too, or they don’t take the confessions as seriously as they say they do, when we resist the confessions being used against scripture on say the issue of women’s ordination. As per a paper a couple years ago at the Ft. Wayne symposia claiming that LCMS is not confessional because the confessions say nothing about women’s ordination and yet we don’t ordain them… head spin. (Same argument could be made about this homosexual issue) When the confessions become scripture, you no longer have the confessional view of scripture.
    But all that aside, I think most in the LCMS know that we have issues in our own ranks that need to be dealt with, and those people are not as “stuck” on the LCMS as one might think. Most pastors,even if proud of the heritage, are aware of the need to reflect on what we are doing and why, and change if necessary. So why don’t these other groups talk?
    I do get the impression they are afraid of the “I told you so.” I suppose some of that is inevitable, but I do hope Missouri can refrain from uttering it. We all need to check pride at the door.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @23

    Grace, as a few other elaborated I was using a short hand those familiar with Lutheran theology use. The ELCA position is that the Scriptures contain the word of God meaning they believe it to be a human work portions of which are God’s word or in some cases they mean it is God’s word colored by man’s perceptions. The LCMS, WELS, ELS position is that Scripture IS the word of God.

    It may seem like a minor choice in wording, but it really is a big difference. With the position of contains the word of God, it allows the reader to decide for themselves what is really the word of God and which is just human opinion.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @23

    Grace, as a few other elaborated I was using a short hand those familiar with Lutheran theology use. The ELCA position is that the Scriptures contain the word of God meaning they believe it to be a human work portions of which are God’s word or in some cases they mean it is God’s word colored by man’s perceptions. The LCMS, WELS, ELS position is that Scripture IS the word of God.

    It may seem like a minor choice in wording, but it really is a big difference. With the position of contains the word of God, it allows the reader to decide for themselves what is really the word of God and which is just human opinion.

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

    “I would be more impressed with these new “synods” if they had moved out when Scripture and the Confessions were downgraded, or at least when the women in the pulpit made it obvious.”

    When we left the ELCA like 11+ years ago now, many other members of the congregation left, too. Many expressed surprise when church workers informed them that Scripture and Confessions had been downgraded in the discussions that lead to so many of us leaving. Obviously, there was a concerted effort to conceal it from grandpa and plenty of the rest of us. The agreement that required new ELCA ministers to be ordained by Episcopal bishops was the sign that told me there was no way that the ELCA could be an honest outfit if they could say that they suddenly believed that the Episcopal Church’s approval was necessary for a pastor to be a real pastor. I did not really understand what was up, but I knew that the ELCA never believed that before and if they could just suddenly claim to believe that and enforce (and everyone knew that no one actually believed it but they were still willing to stand up in front of the whole world and lie and say they believed it) and enforce it for no apparent reason and no theological reason, that there was no way that they were dealing in good faith.

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

    “I would be more impressed with these new “synods” if they had moved out when Scripture and the Confessions were downgraded, or at least when the women in the pulpit made it obvious.”

    When we left the ELCA like 11+ years ago now, many other members of the congregation left, too. Many expressed surprise when church workers informed them that Scripture and Confessions had been downgraded in the discussions that lead to so many of us leaving. Obviously, there was a concerted effort to conceal it from grandpa and plenty of the rest of us. The agreement that required new ELCA ministers to be ordained by Episcopal bishops was the sign that told me there was no way that the ELCA could be an honest outfit if they could say that they suddenly believed that the Episcopal Church’s approval was necessary for a pastor to be a real pastor. I did not really understand what was up, but I knew that the ELCA never believed that before and if they could just suddenly claim to believe that and enforce (and everyone knew that no one actually believed it but they were still willing to stand up in front of the whole world and lie and say they believed it) and enforce it for no apparent reason and no theological reason, that there was no way that they were dealing in good faith.

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

    Carl: As I understand it, the AFLC’s failure to affirm the documents you cite is a result of history, not a rejection of those doctrines. The Book of Concord was never part of the Norwegian/Danish Lutheran tradition, because the king of Denmark rejected it, desiring to stay out of German controversies. The AFLC is one of the few American church bodies which carries its confessions directly down from its historical predecessors, without a history of merger with German groups. Hence the omission.

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

    Carl: As I understand it, the AFLC’s failure to affirm the documents you cite is a result of history, not a rejection of those doctrines. The Book of Concord was never part of the Norwegian/Danish Lutheran tradition, because the king of Denmark rejected it, desiring to stay out of German controversies. The AFLC is one of the few American church bodies which carries its confessions directly down from its historical predecessors, without a history of merger with German groups. Hence the omission.

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

    PS: We do teach the Book of Concord in our seminary. I know because I stock the books.

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

    PS: We do teach the Book of Concord in our seminary. I know because I stock the books.

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

    “It may seem like a minor choice in wording, but it really is a big difference.”

    Yes, it is.

    It is intended to deceive. Ask unsuspecting folks or young people if the Bible is the word of God and if it contains the word of God. Then ask if those mean the same thing. Many of our dear brothers and sisters will be deceived by those deliberately seeking to gain approval from those who really believe the first statement but don’t discern its difference from the second statement. The devil is in the details.

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

    “It may seem like a minor choice in wording, but it really is a big difference.”

    Yes, it is.

    It is intended to deceive. Ask unsuspecting folks or young people if the Bible is the word of God and if it contains the word of God. Then ask if those mean the same thing. Many of our dear brothers and sisters will be deceived by those deliberately seeking to gain approval from those who really believe the first statement but don’t discern its difference from the second statement. The devil is in the details.

  • Stephen

    CORE, LCMC and the new NALC are more or less cut from the same cloth. The people involved in CORE are/were ELCA “conservatives” and LCMC (congregations that had already left the ELCA). The NALC will probably include the LCMC at some point, but I guess we’ll see.

    The shift in hermeneutics that Tom mentions from “is” to “contains” is a way of saying that there is no way to read scripture without interpreting it. It is not to pick an choose which scriptures are “true” and which aren’t, though there is the understanding that the Bible is not “flat” and that some parts take precedence over others. Luther seems to have had this kind of thing in mind, calling Romans the “purest gospel” while placing other epistles, especially James, in a kind of “secondary” (forgetting terms) standing. When I was in seminary at Luther St. Paul, I learned that the scripture was the norming norm, and that the Word of God was found in three places – the person of Jesus Christ, Scripture and the proclamation of the Church in word and sacrament i.e. the Holy Spirit. Not sure what about that is so very troubling for conservatives.

    Missouri has gone through its own schisms, Seminex being the most news-worthy. I’m pretty sure LCMS lost congregations over the Boy Scouts and the American flag in the 60s. There are LCMS congregations that are unhappy with communion practices of other parishes and think it ought to be more closely monitored by the Districts. And now, just as an observation, it may be that the “worship wars” could damage some relationships with Bronze Age/Confessional/repristinate types. I don’t think there’s any doubt that the current toward evangelical style worship in LCMS congregations will create theological shifts if it hasn’t already.

    So there’s plenty of this going on and perhaps it is a call to repent and reconsider why, exactly, we are separate as Lutherans. There’s lots of issues one can stake their flag on, but what is actually central? Confessions? Inerrant scripture? Male pastors? Morality? Politics? It used to be Faith alone in Christ alone. Do we really know what that looks like? I wouldn’t be surprised if Lutheranism continues to splinter unless we really figure that one out. I’m not sure we have or will until we return to the Confessions wholeheartedly as our witness, not as final authority, but as a way to interpret ourselves in the light of Holy Scripture. I wonder how many congregations are actually studying them rigorously? There’s a lot of talk about Luther, Pieper, Sasse, etc. in the LCMS. How much time are we giving to the Book of Concord itself?

    By the way, I think there are former LCMS congregations in the NALC/CORE bunch. Some of this is also ethnic I hate to say. The new ELCA hymnal has 10 worship settings in some attempt to be all things to all people. The old guard Scandinavians are not too pleased with this either. “Heritage” can be just another word for pent up anxiety about the church looking too different from the way it “always” was.

  • Stephen

    CORE, LCMC and the new NALC are more or less cut from the same cloth. The people involved in CORE are/were ELCA “conservatives” and LCMC (congregations that had already left the ELCA). The NALC will probably include the LCMC at some point, but I guess we’ll see.

    The shift in hermeneutics that Tom mentions from “is” to “contains” is a way of saying that there is no way to read scripture without interpreting it. It is not to pick an choose which scriptures are “true” and which aren’t, though there is the understanding that the Bible is not “flat” and that some parts take precedence over others. Luther seems to have had this kind of thing in mind, calling Romans the “purest gospel” while placing other epistles, especially James, in a kind of “secondary” (forgetting terms) standing. When I was in seminary at Luther St. Paul, I learned that the scripture was the norming norm, and that the Word of God was found in three places – the person of Jesus Christ, Scripture and the proclamation of the Church in word and sacrament i.e. the Holy Spirit. Not sure what about that is so very troubling for conservatives.

    Missouri has gone through its own schisms, Seminex being the most news-worthy. I’m pretty sure LCMS lost congregations over the Boy Scouts and the American flag in the 60s. There are LCMS congregations that are unhappy with communion practices of other parishes and think it ought to be more closely monitored by the Districts. And now, just as an observation, it may be that the “worship wars” could damage some relationships with Bronze Age/Confessional/repristinate types. I don’t think there’s any doubt that the current toward evangelical style worship in LCMS congregations will create theological shifts if it hasn’t already.

    So there’s plenty of this going on and perhaps it is a call to repent and reconsider why, exactly, we are separate as Lutherans. There’s lots of issues one can stake their flag on, but what is actually central? Confessions? Inerrant scripture? Male pastors? Morality? Politics? It used to be Faith alone in Christ alone. Do we really know what that looks like? I wouldn’t be surprised if Lutheranism continues to splinter unless we really figure that one out. I’m not sure we have or will until we return to the Confessions wholeheartedly as our witness, not as final authority, but as a way to interpret ourselves in the light of Holy Scripture. I wonder how many congregations are actually studying them rigorously? There’s a lot of talk about Luther, Pieper, Sasse, etc. in the LCMS. How much time are we giving to the Book of Concord itself?

    By the way, I think there are former LCMS congregations in the NALC/CORE bunch. Some of this is also ethnic I hate to say. The new ELCA hymnal has 10 worship settings in some attempt to be all things to all people. The old guard Scandinavians are not too pleased with this either. “Heritage” can be just another word for pent up anxiety about the church looking too different from the way it “always” was.

  • Grace

    Century @31

    “Grace, as a few other elaborated I was using a short hand those familiar with Lutheran theology use.

    With all due respect, .. ‘short hand, such as this, muddies the water. I say this because so often, a statement can thus be changed, to mean something else. In this case “the Word of God” — it is crucial that one be very CLEAR as to the meaning.

    “The LCMS, WELS, ELS position is that Scripture IS the word of God.

    Thank you for the clarification.

    “It may seem like a minor choice in wording, but it really is a big difference. With the position of contains the word of God, it allows the reader to decide for themselves what is really the word of God and which is just human opinion.”

    In the case of homosexuality and female pastors, the Bible is clear. Again, thank you for clarifying.

  • Grace

    Century @31

    “Grace, as a few other elaborated I was using a short hand those familiar with Lutheran theology use.

    With all due respect, .. ‘short hand, such as this, muddies the water. I say this because so often, a statement can thus be changed, to mean something else. In this case “the Word of God” — it is crucial that one be very CLEAR as to the meaning.

    “The LCMS, WELS, ELS position is that Scripture IS the word of God.

    Thank you for the clarification.

    “It may seem like a minor choice in wording, but it really is a big difference. With the position of contains the word of God, it allows the reader to decide for themselves what is really the word of God and which is just human opinion.”

    In the case of homosexuality and female pastors, the Bible is clear. Again, thank you for clarifying.

  • Tom Hering

    helen @ 27, :-)

  • Tom Hering

    helen @ 27, :-)

  • Helen

    Allen @ 1. I read Dr. Veith’s posts and many of the members comments. I was looking at your website and was trying to add it to my “feeds”. I am not very tech savvy and don’t know if I properly subscribed.
    I had started to read about your SB background and am intrigued. I’m just starting to attend a LCMS church. I am also reading some of Dr. Veith’s books. So helpful.

    There are two of us Helen’s on this blog. Hope that’s not confusing.

  • Helen

    Allen @ 1. I read Dr. Veith’s posts and many of the members comments. I was looking at your website and was trying to add it to my “feeds”. I am not very tech savvy and don’t know if I properly subscribed.
    I had started to read about your SB background and am intrigued. I’m just starting to attend a LCMS church. I am also reading some of Dr. Veith’s books. So helpful.

    There are two of us Helen’s on this blog. Hope that’s not confusing.

  • Jonathan

    @36 “The shift in hermeneutics that Tom mentions from “is” to “contains” is a way of saying that there is no way to read scripture without interpreting it. It is not to pick an choose which scriptures are “true” and which aren’t….”

    OK, interpret if you must, but clearly “contains” also is a matter of deciding how much *weight* to afford the particular words being interpreted. As in, “This stuff here in I & II Corinithians about women is just Paul’s personal opinion and is clouded by his misogynistic cheauvanism driven by his particular culture of his day. But this stuff Paul speaks here in Romans 5-8, well now, that’s straight from the Lord.”

  • Jonathan

    @36 “The shift in hermeneutics that Tom mentions from “is” to “contains” is a way of saying that there is no way to read scripture without interpreting it. It is not to pick an choose which scriptures are “true” and which aren’t….”

    OK, interpret if you must, but clearly “contains” also is a matter of deciding how much *weight* to afford the particular words being interpreted. As in, “This stuff here in I & II Corinithians about women is just Paul’s personal opinion and is clouded by his misogynistic cheauvanism driven by his particular culture of his day. But this stuff Paul speaks here in Romans 5-8, well now, that’s straight from the Lord.”

  • –helen

    Tom @ 38
    :) back atcha!

    Helen @ 39

    I have always used lower case here. But it was more obvious when you included your initial… you might continue that?
    –helen

  • –helen

    Tom @ 38
    :) back atcha!

    Helen @ 39

    I have always used lower case here. But it was more obvious when you included your initial… you might continue that?
    –helen

  • –helen

    sg @ 32
    there was no way that the ELCA could be an honest outfit if they could say that they suddenly believed that the Episcopal Church’s approval was necessary for a pastor to be a real pastor.

    I was on a discussion list at that time which provided some humor.
    There was a Pastor on there who had been 1. born in Germany 2. ordained in Sweden 3. attended CTS, Fort Wayne, but took a call to “Alt Zion” in Philadelphia (elca) because they had had German services since they arrived in this country (<1742) and needed a German Pastor to continue the habit. [This discussion was in the 1990's.]
    He thought the Episcopal claim to Apostolic succession a hoot, considering the flip-flops between RC and Anglican in the 1600's.
    Sweden also claims "Apostolic succession". He didn't believe in it, but nevertheless told the rest his "line" of ordination was more defensible than their newly acquired Episcopal blessings. ;)

  • –helen

    sg @ 32
    there was no way that the ELCA could be an honest outfit if they could say that they suddenly believed that the Episcopal Church’s approval was necessary for a pastor to be a real pastor.

    I was on a discussion list at that time which provided some humor.
    There was a Pastor on there who had been 1. born in Germany 2. ordained in Sweden 3. attended CTS, Fort Wayne, but took a call to “Alt Zion” in Philadelphia (elca) because they had had German services since they arrived in this country (<1742) and needed a German Pastor to continue the habit. [This discussion was in the 1990's.]
    He thought the Episcopal claim to Apostolic succession a hoot, considering the flip-flops between RC and Anglican in the 1600's.
    Sweden also claims "Apostolic succession". He didn't believe in it, but nevertheless told the rest his "line" of ordination was more defensible than their newly acquired Episcopal blessings. ;)

  • fws

    we need to take care on certain stuff.

    “the bible contains the word of God”. True or false?

    This is a true statement by way if synectoche only. Obviously the paper and ink are not the Word of God. Luther for example talks about the Word of God “in, and with” the water in Baptism.

    “baptism saves us”. It is not the water that does this indeed but the word of God and Faith that trusts in the word of God.

    So there is the outward thing, that is Romans 8 flesh that will perish with the earth. This includes even the preaching of the Law and the Gospel. baptism, the sacrament and the preached Word and the Bible. these things all pertain to our earthly existence and will perish with the earth, along with all who trusts in those things, in and of themselves , and puts faith in them.

    Then there is the Promise or Word of God that is in with and under all those things, even in with and under our good works, that gives Life, and will endure forever for those who put their Faith in that Promise.

    And what is the Promise? the Promise is that the Works of Christ alone cleanse us from all our sins. Here is where we put our trust.

    And we do not dare separate that Promise from those earthly, perishable things in with and under which God has placed his Promise.

    Therefore, and for that exact reason, we say we are saved by Baptism and the Holy Supper, and the Bible IS the Word of God.

    I hope what I wrote makes sense to you Lutherans here. It is a distinction that will make no sense to Grace or Don S or the other non Lutherans here. But it is a very, very important distinction that all of Lutheran theology rests upon.

  • fws

    we need to take care on certain stuff.

    “the bible contains the word of God”. True or false?

    This is a true statement by way if synectoche only. Obviously the paper and ink are not the Word of God. Luther for example talks about the Word of God “in, and with” the water in Baptism.

    “baptism saves us”. It is not the water that does this indeed but the word of God and Faith that trusts in the word of God.

    So there is the outward thing, that is Romans 8 flesh that will perish with the earth. This includes even the preaching of the Law and the Gospel. baptism, the sacrament and the preached Word and the Bible. these things all pertain to our earthly existence and will perish with the earth, along with all who trusts in those things, in and of themselves , and puts faith in them.

    Then there is the Promise or Word of God that is in with and under all those things, even in with and under our good works, that gives Life, and will endure forever for those who put their Faith in that Promise.

    And what is the Promise? the Promise is that the Works of Christ alone cleanse us from all our sins. Here is where we put our trust.

    And we do not dare separate that Promise from those earthly, perishable things in with and under which God has placed his Promise.

    Therefore, and for that exact reason, we say we are saved by Baptism and the Holy Supper, and the Bible IS the Word of God.

    I hope what I wrote makes sense to you Lutherans here. It is a distinction that will make no sense to Grace or Don S or the other non Lutherans here. But it is a very, very important distinction that all of Lutheran theology rests upon.

  • fws

    That being said, .. it evil for some in the Lutheran Church to take an important point of Lutheran Doctrine and distort that doctrine to appear to be sophisticated and to deceive people and have them make a false distinction that is actually a separation rather than a distinction between the written Word of God and that Word that is in with and under it and is inseparable from it.

  • fws

    That being said, .. it evil for some in the Lutheran Church to take an important point of Lutheran Doctrine and distort that doctrine to appear to be sophisticated and to deceive people and have them make a false distinction that is actually a separation rather than a distinction between the written Word of God and that Word that is in with and under it and is inseparable from it.

  • Chessieman

    Again I see this new denomination as not returning solidly to the inherency of God’s Word since it ordains women as pastors. Francis Schaeffer said that once a church group starts ordaining women as pastors they will in a few short years begin ordaining homosexuals. (See how this has played out in the Episcopal and ELCA churches.)

    I would put in another plug for the AFLC. Their organization is very different from most other “traditional” Lutheran churches, but their stand on the Word of God is firm. (Check out their doctrinal statement: http://aflc.org/doctrine )

  • Chessieman

    Again I see this new denomination as not returning solidly to the inherency of God’s Word since it ordains women as pastors. Francis Schaeffer said that once a church group starts ordaining women as pastors they will in a few short years begin ordaining homosexuals. (See how this has played out in the Episcopal and ELCA churches.)

    I would put in another plug for the AFLC. Their organization is very different from most other “traditional” Lutheran churches, but their stand on the Word of God is firm. (Check out their doctrinal statement: http://aflc.org/doctrine )

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Our congregation is looking into associating with the LCMC.

    Here’s a comparison of the NALC and the LCMC:

    http://crossalone.us/2006/comparisonlcmc.pdf

    .

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Our congregation is looking into associating with the LCMC.

    Here’s a comparison of the NALC and the LCMC:

    http://crossalone.us/2006/comparisonlcmc.pdf

    .

  • Stephen

    Jonathan,

    Your sarcasm is palpable. That’s regrettable, because this could otherwise be a usefull moment for all Lutherans. Instead, it seems to invite condescension towards those we ought to be concerned about.

    I’m not saying I agree with some kind of feminist exegesis as a way to interpret scripture. If that is the take away from what I wrote, then you miss the point. Besides, if there is chauvenism in the church, then it is in us and not scripture. And that is the problem with interpretations – they depend on broken, sinful, historically situated, finite human beings. But it is also why we have the Confessions, to guide and help us interpret scripture and tradition that defines the heart of orthodoxy. It’s not enough to have the bible in your lap and make judgements on your own about what the scriptures tell you is true or not. We do that together.

    I think it is wrong to make sweeping judgements about the neighbor (the Lutherans of the ELCA) and what they do with scripture based on some “offficial” position put forth somewhere along the line by leadership/theologians and quibble over one word. I think there is a lot of weird junk in the ELCA, and guess what? So do a lot of people in the ELCA! That’s exactly why this kind of thing is happening. And guess what else? The LCMS and the WELS have their weird junk too! One of these days it will come calling. Maybe that’s the Holy Spirit, and if so, maybe we ought to listen up.

    Rather than make some attempt to understand what’s going on, there’s an awful lot of assumptions here it seems to me, and a lot of pointing fingers. I had hoped I could clarify some of the complexities of the situation. But then people hear what they want to hear and see what they want to see . . . apparently. And we all like to think it doesn’t effect us.

    Maybe there ought to be a prayer in EVERY Lutheran church this Sunday for this synod, that it be God’s will “in, with and under” what they do as sinners. Guess what? It will be.

  • Stephen

    Jonathan,

    Your sarcasm is palpable. That’s regrettable, because this could otherwise be a usefull moment for all Lutherans. Instead, it seems to invite condescension towards those we ought to be concerned about.

    I’m not saying I agree with some kind of feminist exegesis as a way to interpret scripture. If that is the take away from what I wrote, then you miss the point. Besides, if there is chauvenism in the church, then it is in us and not scripture. And that is the problem with interpretations – they depend on broken, sinful, historically situated, finite human beings. But it is also why we have the Confessions, to guide and help us interpret scripture and tradition that defines the heart of orthodoxy. It’s not enough to have the bible in your lap and make judgements on your own about what the scriptures tell you is true or not. We do that together.

    I think it is wrong to make sweeping judgements about the neighbor (the Lutherans of the ELCA) and what they do with scripture based on some “offficial” position put forth somewhere along the line by leadership/theologians and quibble over one word. I think there is a lot of weird junk in the ELCA, and guess what? So do a lot of people in the ELCA! That’s exactly why this kind of thing is happening. And guess what else? The LCMS and the WELS have their weird junk too! One of these days it will come calling. Maybe that’s the Holy Spirit, and if so, maybe we ought to listen up.

    Rather than make some attempt to understand what’s going on, there’s an awful lot of assumptions here it seems to me, and a lot of pointing fingers. I had hoped I could clarify some of the complexities of the situation. But then people hear what they want to hear and see what they want to see . . . apparently. And we all like to think it doesn’t effect us.

    Maybe there ought to be a prayer in EVERY Lutheran church this Sunday for this synod, that it be God’s will “in, with and under” what they do as sinners. Guess what? It will be.

  • Stephen

    Chessieman,

    A Lutheran who uses Francis Schaffer to criticize other Lutherans? Really?

  • Stephen

    Chessieman,

    A Lutheran who uses Francis Schaffer to criticize other Lutherans? Really?

  • fws

    @ 47

    what stephen says. We can only repent for our own sins. we dont get to repent for the sins of others.

    And we need to show some mercy and cover the sins of other. This is not to excuse sin and it is not to say we are not to confess the truth clearly.

    It is to say that to be right without love is not what God wants or needs. God will preserve his truth, and this preservation does not depend upon us. It is not about us.

    We should fear God and ourselves be faithful so God does not punish us. This should keep us too busy to have time to fix the sins of other. And if we do this, God will honor our prayers for where we and others are in error.

    Lord have mercy.

  • fws

    @ 47

    what stephen says. We can only repent for our own sins. we dont get to repent for the sins of others.

    And we need to show some mercy and cover the sins of other. This is not to excuse sin and it is not to say we are not to confess the truth clearly.

    It is to say that to be right without love is not what God wants or needs. God will preserve his truth, and this preservation does not depend upon us. It is not about us.

    We should fear God and ourselves be faithful so God does not punish us. This should keep us too busy to have time to fix the sins of other. And if we do this, God will honor our prayers for where we and others are in error.

    Lord have mercy.

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

    Stephen,
    Not sure that Chieseman is Lutheran…. But I would have quote Anders Nygren to the same effect, who said the same thing, and my bet is said it long before Schaefer got around to saying it.

    See, Stephen, saying we have junk is different than pointing out what that junk is and where it is coming from. Am I saying we don’t have junk? No. But then I might disagree with you as to what is junk and what is not, and what should be done about it.
    But to say, hey you have junk so we are not going to join with you is really where this whole problem gets exacerbated. Is our junk, junk worthy of keeping the doors closed to fellowship? Is it really the kind of junk worthy of staying away, while claiming foul on us for what? Close communion? Holding that there is a 3rd use of the law? Not ordaining women so as to maintain the integrity of the office of the ministry in accordance with scripture?
    Or are you seriously going to maintain that because a few of our congregations practice church growth techniques you shouldn’t pursue membership with us? Or maybe they have contemporary worship? See that is the junk I think we have, but guess what? That aint the junk separating us. Scriptural fidelity is.

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

    Stephen,
    Not sure that Chieseman is Lutheran…. But I would have quote Anders Nygren to the same effect, who said the same thing, and my bet is said it long before Schaefer got around to saying it.

    See, Stephen, saying we have junk is different than pointing out what that junk is and where it is coming from. Am I saying we don’t have junk? No. But then I might disagree with you as to what is junk and what is not, and what should be done about it.
    But to say, hey you have junk so we are not going to join with you is really where this whole problem gets exacerbated. Is our junk, junk worthy of keeping the doors closed to fellowship? Is it really the kind of junk worthy of staying away, while claiming foul on us for what? Close communion? Holding that there is a 3rd use of the law? Not ordaining women so as to maintain the integrity of the office of the ministry in accordance with scripture?
    Or are you seriously going to maintain that because a few of our congregations practice church growth techniques you shouldn’t pursue membership with us? Or maybe they have contemporary worship? See that is the junk I think we have, but guess what? That aint the junk separating us. Scriptural fidelity is.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    One man’s treasure is another man’s junk.

    I think that a Southern Baptist doctrine of the Word is junk and leads to biblicism.

    I thyink that a libertine tossing out of the law where anything goes, is also junk and leads to…anything and everything.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    One man’s treasure is another man’s junk.

    I think that a Southern Baptist doctrine of the Word is junk and leads to biblicism.

    I thyink that a libertine tossing out of the law where anything goes, is also junk and leads to…anything and everything.

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

    Steve,
    Where as I know of LCMS pastors who have what seems to be a “southern Baptist doctrine of the word” I do not know that to be the position of the LCMS. Furthermore, they baptize babies which means they don’t have a southern baptist doctrine of the word, they believe in the Bodily presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, another strong indicator that whereas they believe in the infallibility of Holy Canonical Scripture and inerrancy for that matter, they don’t have a southern baptist doctrine of the word, as close as it might sound or come.

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

    Steve,
    Where as I know of LCMS pastors who have what seems to be a “southern Baptist doctrine of the word” I do not know that to be the position of the LCMS. Furthermore, they baptize babies which means they don’t have a southern baptist doctrine of the word, they believe in the Bodily presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, another strong indicator that whereas they believe in the infallibility of Holy Canonical Scripture and inerrancy for that matter, they don’t have a southern baptist doctrine of the word, as close as it might sound or come.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Inerrant text of the Bible is a Southern Baptist doctrine. As far as I know (correct me if I am wrong) that type of understanding of Scripture is required for LCMS in it’s official documents.

    For all those LCMS congregations and pastors that do not have that doctrine, I say God bless them, they understand what the Word is.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Inerrant text of the Bible is a Southern Baptist doctrine. As far as I know (correct me if I am wrong) that type of understanding of Scripture is required for LCMS in it’s official documents.

    For all those LCMS congregations and pastors that do not have that doctrine, I say God bless them, they understand what the Word is.

  • Stephen

    Bror,

    I see your point, and what I’m essentially saying is that first, let’s not be too quick to judge, and second, as to scriptural fidelity, it seems we cannot have a conversation about that anymore. I don’t know what happened exactly. I wasn’t around for all of it. But there are assumptions made on both sides. I think there is a problem in translation actually, but perhaps that doesn’t make sense. I do think it is true that we all use language toward the ends we think are proper (conscience!). And now it seems we are to a point where Lutherans are speaking in different dialects as well as groping for the right words (and theologies, like Natural Law Aquinas style) to say what we believe.

    And no, I wasn’t saying that church growth techniques are some necessary reason to stay away from an LCMS church (though they don’t appeal to me much). I’ve heard great sermons in the ELCA and some real stinkers. Same for the LCMS. What do we do with that? That’s the kind of thing the Confessions can address, as well as our communication problems. But I have been to Lutheran churches of both stripes for bible studies and I listen to the kinds of questions being asked and assumptions being made about scripture and I wonder when the last time anyone actually read their catechism much less the Augsburg Confessions or the Smalcald (if ever). I hear a lot of post-enlightenment, quasi-Hegelian rationalism (perhaps you can appreciate that). The heritage, it seems, is more adrift than we may realize. I feel sorry for pastors who have to wade through all that. Maybe somewhere along the line someone thought a word like “contains” would be helpful in that regard. I don’t know, but in my experience, the reasons for these kinds of choices/changes are rarely done well, or promoted and implemented properly, even if the intentions had some noble purpose for serving the church.

    I admit to being one of those modernists trying to reconcile my 20th c. brain with a 3500 b.c – 120 a.d. text up until a couple years ago, floundering around with my Lutheran instincts, until I took the Book of Concord seriously. Now the scriptures to me are seamless, and not because of words like “is” and “inerrrant” but because of what the Confessions point to again and again as the whole focus of Scripture – the event of the cross and what that means for me, a poor, miserable sinner. It is spelled out in the “law and the promises” of scripture. I have some idea now what that means.

    And I do see cracks in LCMS after “shopping” for a church when it comes to theology being influenced by the heterodox praise songs, as one example, and popular Christian literature for another. So yes, that is some of the junk, and it too is about scriptural fidelity. I think there are other theological incosistancies as well.

    But I am not meaning to disparage any slice of Lutheranism at this moment evne though it may sound like it. I was hoping, by way of clarification as to some of the particulars, to dissuade others from jumping to conclusions too easily, and maybe level the playing field a little. As I said, I do think this is a time for reflection, prayer and repentance rather than “thank God we are not like them” sorts of sentiments. I know many ELCA pastors and they are not like the chracterizations or assumptions that are thrown around. And they don’t believe what others think they do about scripture or the sacraments. They are just as dear and true, believe it or not.

  • Stephen

    Bror,

    I see your point, and what I’m essentially saying is that first, let’s not be too quick to judge, and second, as to scriptural fidelity, it seems we cannot have a conversation about that anymore. I don’t know what happened exactly. I wasn’t around for all of it. But there are assumptions made on both sides. I think there is a problem in translation actually, but perhaps that doesn’t make sense. I do think it is true that we all use language toward the ends we think are proper (conscience!). And now it seems we are to a point where Lutherans are speaking in different dialects as well as groping for the right words (and theologies, like Natural Law Aquinas style) to say what we believe.

    And no, I wasn’t saying that church growth techniques are some necessary reason to stay away from an LCMS church (though they don’t appeal to me much). I’ve heard great sermons in the ELCA and some real stinkers. Same for the LCMS. What do we do with that? That’s the kind of thing the Confessions can address, as well as our communication problems. But I have been to Lutheran churches of both stripes for bible studies and I listen to the kinds of questions being asked and assumptions being made about scripture and I wonder when the last time anyone actually read their catechism much less the Augsburg Confessions or the Smalcald (if ever). I hear a lot of post-enlightenment, quasi-Hegelian rationalism (perhaps you can appreciate that). The heritage, it seems, is more adrift than we may realize. I feel sorry for pastors who have to wade through all that. Maybe somewhere along the line someone thought a word like “contains” would be helpful in that regard. I don’t know, but in my experience, the reasons for these kinds of choices/changes are rarely done well, or promoted and implemented properly, even if the intentions had some noble purpose for serving the church.

    I admit to being one of those modernists trying to reconcile my 20th c. brain with a 3500 b.c – 120 a.d. text up until a couple years ago, floundering around with my Lutheran instincts, until I took the Book of Concord seriously. Now the scriptures to me are seamless, and not because of words like “is” and “inerrrant” but because of what the Confessions point to again and again as the whole focus of Scripture – the event of the cross and what that means for me, a poor, miserable sinner. It is spelled out in the “law and the promises” of scripture. I have some idea now what that means.

    And I do see cracks in LCMS after “shopping” for a church when it comes to theology being influenced by the heterodox praise songs, as one example, and popular Christian literature for another. So yes, that is some of the junk, and it too is about scriptural fidelity. I think there are other theological incosistancies as well.

    But I am not meaning to disparage any slice of Lutheranism at this moment evne though it may sound like it. I was hoping, by way of clarification as to some of the particulars, to dissuade others from jumping to conclusions too easily, and maybe level the playing field a little. As I said, I do think this is a time for reflection, prayer and repentance rather than “thank God we are not like them” sorts of sentiments. I know many ELCA pastors and they are not like the chracterizations or assumptions that are thrown around. And they don’t believe what others think they do about scripture or the sacraments. They are just as dear and true, believe it or not.

  • Grace

    Steve Martin @ 53

    Inerrant text of the Bible is a Southern Baptist doctrine. As far as I know (correct me if I am wrong) that type of understanding of Scripture is required for LCMS in it’s official documents.”

    That is blatantly untrue, but it serves the purpose to twist Scripture.

    “For all those LCMS congregations and pastors that do not have that doctrine, I say God bless them, they understand what the Word is.”

    Steve, … if you believe the Word of God contains ‘errors’ then you can rip apart just about any doctrine contained in the Bible, and that would encompass the Old and New Testament.

    The Word is inerrant and infallible, if it isn’t then you can build any sort of doctrine from your jello foundation, .. others have certainly done so, they are called “deceivers” and “cults” even though they purport to be a Christian church.

    There is the ‘CULT of idolizing a leader of any so called church/denomination, with all the gusto one can muster, no matter how his doctrine is misused and twisted to fit his ideology. It’s nothing but an ‘idol – in fact, there was a thread on this blog just a week or so ago on this very subject of “IDOLS” – someone began spouting an idea that the Bible was an ‘IDOL, .. a so called church leader can be one as well, and often is.

    Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalms 119:05

  • Grace

    Steve Martin @ 53

    Inerrant text of the Bible is a Southern Baptist doctrine. As far as I know (correct me if I am wrong) that type of understanding of Scripture is required for LCMS in it’s official documents.”

    That is blatantly untrue, but it serves the purpose to twist Scripture.

    “For all those LCMS congregations and pastors that do not have that doctrine, I say God bless them, they understand what the Word is.”

    Steve, … if you believe the Word of God contains ‘errors’ then you can rip apart just about any doctrine contained in the Bible, and that would encompass the Old and New Testament.

    The Word is inerrant and infallible, if it isn’t then you can build any sort of doctrine from your jello foundation, .. others have certainly done so, they are called “deceivers” and “cults” even though they purport to be a Christian church.

    There is the ‘CULT of idolizing a leader of any so called church/denomination, with all the gusto one can muster, no matter how his doctrine is misused and twisted to fit his ideology. It’s nothing but an ‘idol – in fact, there was a thread on this blog just a week or so ago on this very subject of “IDOLS” – someone began spouting an idea that the Bible was an ‘IDOL, .. a so called church leader can be one as well, and often is.

    Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalms 119:05

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Grace,

    We view the Bible exactly the same way we view the sacraments.

    It’s a fully human product, and all that that entails…and it is fully of God, and all that that entails…because of the Word being there.

    You guys don’t look at it that way…and there we diverge.

    Why in the world do you think Luther had so many problems with much of what is in the Bible?

    This isn’t a post on Biblical innerancy, but I thought to touch on the differnces in light of some of the other comments, was appropriate.

    But I am going to leave it at that and say good evening.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Grace,

    We view the Bible exactly the same way we view the sacraments.

    It’s a fully human product, and all that that entails…and it is fully of God, and all that that entails…because of the Word being there.

    You guys don’t look at it that way…and there we diverge.

    Why in the world do you think Luther had so many problems with much of what is in the Bible?

    This isn’t a post on Biblical innerancy, but I thought to touch on the differnces in light of some of the other comments, was appropriate.

    But I am going to leave it at that and say good evening.

  • kerner

    I wonder if AFLC would consider rethinking its name. Every time I see it I think of a duck selling insurance. ;)

    OK, OK…totally frivolous comment in a serious conversation…but I couldn’t help myself.

  • kerner

    I wonder if AFLC would consider rethinking its name. Every time I see it I think of a duck selling insurance. ;)

    OK, OK…totally frivolous comment in a serious conversation…but I couldn’t help myself.

  • Grace

    Steve @ 56

    Why in the world do you think Luther had so many problems with much of what is in the Bible?

    Luther found something wrong with more than 15 books of the Bible. If it didn’t fit his perceived doctrine, he dismissed it.

    Martin Luther stated the following:

    “About this book of the Revelation of John…I miss more than one thing in this book, and it makes me consider it to be neither apostolic nor prophetic…I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it. Moreover he seems to me to be going much too far when he commends his own book so highly-indeed, more than any of the other sacred books do, though they are much more important-and threatens that if anyone takes away anything from it, God will take away from him, etc. Again, they are supposed to be blessed who keep what is written in this book; and yet no one knows what that is, to say nothing of keeping it. This is just the same as if we did not have the book at all. And there are many far better books available for us to keep…My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this book. For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it
    (Luther, M. Preface to the Revelation of St. John, 1522).

    Jesus Christ our LORD and Savior is the reason for Revelation. Luther did not comprehend Revelation.

    Below are just two examples of Jesus being “taught and known” in Revelation.

    1The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

    2Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

    3Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

    4John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

    5And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

    6And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

    7Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

    8I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

    9I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 1

    ANOTHER ONE

    And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
    Revelation 19:10

  • Grace

    Steve @ 56

    Why in the world do you think Luther had so many problems with much of what is in the Bible?

    Luther found something wrong with more than 15 books of the Bible. If it didn’t fit his perceived doctrine, he dismissed it.

    Martin Luther stated the following:

    “About this book of the Revelation of John…I miss more than one thing in this book, and it makes me consider it to be neither apostolic nor prophetic…I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it. Moreover he seems to me to be going much too far when he commends his own book so highly-indeed, more than any of the other sacred books do, though they are much more important-and threatens that if anyone takes away anything from it, God will take away from him, etc. Again, they are supposed to be blessed who keep what is written in this book; and yet no one knows what that is, to say nothing of keeping it. This is just the same as if we did not have the book at all. And there are many far better books available for us to keep…My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this book. For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it
    (Luther, M. Preface to the Revelation of St. John, 1522).

    Jesus Christ our LORD and Savior is the reason for Revelation. Luther did not comprehend Revelation.

    Below are just two examples of Jesus being “taught and known” in Revelation.

    1The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

    2Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

    3Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

    4John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

    5And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

    6And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

    7Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

    8I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

    9I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 1

    ANOTHER ONE

    And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
    Revelation 19:10

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Here’s another Luther quote:

    “All upright sacred books agree on one thing, that they all collectively preach and promote Christ. Likewise, the true criterion for criticizing all books is to see whether they promote Christ or not, since all scripture manifests Christ. Whatever does not teach Christ is not apostolic, even if Peter and Paul should teach it. On the other hand, whatever preaches Christ is apostolic, even if Judas, Annas, Pilate, and Herod should do it!” (LW 35:396)

    .

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Here’s another Luther quote:

    “All upright sacred books agree on one thing, that they all collectively preach and promote Christ. Likewise, the true criterion for criticizing all books is to see whether they promote Christ or not, since all scripture manifests Christ. Whatever does not teach Christ is not apostolic, even if Peter and Paul should teach it. On the other hand, whatever preaches Christ is apostolic, even if Judas, Annas, Pilate, and Herod should do it!” (LW 35:396)

    .

  • Grace

    Martin @ 59

    “Here’s another Luther quote:

    “All upright sacred books agree on one thing, that they all collectively preach and promote Christ. Likewise, the true criterion for criticizing all books is to see whether they promote Christ or not, since all scripture manifests Christ. Whatever does not teach Christ is not apostolic, even if Peter and Paul should teach it. On the other hand, whatever preaches Christ is apostolic, even if Judas, Annas, Pilate, and Herod should do it!” (LW 35:396

    Luther blew it again – there are books in the Old Testament which do not mention Christ – A very confused man.

    In the Old Testament it was Sacrifices to God to forgive sins.

  • Grace

    Martin @ 59

    “Here’s another Luther quote:

    “All upright sacred books agree on one thing, that they all collectively preach and promote Christ. Likewise, the true criterion for criticizing all books is to see whether they promote Christ or not, since all scripture manifests Christ. Whatever does not teach Christ is not apostolic, even if Peter and Paul should teach it. On the other hand, whatever preaches Christ is apostolic, even if Judas, Annas, Pilate, and Herod should do it!” (LW 35:396

    Luther blew it again – there are books in the Old Testament which do not mention Christ – A very confused man.

    In the Old Testament it was Sacrifices to God to forgive sins.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com bror erickson

    Jesus must have been confused then as according to John 5:39 and luke 24 he thought all scripture referred to him. But I can see how him being god in the flesh and all he got that wrong.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com bror erickson

    Jesus must have been confused then as according to John 5:39 and luke 24 he thought all scripture referred to him. But I can see how him being god in the flesh and all he got that wrong.

  • Grace

    Bror @61

    Revelation clearly mentions Jesus Christ by name, when Martin Luther stated:

    ” For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it”
    (Luther, M. Preface to the Revelation of St. John, 1522).

    It was a dishonest statement! He most likely never read it, OR tossed it aside because it didn’t line up with his doctrine, just as the book of James didn’t as well.

  • Grace

    Bror @61

    Revelation clearly mentions Jesus Christ by name, when Martin Luther stated:

    ” For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it”
    (Luther, M. Preface to the Revelation of St. John, 1522).

    It was a dishonest statement! He most likely never read it, OR tossed it aside because it didn’t line up with his doctrine, just as the book of James didn’t as well.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com bror erickson

    The book of Mormon mentions jesus christ by name, but manages not to teach or preach jesus christ. And BtW, you wouldn’t be reading revelation if Luther hadn’t Transalted it.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com bror erickson

    The book of Mormon mentions jesus christ by name, but manages not to teach or preach jesus christ. And BtW, you wouldn’t be reading revelation if Luther hadn’t Transalted it.

  • Grace

    Bror – @63

    You wrote: “The book of Mormon mentions jesus christ by name, but manages not to teach or preach jesus christ. And BtW, you wouldn’t be reading revelation if Luther hadn’t Transalted it.”

    No that isn’t true, it was John Wycliffe 1384 AD, the FIRST Person to Produce a (Hand-Written) manuscript Copy of the Complete Bible – All 80 Books.

  • Grace

    Bror – @63

    You wrote: “The book of Mormon mentions jesus christ by name, but manages not to teach or preach jesus christ. And BtW, you wouldn’t be reading revelation if Luther hadn’t Transalted it.”

    No that isn’t true, it was John Wycliffe 1384 AD, the FIRST Person to Produce a (Hand-Written) manuscript Copy of the Complete Bible – All 80 Books.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com bror erickson

    Yep You got me there… Because I was totally unaware of that fact when I wrote what I did, taking into account the history of the entire reformation and its effects on western society at large. But yet the fact remains, not only did luther read it, he translated it.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com bror erickson

    Yep You got me there… Because I was totally unaware of that fact when I wrote what I did, taking into account the history of the entire reformation and its effects on western society at large. But yet the fact remains, not only did luther read it, he translated it.

  • Anthony Sacramone

    When this denomination was first announced, I poked fun at it over at FIRST THINGS because, while the ELCA exists only for people to leave it, I didn’t think that yet another denomination was the solution. First of all, it has a bishop. Nothing good can ever come from having a bishop. Bishops are for defenestrating. And for the life of me I can’t understand why closed communion is an issue for anyone. This is an ancient tradition among some churches, don’t you know, but when Lutherans practice it, you’d think they were beating baby seals with Stradivariuses or something. As for fraternizing with other denominations, why would we want to? They dress for church like they’re going to the beach, they probably give copies of “Your Best Life Now” as Secret Santa gifts, and they’re just plain wrong about everything, and what’s worse, they’re tiresome about it. “We don’t baptize babies.” Yeah? Well, you know who else doesn’t baptize babies? Atheists. Go contemplate the pains of hell with your own kind. And I do wish the AFLC had congregations in the Northeast. I’m tired of chasing LCMS pastors through parking lots with live chainsaws for being cafeteria liturgists and constitutionally incapable of preaching anything that resembles discipleship. And when you’re chasing pastors through parking lots with chainsaws, boy do you need it.

  • Anthony Sacramone

    When this denomination was first announced, I poked fun at it over at FIRST THINGS because, while the ELCA exists only for people to leave it, I didn’t think that yet another denomination was the solution. First of all, it has a bishop. Nothing good can ever come from having a bishop. Bishops are for defenestrating. And for the life of me I can’t understand why closed communion is an issue for anyone. This is an ancient tradition among some churches, don’t you know, but when Lutherans practice it, you’d think they were beating baby seals with Stradivariuses or something. As for fraternizing with other denominations, why would we want to? They dress for church like they’re going to the beach, they probably give copies of “Your Best Life Now” as Secret Santa gifts, and they’re just plain wrong about everything, and what’s worse, they’re tiresome about it. “We don’t baptize babies.” Yeah? Well, you know who else doesn’t baptize babies? Atheists. Go contemplate the pains of hell with your own kind. And I do wish the AFLC had congregations in the Northeast. I’m tired of chasing LCMS pastors through parking lots with live chainsaws for being cafeteria liturgists and constitutionally incapable of preaching anything that resembles discipleship. And when you’re chasing pastors through parking lots with chainsaws, boy do you need it.

  • trotk

    Grace, why doesn’t Jerome get any love from you? He translated the Bible long before Wycliffe.

    Oh, dear. Wycliffe wasn’t the first! Whatever should we do?

  • trotk

    Grace, why doesn’t Jerome get any love from you? He translated the Bible long before Wycliffe.

    Oh, dear. Wycliffe wasn’t the first! Whatever should we do?

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Grace, Grace, Grace…
    If you are going to quote somebody don’t cherry pick. You quote one sentence out of an entire reasoned argument, where Luther up front tells people they don’t have to hold his opinion on the book. At the time, Luther held the position of those who challenged the canonicity of Revelation (I suggest you study the history of the Canon, Revelation was contested). His writing in the 1522 preface is much different from later writings on Revelation, where he praises it as a most efficacious book. Luther, in inadvertently proved what many Lutheran exegetical scholars say today, don’t read Revelation until you are well studied in the rest of Scripture because otherwise you won’t understand it.

    “We can profit by this book and make good use of it. First, for our comfort! We can rest assured that neither force nor lies, neither wisdom nor holiness, neither tribulation nor suffering shall suppress Christendom, but it will gain the victory and conquer at last.
    Second, for our warning! We can be on guard against the great, perilous and manifold offense that inflicts itself upon Christendom. Because these mighty and imposing powers are to fight against Christendom…we shall not doubt that Christ is with us, even when things are at their worst. As we see here in this book, that through and beyond all plagues, beasts, and evil angels Christ is nonetheless with his saints, and wins the final victory.”
    AE35:399-411, excerpted from the Preface to Revelation in The Lutheran Study Bible

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Grace, Grace, Grace…
    If you are going to quote somebody don’t cherry pick. You quote one sentence out of an entire reasoned argument, where Luther up front tells people they don’t have to hold his opinion on the book. At the time, Luther held the position of those who challenged the canonicity of Revelation (I suggest you study the history of the Canon, Revelation was contested). His writing in the 1522 preface is much different from later writings on Revelation, where he praises it as a most efficacious book. Luther, in inadvertently proved what many Lutheran exegetical scholars say today, don’t read Revelation until you are well studied in the rest of Scripture because otherwise you won’t understand it.

    “We can profit by this book and make good use of it. First, for our comfort! We can rest assured that neither force nor lies, neither wisdom nor holiness, neither tribulation nor suffering shall suppress Christendom, but it will gain the victory and conquer at last.
    Second, for our warning! We can be on guard against the great, perilous and manifold offense that inflicts itself upon Christendom. Because these mighty and imposing powers are to fight against Christendom…we shall not doubt that Christ is with us, even when things are at their worst. As we see here in this book, that through and beyond all plagues, beasts, and evil angels Christ is nonetheless with his saints, and wins the final victory.”
    AE35:399-411, excerpted from the Preface to Revelation in The Lutheran Study Bible

  • Grace

    Century @ 68

    YOU WROTE: “Luther, in inadvertently proved what many Lutheran exegetical scholars say today, don’t read Revelation until you are well studied in the rest of Scripture because otherwise you won’t understand it. “

    I have studied the Bible for a very long time, up to 6-10 plus hours per day for a number of years. It’s because I have studied, that I understand, it’s by God’s grace that HE gives me the ability to comprehend. Revelation is a joy to study,…. I might add, one doesn’t need to wait until they have all the other books, and then study Revelation, that is a falacy.

    Steve Martin asked a question in post 56, which I answered in 58.

    “Why in the world do you think Luther had so many problems with much of what is in the Bible? “

    You make excuses for Luther. People see right through it.

  • Grace

    Century @ 68

    YOU WROTE: “Luther, in inadvertently proved what many Lutheran exegetical scholars say today, don’t read Revelation until you are well studied in the rest of Scripture because otherwise you won’t understand it. “

    I have studied the Bible for a very long time, up to 6-10 plus hours per day for a number of years. It’s because I have studied, that I understand, it’s by God’s grace that HE gives me the ability to comprehend. Revelation is a joy to study,…. I might add, one doesn’t need to wait until they have all the other books, and then study Revelation, that is a falacy.

    Steve Martin asked a question in post 56, which I answered in 58.

    “Why in the world do you think Luther had so many problems with much of what is in the Bible? “

    You make excuses for Luther. People see right through it.

  • fws

    anthony sacramone @ 66

    hahahahaha.

    There used to be a guy on venice beach who would juggle live chainsaws and tell jokes at the same time…..

    My visualizing what you are doing sounds waaaay more cool.

  • fws

    anthony sacramone @ 66

    hahahahaha.

    There used to be a guy on venice beach who would juggle live chainsaws and tell jokes at the same time…..

    My visualizing what you are doing sounds waaaay more cool.

  • Helen F

    Just one comment: I think it’s quite arrogant to assume that the likes of a Dr. of Theology as Luther was, is not capable of teaching us the Scritptures. The severe trials with the papacy and most assuredly with the devil himself made Luther the great theologian he was, whom God gave to the church and through whom God brought about the Reformation of the church. No on on this list comes close to Luther in theological acumen!

  • Helen F

    Just one comment: I think it’s quite arrogant to assume that the likes of a Dr. of Theology as Luther was, is not capable of teaching us the Scritptures. The severe trials with the papacy and most assuredly with the devil himself made Luther the great theologian he was, whom God gave to the church and through whom God brought about the Reformation of the church. No on on this list comes close to Luther in theological acumen!

  • fws

    dr Luther @ 68

    kudos.

    as for closed communion:

    The Lutheran Confessions state that it is the Lutheran practice to not commune anyone until they have been first examined and absolved. This is the Lutheran Confessional sedaes for the Lutheran practice on the Sacrament of the Altar. And this is based pretty clearly upon what St Paul orders the visible church to do.

    Now this fact is even more remarkable when we consider that all of Germany was baptized. So when Luther had to talk about unbeliever he would always use the word “Turks” as a standin for unbelievers. But the Confessions still felt it important to make this statement.

    So I would ask any Lutheran here to match the practices of their church body or Congretation to what our Confessions say the Lutheran practice is. Now if some Lutherans say that they dont accept all the Confessions, than that is a different conversation.

    On the other hand, I wont deny that the WELS and LCMS and even the ELCA have been guilty in that past of being somewhat wooden and legalistic in their practices of closed communion. But…

    those abuses do not negate what our Confessions say the Lutheran Practice is as to closed communion.

    What my little Brasilian congregation does, is intentionally make the pastor free for the 1/2 hour before the Divine Service to meet and greet visitors and … examine and absolve them and so do his job. This has worked out very well. I highly recommend this.

    Pastors are usually too busy in that 1/2 hour before the service. But the congregation needs to be very intentional and help here.

  • fws

    dr Luther @ 68

    kudos.

    as for closed communion:

    The Lutheran Confessions state that it is the Lutheran practice to not commune anyone until they have been first examined and absolved. This is the Lutheran Confessional sedaes for the Lutheran practice on the Sacrament of the Altar. And this is based pretty clearly upon what St Paul orders the visible church to do.

    Now this fact is even more remarkable when we consider that all of Germany was baptized. So when Luther had to talk about unbeliever he would always use the word “Turks” as a standin for unbelievers. But the Confessions still felt it important to make this statement.

    So I would ask any Lutheran here to match the practices of their church body or Congretation to what our Confessions say the Lutheran practice is. Now if some Lutherans say that they dont accept all the Confessions, than that is a different conversation.

    On the other hand, I wont deny that the WELS and LCMS and even the ELCA have been guilty in that past of being somewhat wooden and legalistic in their practices of closed communion. But…

    those abuses do not negate what our Confessions say the Lutheran Practice is as to closed communion.

    What my little Brasilian congregation does, is intentionally make the pastor free for the 1/2 hour before the Divine Service to meet and greet visitors and … examine and absolve them and so do his job. This has worked out very well. I highly recommend this.

    Pastors are usually too busy in that 1/2 hour before the service. But the congregation needs to be very intentional and help here.

  • fws

    what stephen says at 54

    none of us are blameless here. and bror, you and I both can point to sites and pastors that claim to be “confessional’ and rarely, if ever ,actually quote the confessions.

    I saw one pastor do a study on the augustana. he doesnt quote the confessions even once when explaining original sin. even though he titled his little work a study of the confessions. Amazing to me how that could even be possible.

    and then, the real kicker is that he doesnt even use the confessional definition of original sin. instead he describes it as some sort of inherited disease (which the confessions actually do say), but then he doesnt get to their main chain of argument on the topic and misses why and how they call it a disease.

    the romans too called original sin an inherited disease. that alone is not enough.

  • fws

    what stephen says at 54

    none of us are blameless here. and bror, you and I both can point to sites and pastors that claim to be “confessional’ and rarely, if ever ,actually quote the confessions.

    I saw one pastor do a study on the augustana. he doesnt quote the confessions even once when explaining original sin. even though he titled his little work a study of the confessions. Amazing to me how that could even be possible.

    and then, the real kicker is that he doesnt even use the confessional definition of original sin. instead he describes it as some sort of inherited disease (which the confessions actually do say), but then he doesnt get to their main chain of argument on the topic and misses why and how they call it a disease.

    the romans too called original sin an inherited disease. that alone is not enough.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I have studied the Bible for a very long time, up to 6-10 plus hours per day for a number of years. It’s because I have studied, that I understand, it’s by God’s grace that HE gives me the ability to comprehend.

    Really? Doesn’t show…

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I have studied the Bible for a very long time, up to 6-10 plus hours per day for a number of years. It’s because I have studied, that I understand, it’s by God’s grace that HE gives me the ability to comprehend.

    Really? Doesn’t show…

  • fws

    bror @ 52

    Stephen is not disagreeing with you I dont think. he is just saying that the rot in the LCMS extends way way beyond church growth or liturgical practices.

    We are often in the LCMS in the habit of saying we are all about the confessions and word and sacrament.

    but the confessions are rarely used as the basis for any arguments made among lutherans. and the arguments, along with their scriptural sedaes , should be the basis for Lutheran unity. what else would be that basis? having a stiff rather than a limp wrist?

    Placing the validity of the sacrament in the person of the pastor rather than in the Words of Christ? And so saying with the SELK that the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is invalid when those words are spoken by a woman pastor? this. is. not. lutheran.

    And now some among us are combatting homosexuality how? by embracing the natural law of aquinas that is not the same natural law of our confessions .

    the term “natural Law” EVERYWHERE in both Luther and the Confessions means exactly and only Reason. Natural law=Reason. This is based upon romans 2:15 that says God has written the Law in the minds of all men even those without bibles. And this is why reason agrees with the Decalog. it is the SAME Divine Law. (apology art IV). And the confessors knew st thomas well. And rejected his theories of natural law explicitly by defining that term as they do in every single case.

    To embrace the natural law of aquinas means to embrace the entire scholastic argument that the apology directly rejects. Yet some Lutherans see that term “natural law” employed by Luther and our Confessions and take that as license to adopt the scholastic meaning of that term. Craziness that. And no one in the LCMS is challenging them. To the contrary. So we will defend ourselves against the homosexual hoardes clamoring entrance at our gates, and lose what we treasure the most with the method we chose to employ.

    The opposite of an error is the opposite error.

    Lord have mercy.

  • fws

    bror @ 52

    Stephen is not disagreeing with you I dont think. he is just saying that the rot in the LCMS extends way way beyond church growth or liturgical practices.

    We are often in the LCMS in the habit of saying we are all about the confessions and word and sacrament.

    but the confessions are rarely used as the basis for any arguments made among lutherans. and the arguments, along with their scriptural sedaes , should be the basis for Lutheran unity. what else would be that basis? having a stiff rather than a limp wrist?

    Placing the validity of the sacrament in the person of the pastor rather than in the Words of Christ? And so saying with the SELK that the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is invalid when those words are spoken by a woman pastor? this. is. not. lutheran.

    And now some among us are combatting homosexuality how? by embracing the natural law of aquinas that is not the same natural law of our confessions .

    the term “natural Law” EVERYWHERE in both Luther and the Confessions means exactly and only Reason. Natural law=Reason. This is based upon romans 2:15 that says God has written the Law in the minds of all men even those without bibles. And this is why reason agrees with the Decalog. it is the SAME Divine Law. (apology art IV). And the confessors knew st thomas well. And rejected his theories of natural law explicitly by defining that term as they do in every single case.

    To embrace the natural law of aquinas means to embrace the entire scholastic argument that the apology directly rejects. Yet some Lutherans see that term “natural law” employed by Luther and our Confessions and take that as license to adopt the scholastic meaning of that term. Craziness that. And no one in the LCMS is challenging them. To the contrary. So we will defend ourselves against the homosexual hoardes clamoring entrance at our gates, and lose what we treasure the most with the method we chose to employ.

    The opposite of an error is the opposite error.

    Lord have mercy.

  • fws

    further bror,

    from Luther to Pieper, there was never a distinction made ever between the role of women in ALL three “ordos” or earthly governments of family, church and civil society.

    From Luther until Pieper, Lutherans would have frowned upon women being in ANY position of authority over men. this would have fully included female highschool and university professors, politicians, judges, police officers, and captains of industry.

    Now we feel we can make a distinction between the role of women in society vs the role of women in the family and the church.

    and to support this distinction that has existed only since the time of womens sufferage in the USA, we create arguments to assert this distinction that are dubious and false and lead to counter arguments by the ELCA that are even crazier. One error in the LCMS results in a counter-error in the ELCA.

    All three ordos/governments are Romans 8 flesh that will perish. But now we lend a sacramental quality to marriage and church that equally exists in the social government as well. We imagine that church and marriage are not romans 8 flesh, but rather some fusion of romans 8 flesh/spirit . we dont separate law and gospel because we dont firmly place the three ordos into the Earthly right hand Kingdom.

  • fws

    further bror,

    from Luther to Pieper, there was never a distinction made ever between the role of women in ALL three “ordos” or earthly governments of family, church and civil society.

    From Luther until Pieper, Lutherans would have frowned upon women being in ANY position of authority over men. this would have fully included female highschool and university professors, politicians, judges, police officers, and captains of industry.

    Now we feel we can make a distinction between the role of women in society vs the role of women in the family and the church.

    and to support this distinction that has existed only since the time of womens sufferage in the USA, we create arguments to assert this distinction that are dubious and false and lead to counter arguments by the ELCA that are even crazier. One error in the LCMS results in a counter-error in the ELCA.

    All three ordos/governments are Romans 8 flesh that will perish. But now we lend a sacramental quality to marriage and church that equally exists in the social government as well. We imagine that church and marriage are not romans 8 flesh, but rather some fusion of romans 8 flesh/spirit . we dont separate law and gospel because we dont firmly place the three ordos into the Earthly right hand Kingdom.

  • Purple Koolaid

    What is their view of abortion??

    And the LCMS practices closed communion?? This is news to me. Perhaps this is the fine print, but many, including “model” lcms churches commune RC and others.

  • Purple Koolaid

    What is their view of abortion??

    And the LCMS practices closed communion?? This is news to me. Perhaps this is the fine print, but many, including “model” lcms churches commune RC and others.

  • fws

    errata @ 76

    “we dont separate law and gospel because we dont firmly place the three ordos into the Earthly right hand Kingdom.”

    Law and Gospel can never be separated. How could they be? ALL we can see and do in our bodies is romans 8 flesh/body that is Law.
    ALL we can see and do in our bodies pertains to this Earthly Kingdom that will perish.

    The Gospel and faith that is alone the Heavenly Kingdom, will therefore ALWAYS be located in, with and under romans 8 fleshly perishable Law things. We simply could not separate these if we tried. Only God will be able to do so at the resurrection (FC art I “Original Sin”.)

    So my phrase should read: we don’t properly “distinguish” law from gospel.

  • fws

    errata @ 76

    “we dont separate law and gospel because we dont firmly place the three ordos into the Earthly right hand Kingdom.”

    Law and Gospel can never be separated. How could they be? ALL we can see and do in our bodies is romans 8 flesh/body that is Law.
    ALL we can see and do in our bodies pertains to this Earthly Kingdom that will perish.

    The Gospel and faith that is alone the Heavenly Kingdom, will therefore ALWAYS be located in, with and under romans 8 fleshly perishable Law things. We simply could not separate these if we tried. Only God will be able to do so at the resurrection (FC art I “Original Sin”.)

    So my phrase should read: we don’t properly “distinguish” law from gospel.

  • fws

    purple koolaid @ 77

    communing a RC or baptist or anyone who has been baptised is not contrary to the Lutheran and Confessional practice of Closed Communion .

    But we do examine each person, as an individual, and absolve them, prior to communing them. And since our confessions located closed communion as a practice that is about each individual and not some blanket legalism, the pastor will need to decide on a case by case basis. And he will best err on the side of Love that gives any baptized person the most benefit of the doubt possible in keeping with the 8th commandment.

    now if someone states that they have a pastor and are members of a church and that church is not a lutheran one, we probably would not be right in communing them. That would be to interfere in their relationship with their pastor, whom Lutherans believe, have been placed over them by God himself. Lutherans do not steal the sheep from the shepherds God has appointed to be over them.

  • fws

    purple koolaid @ 77

    communing a RC or baptist or anyone who has been baptised is not contrary to the Lutheran and Confessional practice of Closed Communion .

    But we do examine each person, as an individual, and absolve them, prior to communing them. And since our confessions located closed communion as a practice that is about each individual and not some blanket legalism, the pastor will need to decide on a case by case basis. And he will best err on the side of Love that gives any baptized person the most benefit of the doubt possible in keeping with the 8th commandment.

    now if someone states that they have a pastor and are members of a church and that church is not a lutheran one, we probably would not be right in communing them. That would be to interfere in their relationship with their pastor, whom Lutherans believe, have been placed over them by God himself. Lutherans do not steal the sheep from the shepherds God has appointed to be over them.

  • Helen F

    And the LCMS practices closed communion?? This is news to me. Perhaps this is the fine print, but many, including “model” lcms churches commune RC and others.

    Such pastors are NOT being faithful.

  • Helen F

    And the LCMS practices closed communion?? This is news to me. Perhaps this is the fine print, but many, including “model” lcms churches commune RC and others.

    Such pastors are NOT being faithful.

  • Helen F

    Oopps! The above quote is from Purple Koolaid

  • Helen F

    Oopps! The above quote is from Purple Koolaid

  • fws

    Helen F @ 81

    Dont be so sure about that Helen. This is something each pastor is responsible for. And to commune someone who is not Lutheran or is not LCMS is not necessarily wrong or even unwise.

    Sometimes it is actually demanded by our confessional and Lutheran practices. Pastors are to ensure that the baptized have been examined and absolved before they are communed.

    Now as to a Lutheran attending AND communing at a church that is not LCMS.. this is a different subject. This is not about closed communion I would like to point out. It is a different topic.

  • fws

    Helen F @ 81

    Dont be so sure about that Helen. This is something each pastor is responsible for. And to commune someone who is not Lutheran or is not LCMS is not necessarily wrong or even unwise.

    Sometimes it is actually demanded by our confessional and Lutheran practices. Pastors are to ensure that the baptized have been examined and absolved before they are communed.

    Now as to a Lutheran attending AND communing at a church that is not LCMS.. this is a different subject. This is not about closed communion I would like to point out. It is a different topic.

  • Helen F

    So, you are saying that a person who’s a Methodist, or R.C. or ELCA
    should be communed by an LCMS pastor?

  • Helen F

    So, you are saying that a person who’s a Methodist, or R.C. or ELCA
    should be communed by an LCMS pastor?

  • Grace

    Century @74

    Interesting – but not surprising. I doubt you would know what one understands or knows regarding the Word of God!

    When you stake all your belief on Martin Luther you lose sight of who paid the price on the cross. It’s not lost on most of us who read these posts, … many will not engage you in discussion, but for the reason, you would never listen —— you have a leader, his name is ‘Luther!

    Through this thread……. perhaps I’m seeing a new ‘reformation, one that is based solely on Scripture, urging each and every person to search the ‘SCRIPTURE, to find truth, not the books and works others write, but the BIBLE.

  • Grace

    Century @74

    Interesting – but not surprising. I doubt you would know what one understands or knows regarding the Word of God!

    When you stake all your belief on Martin Luther you lose sight of who paid the price on the cross. It’s not lost on most of us who read these posts, … many will not engage you in discussion, but for the reason, you would never listen —— you have a leader, his name is ‘Luther!

    Through this thread……. perhaps I’m seeing a new ‘reformation, one that is based solely on Scripture, urging each and every person to search the ‘SCRIPTURE, to find truth, not the books and works others write, but the BIBLE.

  • fws

    helen F @ 83

    No Helen. I am not saying that a methodist or RC should be communed by a Lutheran pastor. I say Lutheran rather than LCMS because the practice needs to be in agreement with what our Lutheran Confessions say, and not , necessarily , according to some LCMS policy.

    I hesitate to make that last statement. Pastors are to respect the laws of the Church body they are a part of. It would be to disrupt the unity of the church to not do so. Pastors don’t get to decide whatever they want. There are rules. And even if rules are man made ones in a church, they are still to be respected and obeyed.

    However. What binds us together as Lutherans is what our Confessions say to us.

    Our confessions , following st Paul, say that we Lutherans simply do not commune anyone until they have first been 1) examined and 2) absolved.

    I would note Helen that in the case of a visitor, the rule would not be a) no non-Lutherans are to be communed.

    on the other hand, if someone tells the pastor that they are Lutheran, or even a lapsed RC, the pastor might be more able to assume that that person has been examined and absolved. For others the pastor may need to examine the individual more carefully. But I know of baptists who a) believe that they or even an unbeliever receives the body and blood of Christ in the blessed sacrament, and b) they have been baptized and c) they would have no problem with a pastor absolving them . Why not commune them Helen F if they dont already have a church home? What would be contrary to our Confessions in doing that? I can think , on the other hand, how it might be a bad judgement call NOT to commune such a person.

    by the way “judgement call”. Pastors are appointed by God to rule over their flock. It is for them to make such judgements and do so faithfully. they have some discretion and leeway. Sometimes they make mistakes. God sent sinful humans and not angels to be pastors. We need to respect the office they have, and the decisions they make. we pray for them and cover their faults when we think they have erred. We might discreetly talk to them about some perceived error, but in the end we need to be careful that this is not meddling. We should take care in this for judges and politicians as well. They are placed where they are by God. Our voting for them or calling them does not mean that we placed them there.

    One way to practice the confessional practice this is to just have a one-size-fits-all rule that says that no non-LCMS person will be communed. that means no WELS, no other confessional lutheran as well I guess. this would ensure, for the most part, that we commune only those who have been examined and absolved. i think this is just plain laziness, and i would never ever ever accuse an individual pastor of that . But we can always, all of us, do better.

  • fws

    helen F @ 83

    No Helen. I am not saying that a methodist or RC should be communed by a Lutheran pastor. I say Lutheran rather than LCMS because the practice needs to be in agreement with what our Lutheran Confessions say, and not , necessarily , according to some LCMS policy.

    I hesitate to make that last statement. Pastors are to respect the laws of the Church body they are a part of. It would be to disrupt the unity of the church to not do so. Pastors don’t get to decide whatever they want. There are rules. And even if rules are man made ones in a church, they are still to be respected and obeyed.

    However. What binds us together as Lutherans is what our Confessions say to us.

    Our confessions , following st Paul, say that we Lutherans simply do not commune anyone until they have first been 1) examined and 2) absolved.

    I would note Helen that in the case of a visitor, the rule would not be a) no non-Lutherans are to be communed.

    on the other hand, if someone tells the pastor that they are Lutheran, or even a lapsed RC, the pastor might be more able to assume that that person has been examined and absolved. For others the pastor may need to examine the individual more carefully. But I know of baptists who a) believe that they or even an unbeliever receives the body and blood of Christ in the blessed sacrament, and b) they have been baptized and c) they would have no problem with a pastor absolving them . Why not commune them Helen F if they dont already have a church home? What would be contrary to our Confessions in doing that? I can think , on the other hand, how it might be a bad judgement call NOT to commune such a person.

    by the way “judgement call”. Pastors are appointed by God to rule over their flock. It is for them to make such judgements and do so faithfully. they have some discretion and leeway. Sometimes they make mistakes. God sent sinful humans and not angels to be pastors. We need to respect the office they have, and the decisions they make. we pray for them and cover their faults when we think they have erred. We might discreetly talk to them about some perceived error, but in the end we need to be careful that this is not meddling. We should take care in this for judges and politicians as well. They are placed where they are by God. Our voting for them or calling them does not mean that we placed them there.

    One way to practice the confessional practice this is to just have a one-size-fits-all rule that says that no non-LCMS person will be communed. that means no WELS, no other confessional lutheran as well I guess. this would ensure, for the most part, that we commune only those who have been examined and absolved. i think this is just plain laziness, and i would never ever ever accuse an individual pastor of that . But we can always, all of us, do better.

  • fws

    helen @ 81

    “Sometimes it is actually demanded by our confessional and Lutheran practices. Pastors are to ensure that the baptized have been examined and absolved before they are communed. ”

    What I mean by that is exactly this Helen F: It is also the urgent duty of all Lutheran pastors to ensure that the baptized are communed!

    This too is something our Confessions urge upon the consciences of pastors. So pastors also are to take care to not deny the Body and Blood of Christ without a very , very good reason. It would be unwise then , at best, to shackle a pastor to some one-size-fits-all blanket rule. And a Lutheran Pastor would be required to refuse such a rule.

    Keep in mind that all LCMS pastors take an oath to follow the Lutheran Confessions. If there is some Synod policy that conflicts with them doing that, then you know Helen what they need to do.

    At the same time, I don’t think that there actually is such a wooden policy in the LCMS. There may be in the WELS and ELS. I don’t really know for sure. One of the pastors here might be better able to respond on this point dear Helen F

  • fws

    helen @ 81

    “Sometimes it is actually demanded by our confessional and Lutheran practices. Pastors are to ensure that the baptized have been examined and absolved before they are communed. ”

    What I mean by that is exactly this Helen F: It is also the urgent duty of all Lutheran pastors to ensure that the baptized are communed!

    This too is something our Confessions urge upon the consciences of pastors. So pastors also are to take care to not deny the Body and Blood of Christ without a very , very good reason. It would be unwise then , at best, to shackle a pastor to some one-size-fits-all blanket rule. And a Lutheran Pastor would be required to refuse such a rule.

    Keep in mind that all LCMS pastors take an oath to follow the Lutheran Confessions. If there is some Synod policy that conflicts with them doing that, then you know Helen what they need to do.

    At the same time, I don’t think that there actually is such a wooden policy in the LCMS. There may be in the WELS and ELS. I don’t really know for sure. One of the pastors here might be better able to respond on this point dear Helen F

  • fws

    bror @ 52 correction at 72

    to think that we can adopt the natural law views of the great scholastic st thomas (and he was truly great!), without drifting into the rest of the error of scholasticism , is equivalent to this :

    thinking we can adopt the worship forms of the evangelicals or the church growth methods of the evangelicals, and not also end up adopting the rest of their theology.

    there are reasons why st thomas developed his natural law theories based upon aristotle. And those reasons are foundational to his entire system and that of the scholastics that the Apology rejects.

  • fws

    bror @ 52 correction at 72

    to think that we can adopt the natural law views of the great scholastic st thomas (and he was truly great!), without drifting into the rest of the error of scholasticism , is equivalent to this :

    thinking we can adopt the worship forms of the evangelicals or the church growth methods of the evangelicals, and not also end up adopting the rest of their theology.

    there are reasons why st thomas developed his natural law theories based upon aristotle. And those reasons are foundational to his entire system and that of the scholastics that the Apology rejects.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @84
    My faith and the faith of the other Lutherans here is not in Luther, but Jesus. I have never lost sight of the cross.

    You really do not understand us do you?

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @84
    My faith and the faith of the other Lutherans here is not in Luther, but Jesus. I have never lost sight of the cross.

    You really do not understand us do you?

  • kerner

    Helen F @83:

    The trouble with “closed communion” is that it has come to mean blanket refusal to commune anyone who belongs to a church with whom we are not in pulpit fellowship. I have looked for support for that practice in the Lutheran Confessions, and I simply haven’t found very much of it. I think the primary criteria are that the person seeking communion be a penitent Christian. Since we can’t read people’s hearts, we tend to rely on external signs. Being a confirmed Lutheran (of our confession) is easy, but not always an accurate indicator. Still, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, when the confirmed Lutheran confesses and is absolved (as happens at the beginning of the service) we don’t ask for more than that.

    A visitor presents a more complicated problem, because being “examined”, to use the term fws uses, may take a lot more time. How can we know for a fact that this person is even a baptized Christian, much less penitent and seeking forgiveness as conveyed in the sacrament, without a fairly thorough conversation with the Pastor? So, I do not advocate admitting anyone to communion without a second thought. Yet I can’t bring myself to approve of a blanket denial either.

    So, I think it would be possible, though maybe not likely, that a person from any of the denominations you have mentioned could satisfy a LCMS pastor that the person was (a) a Christian, and (b) penitent and seeking forgiveness of his/her sins. While it might be really unlikely that, say, a Methodist would be able to convince a Lutheran Pastor that the Methodist believed that communion had anything to do with being forgiven, I can’t really say it would be impossible. So I agree with fws that this needs to be a pastoral decision that should be made on a case by case basis, and that making a “one size fits all” rule may just be laziness.

  • kerner

    Helen F @83:

    The trouble with “closed communion” is that it has come to mean blanket refusal to commune anyone who belongs to a church with whom we are not in pulpit fellowship. I have looked for support for that practice in the Lutheran Confessions, and I simply haven’t found very much of it. I think the primary criteria are that the person seeking communion be a penitent Christian. Since we can’t read people’s hearts, we tend to rely on external signs. Being a confirmed Lutheran (of our confession) is easy, but not always an accurate indicator. Still, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, when the confirmed Lutheran confesses and is absolved (as happens at the beginning of the service) we don’t ask for more than that.

    A visitor presents a more complicated problem, because being “examined”, to use the term fws uses, may take a lot more time. How can we know for a fact that this person is even a baptized Christian, much less penitent and seeking forgiveness as conveyed in the sacrament, without a fairly thorough conversation with the Pastor? So, I do not advocate admitting anyone to communion without a second thought. Yet I can’t bring myself to approve of a blanket denial either.

    So, I think it would be possible, though maybe not likely, that a person from any of the denominations you have mentioned could satisfy a LCMS pastor that the person was (a) a Christian, and (b) penitent and seeking forgiveness of his/her sins. While it might be really unlikely that, say, a Methodist would be able to convince a Lutheran Pastor that the Methodist believed that communion had anything to do with being forgiven, I can’t really say it would be impossible. So I agree with fws that this needs to be a pastoral decision that should be made on a case by case basis, and that making a “one size fits all” rule may just be laziness.

  • kerner

    Grace @84:

    Come on, we have been over this before. Read the works of any prominent writer and you will often find changes in their opinions over time. Luther was just a man. We may think of him as a great man, among a universally fallen and sinful human race, but never any more than that.

    In the case of which books belong in the Bible, you have to aree with us that Luther may have started in the wrong place, but he ended up absolutely correct. Because the Bible Luther translated and published has exactly the same books in it as yours does, you can’t seriously claim that Luther was wrong about that in the end.

    On other subjects, Luther undoubtedly went from right to wrong. Maybe he sometimes started out wrong and stayed wrong.

    Only in the Lutheran confessions do we think that Luther (and the other confessional writers) hit the right answers spot on.

  • kerner

    Grace @84:

    Come on, we have been over this before. Read the works of any prominent writer and you will often find changes in their opinions over time. Luther was just a man. We may think of him as a great man, among a universally fallen and sinful human race, but never any more than that.

    In the case of which books belong in the Bible, you have to aree with us that Luther may have started in the wrong place, but he ended up absolutely correct. Because the Bible Luther translated and published has exactly the same books in it as yours does, you can’t seriously claim that Luther was wrong about that in the end.

    On other subjects, Luther undoubtedly went from right to wrong. Maybe he sometimes started out wrong and stayed wrong.

    Only in the Lutheran confessions do we think that Luther (and the other confessional writers) hit the right answers spot on.

  • kerner

    fws @87 et seq:

    I haven’t commented on this for some time, Frank, because I have been trying to study this subject in the detail that you have. But I am still unconvinced that for Christians (or maybe for anybody else) all there is to the Law is the golden rule + reason. I think the confessions teach that our reason is flawed and clouded by our flesh, such that we are not really capable of knowing “what love looks like” without the sometimes specific guidance of the law as written. We will remain that way as long as we are in this life.

  • kerner

    fws @87 et seq:

    I haven’t commented on this for some time, Frank, because I have been trying to study this subject in the detail that you have. But I am still unconvinced that for Christians (or maybe for anybody else) all there is to the Law is the golden rule + reason. I think the confessions teach that our reason is flawed and clouded by our flesh, such that we are not really capable of knowing “what love looks like” without the sometimes specific guidance of the law as written. We will remain that way as long as we are in this life.

  • Jim

    I also like the AFLC and will become a member soon. I started Lutheranism at an ELCA church, but after several months it was clear they are more concerned with bowing to Political Correctness than to the true God. I then tried LCMS, which sounds good in theory, but in my Southern state, a couple denominations nearby had, in the last decade, changed to Spanish-speaking only. The English speaking church has not had a permanent pastor in almost 2 years, I was beginning to wonder if that would ever change. Wisconsin Synod … the closest one is over an hour away. I almost went back to shallow evangelicalism, but I found an AFLC church that I’m happy with.

    kerner@57 – I agree, I wish AFLC would change their name, every time I see AFLC I picture a duck screaming “AFLAC” at me, not very comforting!

  • Jim

    I also like the AFLC and will become a member soon. I started Lutheranism at an ELCA church, but after several months it was clear they are more concerned with bowing to Political Correctness than to the true God. I then tried LCMS, which sounds good in theory, but in my Southern state, a couple denominations nearby had, in the last decade, changed to Spanish-speaking only. The English speaking church has not had a permanent pastor in almost 2 years, I was beginning to wonder if that would ever change. Wisconsin Synod … the closest one is over an hour away. I almost went back to shallow evangelicalism, but I found an AFLC church that I’m happy with.

    kerner@57 – I agree, I wish AFLC would change their name, every time I see AFLC I picture a duck screaming “AFLAC” at me, not very comforting!

  • Grace

    Kerner

    The LORD’S Supper, not to be shared by certain churches with Bible Believers, is enough to separate those who believe themselves superior, with everyone else. I cannot imagine the shock, when some of the Lutheran’s find themselves at the ‘Marriage Supper of the LAMB, sitting next to a Born Again Christian such as myself, who has denied the LORD’S Supper to us.

    The whole group, divided as you may be in many areas, reminds me of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s roots embedded, not to be disturbed, the Bible set aside (not entirely) the books of the church and all the catechism’s brought forth – feeling justified under the commands of the Lutheran church, which honors Martin Luther.

  • Grace

    Kerner

    The LORD’S Supper, not to be shared by certain churches with Bible Believers, is enough to separate those who believe themselves superior, with everyone else. I cannot imagine the shock, when some of the Lutheran’s find themselves at the ‘Marriage Supper of the LAMB, sitting next to a Born Again Christian such as myself, who has denied the LORD’S Supper to us.

    The whole group, divided as you may be in many areas, reminds me of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s roots embedded, not to be disturbed, the Bible set aside (not entirely) the books of the church and all the catechism’s brought forth – feeling justified under the commands of the Lutheran church, which honors Martin Luther.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, take your anti-Lutheran screeds somewhere else. You’ve been warned. (On this thread, that is — you have, of course, been warned many, many times in the past about this behavior.)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, take your anti-Lutheran screeds somewhere else. You’ve been warned. (On this thread, that is — you have, of course, been warned many, many times in the past about this behavior.)

  • kerner

    Anthony @66:

    I don’t want to hijack this thread, soplease e-mail me at

    kernerlaw@sbcglobal.net

    so I can ask you about the following:

    1. I tried to get on strangeherring.com, but it’s by invitation only. can I get on?

    2. Speaking of strange herring, I stumbled across this, and it scared me: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/extremely-strange-giant-herring-found-20100512-uvd9.html

    3. Hey! I liked Captain America.

  • kerner

    Anthony @66:

    I don’t want to hijack this thread, soplease e-mail me at

    kernerlaw@sbcglobal.net

    so I can ask you about the following:

    1. I tried to get on strangeherring.com, but it’s by invitation only. can I get on?

    2. Speaking of strange herring, I stumbled across this, and it scared me: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/extremely-strange-giant-herring-found-20100512-uvd9.html

    3. Hey! I liked Captain America.

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

    left the ELCA when it became pro-death and pro- homosexual-
    do not care for the LCMS MCPigishness- so have left that after 20 years–
    looked for a Danish Lutheran Church-seems that ‘denomination’ is the only one standing up against Sharia (Islamic) law…
    so-would be will to check out the mini-Lutheran off-shoots-

    Carol-CS-
    Founder Pres of LA Lutherans for Life…

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

    left the ELCA when it became pro-death and pro- homosexual-
    do not care for the LCMS MCPigishness- so have left that after 20 years–
    looked for a Danish Lutheran Church-seems that ‘denomination’ is the only one standing up against Sharia (Islamic) law…
    so-would be will to check out the mini-Lutheran off-shoots-

    Carol-CS-
    Founder Pres of LA Lutherans for Life…

  • kerner

    Grace @ 93:

    Well, it’s kind of a conundrum for us. We see the urgency, because you may have been denying the Lord’s Supper to yourselves all these years, by denying what it is and what it does. The sacraments aren’t sacraments without God’s Word, and your Church denies what God’s Word says about communion. Some churches even come right out in the service and deny the plain meaning of the words of institution as the elements are passed around. Since you deny what God’s Word says about Holy Communion, it is quite possble that you have never really been to the Lord’s Supper in your life (although I sincerely hope that is not the case).

    But how then could we give you the Lord’s Supper seeing as you have no faith in it nor in what God’s Word says about it?

    If I am mistaken about what Calvary Chapel teaches about Holy Communion, I’ll stand corrected, but I’m pretty sure I won’t have to.

  • kerner

    Grace @ 93:

    Well, it’s kind of a conundrum for us. We see the urgency, because you may have been denying the Lord’s Supper to yourselves all these years, by denying what it is and what it does. The sacraments aren’t sacraments without God’s Word, and your Church denies what God’s Word says about communion. Some churches even come right out in the service and deny the plain meaning of the words of institution as the elements are passed around. Since you deny what God’s Word says about Holy Communion, it is quite possble that you have never really been to the Lord’s Supper in your life (although I sincerely hope that is not the case).

    But how then could we give you the Lord’s Supper seeing as you have no faith in it nor in what God’s Word says about it?

    If I am mistaken about what Calvary Chapel teaches about Holy Communion, I’ll stand corrected, but I’m pretty sure I won’t have to.

  • kerner

    (cont.)

    Although I must say that, when we get to heaven, I will not be shocked to find myself sitting down with you at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. At least then we’ll both understand where we are and what we are doing.

  • kerner

    (cont.)

    Although I must say that, when we get to heaven, I will not be shocked to find myself sitting down with you at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. At least then we’ll both understand where we are and what we are doing.

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

    “The Lutheran Confessions state that it is the Lutheran practice to not commune anyone until they have been first examined and absolved.”

    Isn’t that also the case for Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox?

    Wasn’t it always so? Lutherans saying they conform to the standard was a defense against those saying that Lutherans were making stuff up and discarding tradition, so Lutherans were saying, “No, we’re not, we only commune the examined and absolved.”

    Is that right?

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

    “The Lutheran Confessions state that it is the Lutheran practice to not commune anyone until they have been first examined and absolved.”

    Isn’t that also the case for Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox?

    Wasn’t it always so? Lutherans saying they conform to the standard was a defense against those saying that Lutherans were making stuff up and discarding tradition, so Lutherans were saying, “No, we’re not, we only commune the examined and absolved.”

    Is that right?

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

    “Lutheran’s find themselves at the ‘Marriage Supper of the LAMB, sitting next to a Born Again Christian such as myself, who has denied the LORD’S Supper to us.”

    But what have disbelievers been denied that they haven’t already denied themselves?

    I mean, if you don’t believe it is Christ’s body and blood, then you are griping over a cracker.

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

    “Lutheran’s find themselves at the ‘Marriage Supper of the LAMB, sitting next to a Born Again Christian such as myself, who has denied the LORD’S Supper to us.”

    But what have disbelievers been denied that they haven’t already denied themselves?

    I mean, if you don’t believe it is Christ’s body and blood, then you are griping over a cracker.

  • Helen F

    fws & others,
    Help me out here. I get the impression that what one’s confession is coming to the altar is of no significance? i.e. an ELCA member attends an LCMS church and the pastor and cong. is supposed to assume that they also believe what the LCMS teaches? In other words, if it has been established that a person holds a differenent confession than what we in the LCMS believe, teach and confess that the pastor has a “duty” to commmune such a one?

  • Helen F

    fws & others,
    Help me out here. I get the impression that what one’s confession is coming to the altar is of no significance? i.e. an ELCA member attends an LCMS church and the pastor and cong. is supposed to assume that they also believe what the LCMS teaches? In other words, if it has been established that a person holds a differenent confession than what we in the LCMS believe, teach and confess that the pastor has a “duty” to commmune such a one?

  • fws

    kerner @ 91

    “I think the confessions teach that our reason is flawed and clouded by our flesh, such that we are not really capable of knowing “what love looks like” without the sometimes specific guidance of the law as written. ”

    I think actually Kerner you hit on an important point here. I say that because I see this assertion cropping up again and again, and, in fact, I think maybe it is how I was even catechised.

    The idea is that the Law was given twice. First it was written in the hearts of men, then men fell so … the Law also fell ! So “Let your conscience be your guide” is now a dangerous dictum this means and is very bad advice. So then God was obliged to reissue the Law , a second time, as the Decalog again to restore the Law which was badly damaged.

    There are a couple of problems with this Kerner.

    1) I don’t thing you really found even a hint of this reasoning in our Confessions. I suggest it is something you learned somewhere and it has just become an integral part of your thinking. It was my own thinking till not so long ago actually. Where did this idea come from ? Scriptures? Confessions? I can’t find it. Calvin? Yup. He talks alot about this idea. Luther? Nope.

    2) So why does Calvin go there? Calvin locates the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness , in the Law. Specifically , Calvin locates the Law pre fall in the command to not eat the forbidden fruit. So the Law, and righteousness and the Image of God consisted of obedience to the Law. And then what is obedience to the Law? The Law exists as our opportunity to be obedient. There is no practical reason for the Law then , nor does there need to be one acknowledged. God is God. He makes the rules. The reason for those rules is to exercise our obedience.

    Note carefully what this view means kerner! this means that the Image of God has not been fully lost. It has only been “lost”. the Law in heart, which is the Image of God is like a mirror that has been shattered so badly that we can only see the traces of it in the shards. But… the Image of God remains… and so the Holy Spirit needs to fix things by gluing that mirror back together. Revealed Law! And so what is the function of Christ and the Gospel? To allow for that healing mirror glueing to happen. This is really what both Rome and Geneva teach.

    The Lutheran Confessions say instead that Adamic Original Righeousness and the Image of God are, alone, faith in Christ alone.

    So why is it that they say that Reason is the Divine Law written in the minds of men (and not in their hearts!)? And that this is why Reason agrees with the Decalog, because it is the same Law?

    It is a setup for the argument that the Jeremiah 31 is a prophecy that the Law will be written in the hearts of men, and that this can only happen when faith has been restored.

    And then they agree with you that there is something Reason is blind to, or is “veiled with the Veil of Moses” .

    The Law is of the opinion that we can fully keep the Law by what we do. however there is only one place , “peculiarly ” located only in the Decalog! In it’s first table that negates that idea. And what is it that that first table of the Decalog teaches, alone, that the Law in one’s conscience will not teach? It is this Kerner: it is that God demands not only an outward conformity to the law whcih the confessions define as our “outward ” acts of right faith and believing, thinking or emotions, and yes actions.

    God demands rather that our entire heart be behind all our outward acts, that we do them with our whole heart with joy even as Christ did the Law. And this we cannot do withhout “new heart movements”.

    I hope that helps you in your studies Kerner. If you do not agree, you can at least test what I am proposing against the Confessions and Holy Scripture.

  • fws

    kerner @ 91

    “I think the confessions teach that our reason is flawed and clouded by our flesh, such that we are not really capable of knowing “what love looks like” without the sometimes specific guidance of the law as written. ”

    I think actually Kerner you hit on an important point here. I say that because I see this assertion cropping up again and again, and, in fact, I think maybe it is how I was even catechised.

    The idea is that the Law was given twice. First it was written in the hearts of men, then men fell so … the Law also fell ! So “Let your conscience be your guide” is now a dangerous dictum this means and is very bad advice. So then God was obliged to reissue the Law , a second time, as the Decalog again to restore the Law which was badly damaged.

    There are a couple of problems with this Kerner.

    1) I don’t thing you really found even a hint of this reasoning in our Confessions. I suggest it is something you learned somewhere and it has just become an integral part of your thinking. It was my own thinking till not so long ago actually. Where did this idea come from ? Scriptures? Confessions? I can’t find it. Calvin? Yup. He talks alot about this idea. Luther? Nope.

    2) So why does Calvin go there? Calvin locates the Image of God and Adamic Original Righeousness , in the Law. Specifically , Calvin locates the Law pre fall in the command to not eat the forbidden fruit. So the Law, and righteousness and the Image of God consisted of obedience to the Law. And then what is obedience to the Law? The Law exists as our opportunity to be obedient. There is no practical reason for the Law then , nor does there need to be one acknowledged. God is God. He makes the rules. The reason for those rules is to exercise our obedience.

    Note carefully what this view means kerner! this means that the Image of God has not been fully lost. It has only been “lost”. the Law in heart, which is the Image of God is like a mirror that has been shattered so badly that we can only see the traces of it in the shards. But… the Image of God remains… and so the Holy Spirit needs to fix things by gluing that mirror back together. Revealed Law! And so what is the function of Christ and the Gospel? To allow for that healing mirror glueing to happen. This is really what both Rome and Geneva teach.

    The Lutheran Confessions say instead that Adamic Original Righeousness and the Image of God are, alone, faith in Christ alone.

    So why is it that they say that Reason is the Divine Law written in the minds of men (and not in their hearts!)? And that this is why Reason agrees with the Decalog, because it is the same Law?

    It is a setup for the argument that the Jeremiah 31 is a prophecy that the Law will be written in the hearts of men, and that this can only happen when faith has been restored.

    And then they agree with you that there is something Reason is blind to, or is “veiled with the Veil of Moses” .

    The Law is of the opinion that we can fully keep the Law by what we do. however there is only one place , “peculiarly ” located only in the Decalog! In it’s first table that negates that idea. And what is it that that first table of the Decalog teaches, alone, that the Law in one’s conscience will not teach? It is this Kerner: it is that God demands not only an outward conformity to the law whcih the confessions define as our “outward ” acts of right faith and believing, thinking or emotions, and yes actions.

    God demands rather that our entire heart be behind all our outward acts, that we do them with our whole heart with joy even as Christ did the Law. And this we cannot do withhout “new heart movements”.

    I hope that helps you in your studies Kerner. If you do not agree, you can at least test what I am proposing against the Confessions and Holy Scripture.

  • fws

    kerner @ 89

    The pastor is not to try to examine someone to see if they are a true believer. Lutherans know that that task is reserved for Christ at the end of the age.

    Lutherans are therefore to ask “have you been baptized?” If the answer to that is a “yes”, then we must assume, in love, not in faith, that that person is a believer and address that person accordingly. This is the Lutheran practice that our Confessions teach us.

    So the part about “examining and absolving” is about what? It is about closed communion for one thing. When this was confessed in our Confessions 100% of Germany was baptized. We have to interpret the Confessions against that fact here.

    Secondly it is not even about determining who is and who is not a member of the Holy Catholic Church, or visible church that is composed of both hypocrites and true believers (apology article “on the church”). If you are baptized , you are in! this is true even if you are gay , or even if you are a manifestly impenitent sinner (these two examples are not necessarily the same thing I would point out….I can be your proof for this). If one is excommunicated, they are exiled from that earthly government we call church and we are to trea that someone “as if” they are an unbeliever. Which means we are to evangelize them all the more. But we are to maintain the peace of that government at the same time.

    So what then is that “examine and absolve ” all about if it is not even to determine who is or is not in the visible Holy Catholic Church which should and does contain hypocrites and true believers alike?

    It is about what St Paul when he says that a man should examine himself. We are saying that it is precisely the pastor’s duty to ensure that any baptized one is equipped to do precisely that before we commune them!

    And that is not only to know that both the true believers AND the hypocrites receive the body and blood of Christ since this does not depend upon our faith to happen but rather it depends upon the Promise of Christ. That is important to know, but this fact exists whether we know it or not.

    What is really important is that the baptized one is absolved. That he knows he can be certain where he can find that Absolution that alone Christ can give. So where do we find the forgiveness of sins? We must be certain that we find it ‘in, with and under” bread and wine. that is where we find that Absolution. and from the words of the Ordained pastor spoken over our sins by Christ’s Command and in his stead as well!

  • fws

    kerner @ 89

    The pastor is not to try to examine someone to see if they are a true believer. Lutherans know that that task is reserved for Christ at the end of the age.

    Lutherans are therefore to ask “have you been baptized?” If the answer to that is a “yes”, then we must assume, in love, not in faith, that that person is a believer and address that person accordingly. This is the Lutheran practice that our Confessions teach us.

    So the part about “examining and absolving” is about what? It is about closed communion for one thing. When this was confessed in our Confessions 100% of Germany was baptized. We have to interpret the Confessions against that fact here.

    Secondly it is not even about determining who is and who is not a member of the Holy Catholic Church, or visible church that is composed of both hypocrites and true believers (apology article “on the church”). If you are baptized , you are in! this is true even if you are gay , or even if you are a manifestly impenitent sinner (these two examples are not necessarily the same thing I would point out….I can be your proof for this). If one is excommunicated, they are exiled from that earthly government we call church and we are to trea that someone “as if” they are an unbeliever. Which means we are to evangelize them all the more. But we are to maintain the peace of that government at the same time.

    So what then is that “examine and absolve ” all about if it is not even to determine who is or is not in the visible Holy Catholic Church which should and does contain hypocrites and true believers alike?

    It is about what St Paul when he says that a man should examine himself. We are saying that it is precisely the pastor’s duty to ensure that any baptized one is equipped to do precisely that before we commune them!

    And that is not only to know that both the true believers AND the hypocrites receive the body and blood of Christ since this does not depend upon our faith to happen but rather it depends upon the Promise of Christ. That is important to know, but this fact exists whether we know it or not.

    What is really important is that the baptized one is absolved. That he knows he can be certain where he can find that Absolution that alone Christ can give. So where do we find the forgiveness of sins? We must be certain that we find it ‘in, with and under” bread and wine. that is where we find that Absolution. and from the words of the Ordained pastor spoken over our sins by Christ’s Command and in his stead as well!

  • fws

    Kerner @ 89

    And we cant forget that there is also the urgency in our Confessions that Pastors take all care to ensure that a troubled conscience is feed the Bread of Life in the Holy Supper.

    So the Law, and it is Law in this case, is not just to do a negative, it’s ultimate goal is to do Love. In this case it is to guide a baptized one with a troubled conscience to know, for certain, where it is he can receive the forgiveness of sins that alone will stop his conscience from constantly accusing him.

    God can only become an Object of Love when the Law can no longer accuse us.

  • fws

    Kerner @ 89

    And we cant forget that there is also the urgency in our Confessions that Pastors take all care to ensure that a troubled conscience is feed the Bread of Life in the Holy Supper.

    So the Law, and it is Law in this case, is not just to do a negative, it’s ultimate goal is to do Love. In this case it is to guide a baptized one with a troubled conscience to know, for certain, where it is he can receive the forgiveness of sins that alone will stop his conscience from constantly accusing him.

    God can only become an Object of Love when the Law can no longer accuse us.

  • Grace

    Kerner @ 97 and 98

    I have posted repeaatedly this passage of Scripture:

    Below is the link and thread:

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/06/27/where-are-the-lutherans/#comments

    100 Grace June 27, 2011 at 5:30 pm
    I believe the Scripture as stated below, regarding the LORD’s Supper.

    53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
    54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
    55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
    56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
    57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
    58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
    John 6

  • Grace

    Kerner @ 97 and 98

    I have posted repeaatedly this passage of Scripture:

    Below is the link and thread:

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/06/27/where-are-the-lutherans/#comments

    100 Grace June 27, 2011 at 5:30 pm
    I believe the Scripture as stated below, regarding the LORD’s Supper.

    53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
    54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
    55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
    56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
    57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
    58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
    John 6

  • kerner

    Grace @105:

    What does that mean to you? What, if anything, does that passage say about Holy Communion?

  • kerner

    Grace @105:

    What does that mean to you? What, if anything, does that passage say about Holy Communion?

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

    Kerner, I think you would enjoy reading Pastor Kurowski’s book “Close Communion Conversations” as he tackles indepth the problems you outline. In large part I agree with his assesment, I think you probably would too. http://www.lawgospel.com/

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

    Kerner, I think you would enjoy reading Pastor Kurowski’s book “Close Communion Conversations” as he tackles indepth the problems you outline. In large part I agree with his assesment, I think you probably would too. http://www.lawgospel.com/

  • WebMonk

    kerner – you’ve been down this path with Grace many times before. You know where it’s headed and the asinine statements and hatred that are regularly spewed once those “conversations” with her get going. Do you really want to take part in a conversation destined to go down that trail?

    Remember.

  • WebMonk

    kerner – you’ve been down this path with Grace many times before. You know where it’s headed and the asinine statements and hatred that are regularly spewed once those “conversations” with her get going. Do you really want to take part in a conversation destined to go down that trail?

    Remember.

  • Helen F

    WebMonk & Kerner,
    I wonder if this applies:

    “But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.” Titus 3:9-11

  • Helen F

    WebMonk & Kerner,
    I wonder if this applies:

    “But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.” Titus 3:9-11

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Steve Martin, #53: “Inerrant text of the Bible is a Southern Baptist doctrine. As far as I know (correct me if I am wrong) that type of understanding of Scripture is required for LCMS in it’s official documents.

    For all those LCMS congregations and pastors that do not have that doctrine, I say God bless them, they understand what the Word is.”

    Given your assumption that an inerrant understanding of Scripture is required for LCMS in its official documents, are you sure that there are LCMS congregations and LCMS pastors that do NOT uphold this required understanding by the LCMS that Scripture is inerrant?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Steve Martin, #53: “Inerrant text of the Bible is a Southern Baptist doctrine. As far as I know (correct me if I am wrong) that type of understanding of Scripture is required for LCMS in it’s official documents.

    For all those LCMS congregations and pastors that do not have that doctrine, I say God bless them, they understand what the Word is.”

    Given your assumption that an inerrant understanding of Scripture is required for LCMS in its official documents, are you sure that there are LCMS congregations and LCMS pastors that do NOT uphold this required understanding by the LCMS that Scripture is inerrant?

  • Grace

    Helen F @ 109

    Great passage of Scripture!

    That is exactly the passage and reason, I did not answer the question yesterday, after it was posed, AGAIN. I have answered that question on many occasions.

  • Grace

    Helen F @ 109

    Great passage of Scripture!

    That is exactly the passage and reason, I did not answer the question yesterday, after it was posed, AGAIN. I have answered that question on many occasions.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@111),

    That is exactly the passage and reason, I did not answer the question yesterday, after it was posed, AGAIN. I have answered that question on many occasions.

    Oh, so you want to avoid repetition, then? Let’s ask Grace (@105):

    I have posted repeaatedly this passage of Scripture

    Hmm. Let’s see. So you think it’s okay for you to repeatedly — and, quite obviously, divisively — raise the same points, over and over. But it’s beneath you to ever answer questions about the points you raise?

    So … you’re committed to not having a conversation, then? Why do you post here, then?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@111),

    That is exactly the passage and reason, I did not answer the question yesterday, after it was posed, AGAIN. I have answered that question on many occasions.

    Oh, so you want to avoid repetition, then? Let’s ask Grace (@105):

    I have posted repeaatedly this passage of Scripture

    Hmm. Let’s see. So you think it’s okay for you to repeatedly — and, quite obviously, divisively — raise the same points, over and over. But it’s beneath you to ever answer questions about the points you raise?

    So … you’re committed to not having a conversation, then? Why do you post here, then?


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