Chapel at Harvard

Harvard Divinity School professor Stephanie Paulsell tells about worshipping at Harvard:

On Wednesdays at noon we gather for community worship organized by a student steering committee and the director of religious and spiritual life. When I first came to Harvard Divinity School, the weekly community worship service was deeply ecumenical. While the shape of the service was recognizably Protestant, it also possessed a flexibility born of a desire to create a welcoming, open space for people of different theological and religious backgrounds.

Over the years, as our school has become more multireligious, our students have urged us toward new ways of gathering for community worship. Even the most welcoming service can obscure our distinctiveness, they told us. We want to be with each other as we truly are, they said. We want to be present for each other’s prayers and rituals and practices. We want to be led in Torah study by the Jewish students and in Friday prayers by the Muslims; to listen to a dharma talk with the Buddhist students and hear a sermon with the Baptists; to be with the Episcopalian students for the Eucharist and with the Hindus for puja; to light Advent candles with the Roman Catholics, offer prayers at the flaming chalice with the Unitarian Universalists and keep silence with the Quakers.

These days our community worship is led by one of the religious communities in our school. We begin with brief opening words (our beloved Protestant forms persist!) and a lifting up of the prayers, hopes and longings collected in a notebook at the door of the chapel. Then we enter into the practice of a particular religious community, joining in where we can, maintaining a respectful presence where we feel we cannot. Each week, as the distinctiveness of each tradition becomes visible, we can see more clearly the differences between our ritual practices, our holy books, our music and our conceptions of the divine, and we see the family resemblances, the shared concerns—what Thomas Merton called the “wider oikoumene” of the human family.

The desire of students to be present to each other as distinctively religious people seems to me characteristic of this generation—or at least of this current crop of divinity students. While earlier generations sometimes muted explicit religious symbolism out of a desire to cross the boundaries of difference, this generation seems to be more convinced that it is from the specificity of our religious traditions that we will reach one another.

via Devotional difference: A pluralistic community’s worship life | The Christian Century.

Yes, this is syncretism, celebrated at one of our most prestigious mainline seminaries and lauded in the mainline Christian Century.  This is where liberal theology is these days.  But note the difference.  A few years ago, what was once the multi-denominational and then became the multi-faith worship service would mush all of the different religions in a worship service that would be recognizable to none of them.  Now, though, the distinct worship services of the distinct religions are carried out, but everyone participates in them and honors them all equally.

This is the difference between ecumenism and polytheism.

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://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    They worship at the altar of Diversity.

    Diversity, as you will recall, is to be treasure above Truth (which doesn’t exist, anyway — that’s just a notional construct concocted by the oppressors ) in this post-modern world, because Diversity (if only we had it universally) will usher in the utopian existence… er, CO-existence of all people everywhere.

    Can’t we all just get along?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    They worship at the altar of Diversity.

    Diversity, as you will recall, is to be treasure above Truth (which doesn’t exist, anyway — that’s just a notional construct concocted by the oppressors ) in this post-modern world, because Diversity (if only we had it universally) will usher in the utopian existence… er, CO-existence of all people everywhere.

    Can’t we all just get along?

  • Kirk

    But couldn’t this also be a form of learning? If you’re undertaking religious studies, isn’t the best way to actually learn about religion by observing its practice? To be sure, I think the article above encourages participation, which is obviously beyond mere observation. Still, it would be interesting to have access to Friday prayers and a Baptist sermon all in one place, if just for the experience.

  • Kirk

    But couldn’t this also be a form of learning? If you’re undertaking religious studies, isn’t the best way to actually learn about religion by observing its practice? To be sure, I think the article above encourages participation, which is obviously beyond mere observation. Still, it would be interesting to have access to Friday prayers and a Baptist sermon all in one place, if just for the experience.

  • J.P.H.

    Atheism seems more likely than polytheism. I doubt most of the students actually credit the various religions whose services they sit through as “true”. They don’t simultaneously believe in a supernatural Yahweh, Vishnu, Allah and animistic Shinto spirits in the same way a polytheistic believer in ancient Greece might have believed Zeus, Athena and Artemis all “exist”.

    Most likely they just appreciate “the idea” of attending a religious service and/or are comforted by them. It’s a sort of group therapy. This was certainly the sense I got from the one Unitarian Universalist service I attended. It had the form of a church service, but without any doctrine. The people who attended seemed to want to “do church”, but were unwilling to exclude anyone based on their particular spiritual beliefs.

  • J.P.H.

    Atheism seems more likely than polytheism. I doubt most of the students actually credit the various religions whose services they sit through as “true”. They don’t simultaneously believe in a supernatural Yahweh, Vishnu, Allah and animistic Shinto spirits in the same way a polytheistic believer in ancient Greece might have believed Zeus, Athena and Artemis all “exist”.

    Most likely they just appreciate “the idea” of attending a religious service and/or are comforted by them. It’s a sort of group therapy. This was certainly the sense I got from the one Unitarian Universalist service I attended. It had the form of a church service, but without any doctrine. The people who attended seemed to want to “do church”, but were unwilling to exclude anyone based on their particular spiritual beliefs.

  • Ryan

    While there is no searching for truth, more of a community seeking… The practice describes looks as a small step away from syncretism in allowing each group to observe its worship intact. The syncretism is more related to the all are equal (though unique) vibe. The other syncretistic charge could be the use of shared ritual space, especially if the space itself was designated, in Harvard’s case, as a specifically Christian chapel.

  • Ryan

    While there is no searching for truth, more of a community seeking… The practice describes looks as a small step away from syncretism in allowing each group to observe its worship intact. The syncretism is more related to the all are equal (though unique) vibe. The other syncretistic charge could be the use of shared ritual space, especially if the space itself was designated, in Harvard’s case, as a specifically Christian chapel.

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    “A few years ago, what was once the multi-denominational and then became the multi-faith worship service would mush all of the different religions in a worship service that would be recognizable to none of them. ”
    I remember back when the ELCA was fusing itself with several other denominations, a commentary on NPR was critical of the move from a cultural standpoint. Their point: We just lost them all. In our pursuit of diversity, we just lost a bunch of diversity.

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    “A few years ago, what was once the multi-denominational and then became the multi-faith worship service would mush all of the different religions in a worship service that would be recognizable to none of them. ”
    I remember back when the ELCA was fusing itself with several other denominations, a commentary on NPR was critical of the move from a cultural standpoint. Their point: We just lost them all. In our pursuit of diversity, we just lost a bunch of diversity.

  • http://www.mattiechatham.wordpress.com Mattie Chatham

    I’m going to have to agree with Kirk here. This could possibly be, for some present, a polytheistic worship experience. But I think that it is more accurately a chance to observe and understand various traditions in a sincere and thoughtful manner, which is key to respectful and understanding dialog between various traditions. I may think that my Episcopal tradition is the true one, but that does not justify arrogance to the point of ignorance about what others practice and believe. Separatism is about fear, and Harvard is pushing beyond that tried-and-failed option.

  • http://www.mattiechatham.wordpress.com Mattie Chatham

    I’m going to have to agree with Kirk here. This could possibly be, for some present, a polytheistic worship experience. But I think that it is more accurately a chance to observe and understand various traditions in a sincere and thoughtful manner, which is key to respectful and understanding dialog between various traditions. I may think that my Episcopal tradition is the true one, but that does not justify arrogance to the point of ignorance about what others practice and believe. Separatism is about fear, and Harvard is pushing beyond that tried-and-failed option.

  • SKPeterson

    Mattie,

    Can you define your meaning with the use of “separatism”? The LCMS is concerned with syncretistic practices which muddy the proclamation of both the Law and the Gospel; as a result, it separates itself from those practices out of a concern for doctrinal purity. I don’t see that as acting out of fear, but rather a prudent judgment. Now, at the same time, it is important to understand other practices and traditions; one has to be able to discern true from false, adiaphora from non-adiaphora.

  • SKPeterson

    Mattie,

    Can you define your meaning with the use of “separatism”? The LCMS is concerned with syncretistic practices which muddy the proclamation of both the Law and the Gospel; as a result, it separates itself from those practices out of a concern for doctrinal purity. I don’t see that as acting out of fear, but rather a prudent judgment. Now, at the same time, it is important to understand other practices and traditions; one has to be able to discern true from false, adiaphora from non-adiaphora.

  • http://www.mattiechatham.wordpress.com Mattie Chatham

    When I say “separatism,” I’m thinking of the isolationist (or “us vs. them”) mindset prevalent among homeschoolers and reformed reconstructionists.

    The LCMS doesn’t have any power at Harvard, though?

  • http://www.mattiechatham.wordpress.com Mattie Chatham

    When I say “separatism,” I’m thinking of the isolationist (or “us vs. them”) mindset prevalent among homeschoolers and reformed reconstructionists.

    The LCMS doesn’t have any power at Harvard, though?

  • JunkerGeorg

    My initial thought is simply how such movements, whether it be a syncretistic unity or now to a polytheistic diversity, is but another reflection of fallen creation, of the historical “problem” of reconciling the “One” (universal) and the “Many” (particular) on both philosophical-religious and existential levels, in which one struggles to do justice to both “unity” and “diversity” simultaneously, but always ending up falling short on both in the process. Indeed, the Christ I believe, teach, and confess–the One Person Jesus Christ, True God and True Man–is the One and only One in Whom such reconciliation of the One and the Many, of Union and Communion is perfectly realized in terms of both integrity of each and harmony between both. Nowhere else but in Him is such unity and diversity realized.

    Now, such ruminations may make no sense to anyone else, but please bear with me, I’m currently soaring off of a post-French pressed, freshly home roasted full city, morning cup of Ethiopian Yrgacheffe, otherwise simply known as “Joe”. :)

  • JunkerGeorg

    My initial thought is simply how such movements, whether it be a syncretistic unity or now to a polytheistic diversity, is but another reflection of fallen creation, of the historical “problem” of reconciling the “One” (universal) and the “Many” (particular) on both philosophical-religious and existential levels, in which one struggles to do justice to both “unity” and “diversity” simultaneously, but always ending up falling short on both in the process. Indeed, the Christ I believe, teach, and confess–the One Person Jesus Christ, True God and True Man–is the One and only One in Whom such reconciliation of the One and the Many, of Union and Communion is perfectly realized in terms of both integrity of each and harmony between both. Nowhere else but in Him is such unity and diversity realized.

    Now, such ruminations may make no sense to anyone else, but please bear with me, I’m currently soaring off of a post-French pressed, freshly home roasted full city, morning cup of Ethiopian Yrgacheffe, otherwise simply known as “Joe”. :)

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Dr. Gene Veith: “Yes, this is syncretism, celebrated at one of our most prestigious mainline seminaries and lauded in the mainline Christian Century.

    This is where liberal theology is these days.

    Liberal. Theology.

    Syncretism.

    Pleasing to Satan.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Dr. Gene Veith: “Yes, this is syncretism, celebrated at one of our most prestigious mainline seminaries and lauded in the mainline Christian Century.

    This is where liberal theology is these days.

    Liberal. Theology.

    Syncretism.

    Pleasing to Satan.

  • Tom Hering

    SK @ 7, seperation that has the specific purpose of preserving the Gospel’s distinctiveness is a good thing. But we have to be careful, in preserving the Gospel, that we don’t make ourselves so seperate that we cut off opportunities to share the Gospel. (A problem unique to theologically conservative Lutherans?)

  • Tom Hering

    SK @ 7, seperation that has the specific purpose of preserving the Gospel’s distinctiveness is a good thing. But we have to be careful, in preserving the Gospel, that we don’t make ourselves so seperate that we cut off opportunities to share the Gospel. (A problem unique to theologically conservative Lutherans?)

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Whether it’s ecumenism or polythesim, it’s still a false religion (or religions, if you will).

    And I would polite remark to Mattie that not all Separatism is based upon fear. Some of it is based upon fact :D

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Whether it’s ecumenism or polythesim, it’s still a false religion (or religions, if you will).

    And I would polite remark to Mattie that not all Separatism is based upon fear. Some of it is based upon fact :D

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    polite=politely

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    polite=politely

  • CRB

    Just one more sign that we are in the Last Days!

    Come, Lord Jesus!

  • CRB

    Just one more sign that we are in the Last Days!

    Come, Lord Jesus!

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

    I remember back when the ELCA was fusing itself with several other denominations, a commentary on NPR was critical of the move from a cultural standpoint. Their point: We just lost them all. In our pursuit of diversity, we just lost a bunch of diversity.

    The thing is they want unity and diversity, but those are opposites.

    You can have one or the other.

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

    I remember back when the ELCA was fusing itself with several other denominations, a commentary on NPR was critical of the move from a cultural standpoint. Their point: We just lost them all. In our pursuit of diversity, we just lost a bunch of diversity.

    The thing is they want unity and diversity, but those are opposites.

    You can have one or the other.

  • SKPeterson

    Mattie @ 8 and Tom @ 11.

    Yes, I agree. And Harvard’s big problem is that they aren’t Lutheran enough, just like Gustavus. Uff da! ;)

    The tension is always between being open to the World, to “be in it,” but not to “be of it,” or swallowed up by it.

    I’m cautiously optimistic by this article. Cautious, in that this is only the relative perspective of one individual, Paulsell, and the lines between attendance at a service and participation are not clearly drawn. Optimistic, in that the honest acknowledgment of honest religious differences is necessary in order to have a proper ecumenicism and inter-faith dialogue. Here again, though, the caution remains; ecumenicism should be done in a spirit of humility and reconciliation, but that reconciliation cannot and should not be forced, contrived or papered over in the name of a faux unity. Reconciliation (and reunion) may take decades, centuries, millenia or the Eschaton; it is hard work and those who begin the dialogues may be dust before any agreement is reached, and that is not a bad thing. Our aim must not be for a peaceful synthesis or syncresis, but the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom in truth, in honesty, in discernment, in faith, and, above all, in humility.

  • SKPeterson

    Mattie @ 8 and Tom @ 11.

    Yes, I agree. And Harvard’s big problem is that they aren’t Lutheran enough, just like Gustavus. Uff da! ;)

    The tension is always between being open to the World, to “be in it,” but not to “be of it,” or swallowed up by it.

    I’m cautiously optimistic by this article. Cautious, in that this is only the relative perspective of one individual, Paulsell, and the lines between attendance at a service and participation are not clearly drawn. Optimistic, in that the honest acknowledgment of honest religious differences is necessary in order to have a proper ecumenicism and inter-faith dialogue. Here again, though, the caution remains; ecumenicism should be done in a spirit of humility and reconciliation, but that reconciliation cannot and should not be forced, contrived or papered over in the name of a faux unity. Reconciliation (and reunion) may take decades, centuries, millenia or the Eschaton; it is hard work and those who begin the dialogues may be dust before any agreement is reached, and that is not a bad thing. Our aim must not be for a peaceful synthesis or syncresis, but the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom in truth, in honesty, in discernment, in faith, and, above all, in humility.

  • J.P.H.

    The thing is they want unity and diversity, but those are opposites. You can have one or the other.

    I couldn’t disagree more:

    I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

    After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

    Nor would I say this is only seen in the Church. Consider a combat unit. High degree of unity a devotion to the whole, yet often in spite of a high degree of diversity among individual members.

  • J.P.H.

    The thing is they want unity and diversity, but those are opposites. You can have one or the other.

    I couldn’t disagree more:

    I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

    After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

    Nor would I say this is only seen in the Church. Consider a combat unit. High degree of unity a devotion to the whole, yet often in spite of a high degree of diversity among individual members.

  • steve

    Next up: locker room showers will be co-ed so as to allow the study of diversity in gender roles.

  • steve

    Next up: locker room showers will be co-ed so as to allow the study of diversity in gender roles.

  • steve

    J.P.H., #17, I’m not sure you guys are talking the same type of unity.

  • steve

    J.P.H., #17, I’m not sure you guys are talking the same type of unity.

  • Bob

    I don’t see why this is syncretism. There is a place for understanding other traditions. Seems pretty anti-intellectual to not do so. But on the other hand, I can see why perhaps holding it in a worship context is the wrong place. Maybe a classroom setting would be better.

    BTW, I get a little tired of the simplistic “all Protestant liberals are evil” vibe from this blog. It’s not that black and white, folks. There are lots of good folks in the mainlines. And theologians. I was raised in a mainline Prot. church and I thank God for much of it.

    Plus, it gives religious conservatives cover to avoid their own sins, which are plentiful.

  • Bob

    I don’t see why this is syncretism. There is a place for understanding other traditions. Seems pretty anti-intellectual to not do so. But on the other hand, I can see why perhaps holding it in a worship context is the wrong place. Maybe a classroom setting would be better.

    BTW, I get a little tired of the simplistic “all Protestant liberals are evil” vibe from this blog. It’s not that black and white, folks. There are lots of good folks in the mainlines. And theologians. I was raised in a mainline Prot. church and I thank God for much of it.

    Plus, it gives religious conservatives cover to avoid their own sins, which are plentiful.

  • http://fidesviva.com/ Noel D. Muscutt

    So, I think what you’re trying to say is this is where Together for the Gospel is headed with Baptists, Presbyterians, cessationists and non-cessationists all leading together. . . ? I think this is what you’re saying, but maybe I’m reading too much into this.
    ;)

  • http://fidesviva.com/ Noel D. Muscutt

    So, I think what you’re trying to say is this is where Together for the Gospel is headed with Baptists, Presbyterians, cessationists and non-cessationists all leading together. . . ? I think this is what you’re saying, but maybe I’m reading too much into this.
    ;)

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Dr. Veith: Yes, this is syncretism, celebrated at one of our most prestigious mainline seminaries and lauded in the mainline Christian Century.”

    Bob, #20: “I don’t see why this is syncretism.”

    Dr. Veith: “This is where liberal theology is these days.”

    Bob, #20: “BTW, I get a little tired of the simplistic “all Protestant liberals are evil” vibe from this blog.”

    If I’m not mistaken, Dr. Veith makes a distinction between liberal theology and Protestant liberals.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Dr. Veith: Yes, this is syncretism, celebrated at one of our most prestigious mainline seminaries and lauded in the mainline Christian Century.”

    Bob, #20: “I don’t see why this is syncretism.”

    Dr. Veith: “This is where liberal theology is these days.”

    Bob, #20: “BTW, I get a little tired of the simplistic “all Protestant liberals are evil” vibe from this blog.”

    If I’m not mistaken, Dr. Veith makes a distinction between liberal theology and Protestant liberals.

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

    @ 19

    Thanks, Steve.

    Unity vs. Diversity.

    Think of all the LCMS pastors who go home each night and each has something different for dinner. Diversity!

    I am just saying that LCMS folks can’t both be BOC Christians and worship with Buddhists, Muslims etc. There is no unity in our confession.

    However, we can all go out together for a nice dinner and all eat the same food. Unity!

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

    @ 19

    Thanks, Steve.

    Unity vs. Diversity.

    Think of all the LCMS pastors who go home each night and each has something different for dinner. Diversity!

    I am just saying that LCMS folks can’t both be BOC Christians and worship with Buddhists, Muslims etc. There is no unity in our confession.

    However, we can all go out together for a nice dinner and all eat the same food. Unity!

  • Dennis Peskey

    Perhaps we should answer the question of why we worship before discussing how we worship. Do you worship to give or receive?
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    Perhaps we should answer the question of why we worship before discussing how we worship. Do you worship to give or receive?
    Pax,
    Dennis

  • Tom Hering

    Yes, the question of Who is serving whom in a “service.”

  • Tom Hering

    Yes, the question of Who is serving whom in a “service.”

  • Dust

    Dennis….we’ll hopefully we don’t worship to win the approval of any spectators there simply for some sort of intellectual exercise?

    Cheers!

  • Dust

    Dennis….we’ll hopefully we don’t worship to win the approval of any spectators there simply for some sort of intellectual exercise?

    Cheers!

  • restintheway

    As soon as I read this term in the article “forms persist” a verse immediately came to mind:
    2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
    God’s Word always has such a succinct way of of shining light on the darkness that masquerades as light!

    The writing by the Harvard professor reminds me of Roman Times: all beliefs are acceptable……except for those who know The Way and not just a way……….history repeats.

  • restintheway

    As soon as I read this term in the article “forms persist” a verse immediately came to mind:
    2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
    God’s Word always has such a succinct way of of shining light on the darkness that masquerades as light!

    The writing by the Harvard professor reminds me of Roman Times: all beliefs are acceptable……except for those who know The Way and not just a way……….history repeats.

  • moallen

    Reading the article it certainly seems to me that most are participating in the worship of multiple gods – not just observing – in fact, my take away is that the author of the article views this willingness to participate in multiple religions as the beauty of the enterprise. How does God feel about worshipping other gods? Israels refusal to turn away and repent of worhipping other gods is one of the themes of the Old Testament – and God is not pleased.

    The idea that this is an intellectual exercise seems to stretch credulity. I have observed worship at a Buddhist shrine – I walked through, looked at the idols, observed the style of worhip, etc. That is a learning experience – however, to week in, week out participate in multiple religious services – I find it hard to fathom that I would return weekly/daily to just sit and observe other religions. Given the celebratory tone of the article I think much more than observing is going on. Which further makes me question whether any of those present are truly practicing their religion, or rather than are worshipping at the shrine of the many-headed god of multiculturalism. Perhaps only the Hindus are truly practicing their religion.

  • moallen

    Reading the article it certainly seems to me that most are participating in the worship of multiple gods – not just observing – in fact, my take away is that the author of the article views this willingness to participate in multiple religions as the beauty of the enterprise. How does God feel about worshipping other gods? Israels refusal to turn away and repent of worhipping other gods is one of the themes of the Old Testament – and God is not pleased.

    The idea that this is an intellectual exercise seems to stretch credulity. I have observed worship at a Buddhist shrine – I walked through, looked at the idols, observed the style of worhip, etc. That is a learning experience – however, to week in, week out participate in multiple religious services – I find it hard to fathom that I would return weekly/daily to just sit and observe other religions. Given the celebratory tone of the article I think much more than observing is going on. Which further makes me question whether any of those present are truly practicing their religion, or rather than are worshipping at the shrine of the many-headed god of multiculturalism. Perhaps only the Hindus are truly practicing their religion.

  • chris ashton

    As I was reading the list of the various practices led by the various religious communities, I was praying that I would not see: “…we want to have a child baptised by the Presbyterians.”

    For small mercies, thank you God.

  • chris ashton

    As I was reading the list of the various practices led by the various religious communities, I was praying that I would not see: “…we want to have a child baptised by the Presbyterians.”

    For small mercies, thank you God.

  • Jonathan ‘

    This is old news, we need to look back into History and check out the modernist-fundamentalist controversy, look at the institution like Princeton Seminary, Gresham machen.

  • Jonathan ‘

    This is old news, we need to look back into History and check out the modernist-fundamentalist controversy, look at the institution like Princeton Seminary, Gresham machen.

  • Joanne

    Joanne the cynic.

    I expect the chapel change has happened because the Moslem students refused to have anything to do with worship of other gods. And, I suppose the number of Moslem students and the amount of Moslem money has hit the tipping point where they must be accomodated. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that the Moslem students only go to the Moslem services, if they will enter the unclean chapel building at all.

    It is true, the Missouri Synod has no power at Harvard, so there won’t be a service that fits only Confessional Lutherans and no one will learn about how really harmless and pleasant the Confessional Lutherans can be.

    But is it just coinsidence that the Moslem and the LC-MS students at Harvard both will not worship other gods, but most of the other .04 percent of Harvard students who regularily attend the chapel will worship just about any gods? We have common cause with the Moslems, no money, no throngs of members, but we hate false gods and avoid them.

    As I remember my synodical school days, we learned about false doctrines in what was called polemics.

  • Joanne

    Joanne the cynic.

    I expect the chapel change has happened because the Moslem students refused to have anything to do with worship of other gods. And, I suppose the number of Moslem students and the amount of Moslem money has hit the tipping point where they must be accomodated. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that the Moslem students only go to the Moslem services, if they will enter the unclean chapel building at all.

    It is true, the Missouri Synod has no power at Harvard, so there won’t be a service that fits only Confessional Lutherans and no one will learn about how really harmless and pleasant the Confessional Lutherans can be.

    But is it just coinsidence that the Moslem and the LC-MS students at Harvard both will not worship other gods, but most of the other .04 percent of Harvard students who regularily attend the chapel will worship just about any gods? We have common cause with the Moslems, no money, no throngs of members, but we hate false gods and avoid them.

    As I remember my synodical school days, we learned about false doctrines in what was called polemics.


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