Concordia Edmonton repudiates its Christian identity

Concordia University Edmonton, a college of the Lutheran Church Canada (both of which were founded by the LCMS), has removed all references to Lutheranism and to Christianity from its governing documents.  The institution’s board of directors took that action without consulting the Lutheran Church Canada.

The college had gradually been cutting its ties with the church.  Instead of the church body electing the board members, the school moved to a self-selecting board.  Apparently, the LCC does not own the campus, as the LCMS does its network of 10 institutions in the Concordia University System.  Edmonton’s seminary is a separate entity from the college.  But many of Concordia Edmonton’s faculty members are on the clergy roster and have calls to the college, which will apparently end now that the institution has rejected its Christian ties.

I am shocked at this.  I spoke at Concordia Edmonton a couple of years ago, and I met some very solid faculty members.  My understanding is that many of the faculty are against this decision, and that the president of the LCC, Robert Bugbee, is studying what action can be taken.  Church colleges often slowly drift away, but I don’t know that I’ve seen this kind of decisive repudiation of Christian identity.  (Canadian Lutheran readers, can you tell us more about this?)

UPDATE:  Be sure to read Bror Erikson’s comment, below.  He gives some more context, saying that part of the problem is that church, in effect, severed its ties with CUE, cutting off its funding and forcing it into the arms of the state.

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LCMS congregation will go before the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case from an LCMS congregation.  Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Missouri, was denied a state grant to improve its school’s playground, in the name of the separation of church and state.  This could prove to be an important case in drawing those lines.  Watch for  Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley. [Read more...]

Pope to have joint service with Lutherans on Reformation Day

Pope Francis will join with the Lutheran World Federation in a joint worship service in Lund, Sweden, on October 31, 2016, to celebrate Reformation Day.

To underscore, once again, conservative Lutheran bodies do not approve of joint services with those of other confessions.  Neither do conservative Catholics.  So we do have that in common, along with closed Communion, male-only ordination, pro-life convictions, traditional morality, and belief in the historic creeds.  The LWF has gone wobbly on all of those issues, so I’m curious what unity the Pope hopes to find.  I guess “justice, peace, and reconciliation” is more important than theology for all liberals and that the current pontiff is in that camp.

But setting that aside for now, some Protestants have wondered if they should celebrate Reformation Day.  If the Pope celebrates it, they should too! [Read more...]

Muslims dreaming about Jesus

A recurring theme in the Muslims’s conversions to Christianity, as documented by Uwe Siemon-Netto, is that individual Muslims are saying that they have had dreams about Jesus, who, in turn, directs them to the Bible and to a Bible-believing church.

Charismatics would have no problem with this, but we Lutherans (who are getting a lot of these Muslims) tend to be skeptical about such private visions, insisting that it is by means of the Word and the Sacraments that God comes to us.  But Siemon-Netto, quoting another Lutheran theologian, says that these visions of Jesus are not self-contained but follow the pattern of those in Acts (e.g., that of Saul of Tarsus and Cornelius), whose visions sent them to someone who would baptize them and teach them the Word of God.

What do you think about all of this? [Read more...]

More on Muslims converting to Christianity

International journalist Uwe Siemon-Netto, a confessional Lutheran, has more details about Muslims converting to Christianity.  He has published a compelling article in the Australian magazine Quadrant that you need to read for yourself.  Excerpt and link after the jump.  (Tomorrow we’ll post about the strange phenomenon of the Muslims dreaming about Jesus.) [Read more...]

Sudanese Anglicans to become Lutheran?

The Anglican Church of South Sudan, a church body of some 1 million members that broke from the Episcopal Church of Sudan over global Anglicanism’s liberal theology, discovered Luther’s Small Catechism and is now considering becoming Lutheran.  In December, a delegation visited the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, which is looking into providing theological education. [Read more...]