Friday, September 6, 2019

An interesting beginning. . .

You will note that I have had words about the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, past and present, and some personal association, having lived and served in the Atlantic District 14 years.  Some of those words have been greatly appreciative of the good work done but some not so much.  I also ventured in with an opinion about the next editor of Lutheran Forum and suggested that the future of the journal as well as Lutheranism lay not with the speculative or contemporary but with the lively confession of what we believe, teach, and confess.  In other words, a Lutheranism renewed by her own Symbols and its inherent foundation in Scripture rather than a mediating voice looking for detente.

It has been months since I have published a word on the online Forum.  From time to time I tune in to see what the discussion has been but for most of the time there has been little there to encourage me to end my silence.  I have great respect for Pastor Paul Sauer and for Pastor Peter Speckhard and commend them for keeping up their presence in this once exciting and now rather mundane endeavor.  I always hope for positive and genuine catholic renewal within the Lutheran circle, no matter the source.

So it was that the announcement of a new editor and his first words were more than a curiosity to me.  You can read them here.  I am not sure what to make of those words.  His reference point for beginning his editorship is not Luther.  It is Karl Barth (the theologian and not the seminary president - as I like to joke).  Barth is many things and some of them interesting but an odd choice to focus upon as someone begins his tenure at a Lutheran publication.  Though Barth will always occupy a huge section of history, how important is or relevant to the situation we face in Lutheranism today is Karl Barth?  Interesting reading and history, to be sure, but the new editor's first words have not done much to corral my interest.  I hope for a more substantial output and a more profound beginning and will wait to see what he actually does with the journal.  But for now, it was, in my judgment, an inauspicious beginning.

Nelson says "These differences between the eras notwithstanding, I suggest that we may receive Barth’s remarks as a more general reminder that we take a leap in the dark every time we go public with words written about God and all other things in relation to God."  Leap in the dark, huh?  Coming at a time when the death of a young pastor in my circuit, I am not much interested in words that are like a leap in the dark.  Does God mean what He says and work through His Word?  Do the words we confess mean anything?  Is it merely a stab in the dark, a leap into the unknown?  Or do we believe, teach, and confess truth, fact, efficacious Word, Sacraments that bestow what they sign,  hope big enough to tie on all our wounds, sorrows, and fears, and grace enough to forgive all our sin?  My hope is for a more robust beginning, a more profound confidence that God's Word and our preaching and teaching of it are more than a stab in the dark -- to the folks in the pews or the people in the neighborhoods around us.  I will keep watching but so far am not overly enthused.


Anonymous said...

And in the first issue under his direct control they publish a pro-abortion editorial.

Lutheran Forum has verified what we've all known for years: it is simply a moderate wing of the Lutheran Left.

Carl Vehse said...

With a pro-abortion editorial, the Lufauxran Forum and its new editor cannot be considered "Lutheran."

Anonymous said...

Lutheran Forum shot itself in the foot when it published that delusional article about "mobbing" an issue ago or so, now it just shot itself in the head with the article advocating for abortion.

The online version of the Forum saw the whole scale exit of a number of responsible participants in protest of the "mobbing" article, it is now reduced to perhaps no more than a dozen regulars, and only six who are active, mostly old, angry, retired pastors from the ELCA, and a few LCMS retired pastors, talking about the same issues.

Lutheran Forum's influence and importance has long gone, sort of like Christian News.

Daniel G. said...

This will be next

Anonymous said...

I believe the phrase used to refer to this phenomenon in media is:

Jumping the shark

When a media project that began well, ends up requiring the players involved to do something as stupid as Fonzie jumping a shark while water skiiing on the TV series "Happy Days."


John Joseph Flanagan said...

The Lutheran identity has been changing considerably, mainly due to the influence of progressive and leftist ideas which are not only heretical, but divisive as well. With this in mind, unity becomes impossible. Perhaps, we should focus on being more plain and Biblical, because our debating over Lutheran identity takes away from our mission as Bible believing Christians. At a time when the Bible is under attack and being rejected as truth, we need to draw a line in the sand.

William Weedon said...

John, I for one do not see a distinction between being a devout Bible believing Christian and being a Lutheran. The problem with those who espouse the nonsense on abortion is simply that they reject the Word of God. Those who reject the clear teachings of the Word of God are simply not Lutherans.

Anonymous said...

A lot of squishy theology and Lutheranism started with Karl Barth, I mean the Continental guy. Ted Badje

Anonymous said...

Not that it makes a bit of difference for the old-fart liberals who creep around on the ALPB forum, but Karl Barth is not and was not...a Lutheran.

James said...

Wasn't Karl Barth a Reformed theologian and champion of historical/higher criticism?

Why should this Calvinist earn praise and admiration from anyone who calls himself a Lutheran?

Finally, when will the ELCA remove the name "Lutheran" in order to identify with something less confining and more inclusive. To claim the name "Lutheran" is appropriation. Perhaps the ELCA organization can change its name to fit its new identity: "Evangelical Universalist Church of America" (EUCA).

The ELCA at the 2019 convention has officially passed the Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment.

This amendment states that Jesus is not the only way to get to heaven.

The sole objector to the proposed amendment speaks, but his proposal to eliminate the "other multiple paths besides Jesus" language was shot down. His 2 minutes at the podium begin here:

An appeal to reject the multiple paths proposal

The actual vote takes place here:

The ELCA votes to sideline Jesus

In light of the new 2019 ELCA convention amendment that states there are "other ways to salvation" besides Jesus, below is an open invitation from Bryan Wolfmueller to ELCA laymen to talk to an LCMS pastor: