LCMS prof calls maleness of Jesus/pastors “inconsequential” (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

I came across an interesting blog article written by Dr. Matthew Becker, an LCMS clergyperson serving as a professor at Valparaiso University. The article is called “The Being of Adam, the New Adam, and the Ontology of Pastors.” In it, Becker is reacting to an article he read in the July 2011 issue of CTSFW’s magazine For the Life of the World, the article “What Is Mercy?” by Dr. Cynthia Lumley. Becker contends that Lumley’s article “contains assertions that are contrary to evangelical-Lutheran doctrine,” since Lumley says, “The very maleness of pastors is essential to the Holy Office in which they serve.”

Becker writes: “Contrary to Lumley’s Roman ontological-sacerdotalist view about the ontology of the pastor, the symbolical books of the Ev. Luth. church present the holy ministry chiefly (but not exclusively) in functional, dynamic terms, for the sake of obtaining and strengthening trust in the promise that God forgives people by grace for Christ’s sake through faith. Moreover, the symbolical books stress that ALL baptized Christians, both male and female, have the power and authority of preaching the gospel and administering the means of grace, although not all are well-suited or qualified for this ministry; for example, they might not be able to teach very well. Especially important is the confessional position that a called and ordained minister of Christ, whether male or female, acts in the place of God and in the stead of Christ. . . .”

Becker concludes: “Thankfully, the physical particularities of Jesus, including his gender, age, race, etc., are accidental, non-essential to his salvific work of reconciling Adam (‘human beings’) to God. The same principle is true for those who serve ‘in the stead and by the command’ of Christ today. Accidental attributes of the pastor’s being are inconsequential for the fulfillment of the holy office.”

And in one of the comments at his blog, Becker adds: “While the presbyteroi and episcopoi referred to in the pastorals were men, there are other NT texts that open the way for female pastors, as I have argued in several essays.”

What do you think of Becker’s arguments? Do you think that the maleness of Jesus and of pastors is “accidental,” “non-essential,” “inconsequential”? Do you think that the New Testament has passages that “open the way for female pastors”? When describing “the confessional position” on “a called and ordained minister of Christ,” does it make sense to add the words “whether male or female”?


Comments

LCMS prof calls maleness of Jesus/pastors “inconsequential” (by Pr. Charles Henrickson) — 552 Comments

  1. @fws #496

    I am told that Walther and Luther stated that lay women were not to have authority over lay men in church polity. I do not have the references and I’m not really expecting anyone here to come up with them because nobody want to touch this.

    I would think you are basically correct about the church’s position on gender roles in society, and it preceded the same change on lay roles within the church. When MO made a change on that over 40 years ago I am sure there were pastors saying the next step would be women’s ordination with “Progress of Error” reasoning.

  2. @Paul of Alexandria #499

    From the small catechism i would take a guess on these cases thussly…

    A wife is subject to her husband, (no comment needed)
    but is mistress over her (or her house’s) servants. (delegated authority from husband?)
    she has some authority over her grown sons (parent to child continues into adulthood?)

    I would love it if someone could come up with what Luther or Pieper had to say about Deborah as a judge in the OT.

    The LCMS never would have had female highschool teachers or college professors teaching young men. This is an incontrovertable fact. And this fact tends to favor the idea that Lutherans did not favor women being over men in society at large, not just church and family.

    I am asserting that it is this change in our doctrine, that is a change adopted by ALL Lutheran church bodies, wels, lcms, elca, that is the seed for the contention that exists today over womens ordination.

    up till 1900 no one questioned that women are never to be in a position of authority over men in any sphere/ordo/order/government whether it is family church or society at large.

    This explains why there is just no conversation about this prior to the early 1900s.

  3. @mbw #502

    I am suggesting that the real change came before the change to allow women to vote in the church actually.

    The real change in all this came when the all Lutherans accepted that women could be in authority over men in society at large. Some have focussed on the change in allowing women to vote in the church assembly. This ignores a prior more fundamental shift in theology.

    Pieper declares that womens sufferage in society with the 14th amendment will be punished by God.

  4. @fws #504

    > Pieper declares that womens sufferage in society with the 14th amendment will be punished by God.

    fws, don’t you know that sinful human nature itself changed fundamentally some time around the turn of the last century?

  5. @fws #481

    Prefall it seems that Dr Luther says that men and women were equal and the Order of Creation of men being over women is a result of the fall and sin. It is sort of a curse. I was sort of amazed that this quote the TR Halvorson was kind enough to provide for us.

    A couple of additions to our exchange on that.

    One, Pieper follows Luther on the order of creation being one state of affairs, and the effects of the fall being another state of affairs.

    Two, it is good that you qualified the word curse with the phrase “sort of.” It is not pure curse. While we like to say that Gen 3:15 introduced gospel, the words of that verse were given in one dramatic scene with the words to Adam and to Eve. In the words to Adam and to Eve we can distinguish words of law and gospel.

    Looking at Adam first. “Cursed is the ground for your sake.” Sounds like law. “In toil.” Sounds like law. “Thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you.” Sounds like law. “In the sweat of your face.” Sounds like law.

    But, “you shall eat of it.” Considering what Adam really deserved, this is gospel. “All the days of your life.” Well, at least he still had a life, which was more than he deserved. “You shall eat of the herb of the field.” Field, not the Garden, so law, but “you shall eat” is gospel. “You shall eat bread.” Sounds like gospel.

    As a farmer myself, I experience both law and gospel in my vocation. The noxious weeds, hail, drought, flood, insects, mechanical problems, etc., are the curse of the law, but consider this, God still lets me tend his field, and there is usually a harvest from which, on just my one farm, hundreds are fed. Gotta enjoy that as grace, and though the Reformed call it common grace, and I understand what they mean, it is, nevertheless, grace for the sake of Christ. God for Jesus’ sake lets me farm.

    Now, the words to Eve. They have a similar character. “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception.” Ouch. Sounds like law. ‘In pain.” Definitely law. “You shall bring forth children.” Now that’s got to be gospel. Eve, the mother of all living, is punished for sin, but the punishment stops short of taking motherhood from her. Like Adam still gets a harvest, Eve still has children. Both do their work in cursed conditions, but the curses do not wipe out everything. “Your desire shall be for your husband.” Not sure how to view that one, as law or gospel. Weren’t both Adam and Even to have had desire one for the other before the fall? By that, this would not necessarily be a curse. But the word to Adam does not say he will desire Eve, so maybe this word to Eve has an element of curse. This one needs more thought. “He shall rule over you.” If Luther is right that this was a substantial change of affairs only because of the fall, yes, it can be called a curse.

    But then, look at the whole effect of both the law and the gospel together in these words. By them they are not immediately damned to hell. By them life goes on, and it goes on in the direction of redemption and resurrection to holiness. By them, while it goes on, Adam does not lose his vocation in in the fields of God and Eve does not lose her vocation as the mother of God’s people. The greater part of this whole arrangement is gospel.

    Were we to confess and teach the gospel in these “curses,” the arrangement would be easier to accept. If the “curse” on Eve from the fall is used in the issue of ordination of women, or if a claim that because of Eve’s sin no woman is to have authority over any man in any sphere, we’re going to encounter real trouble if we don’t keep the gospel in these “curses.” No one can make it under the law alone.

  6. @T. R. Halvorson #507

    TR HALVORSON WRITES: “But, “you shall eat of it.” Considering what Adam really deserved, this is gospel. “All the days of your life.” Well, at least he still had a life, which was more than he deserved. “You shall eat of the herb of the field.” Field, not the Garden, so law, but “you shall eat” is gospel. “You shall eat bread.” Sounds like gospel.”

    Dear brother. “Fatherly Goodness and Mercy” are NOT the “Gospel”. “Mercy” is a form of Love. Mercy is always undeserved. “Undeserved love” is STILL … NOT the Gospel.

    In the Small Catechism please note the following Law and Gospel (aka Two Kingdoms):

    First LAW:

    1) The Earthly Kingdom is called the Earthly Kingdom, or the Kingdom of Man or the kingdom of Law by Luther in his FC art VI Sermon on The Two Kingdoms as Law and Gospel.

    <>

    Luther calls this Kingdom or Power, earthly, as in Romans 8 “flesh/body” that will perish, precisely because God rules there using the Law to “extort” (FC art VI) his Fatherly Goodness and Mercy out of the Old Adams of us all.

    This kingdom includes ALL that we can do in our bodies. It especially includes all that we can do that is virtuous, and it especially includes the righeousness that is the goodness and mercy for neighbor that he demands that we do. And it includes our best and most sanctified works as a Christian. It especially even includes all we can see and do in church and so it fully includes our administration of the Word and the Blessed Sacraments and the Preaching of both the Law and the Holy Gospel.

    These things and truly virtuous good works, that please God and that he providences, are all called “earthly” because they will all perish with the earth, along with all who look for Life in these things, exactly as Romans 8 tells us.

    These things are all the Goodness and Mercy detailed in the First Article of the Catechism. They are also all that we can see and do that are 2nd and 3rd article as well.

    But none of these things are the Holy Gospel. This is true even though we read that they are done “without our worthiness [or attempts at being moral] … without our prayers [or faith, or faithfullness],and… even for all the wicked!”

    God shows he is serious about making his Fatherly Goodness and Mercy happen here, even in this Earthly Kingdom of His that will perish. He does this in the many places in the Bible where he punishes those who refuse to be merciful (curse). And he also promises many earthly and even heavenly blessings to those who do the Goodness and Mercy that He WILL make happen on earth. So we should fear God then, and learn to do Mercy and Goodness for our neighbor willingly , so that he does not need to send punishment in order to drive us to do this.

    Note that for us , the Law always does what? The Law always accuses! The Law always kills us. It demands of us, and then it demands still more. Finally it demands our very life. The wages of sin is death. We will all die. This is most certain proof.

    But also note this: for our neighbor the fruits of the Law are what? They are Goodness and Mercy! This is why the Law is Good! God uses the Law to kill you because that is the only way your Old Adam will become goodness and mercy for your neighbor? See? For you the Law kills you, for your neighbor , what the Law extorts out of you is Goodness and Mercy. And he gives thanks to God for what the Law gives to him by killing you!

    Now Gospel:

    Then there is a Heavenly Kingdom. In this Kingdom God rules alone by faith, alone in Christ. Goodness and mercy happen here like light flows from the sun! There is not need for the Law or effort or a choice or even thinking bout it. Goodness and Mercy here just ARE the ONLY fact of existence here. This Kingdom does NOT include ANYTHING we can see and do in our bodies. How could it?! Those things are already ALL included , fully so, in that other Earthly Kingdom where God rules with the Law.

    This Heavenly Kingdom is far , far above that other Earthly Kingdom, as far as the stars are above the earth. But at the same time, this Heavenly Kingdom can only be found “in, with and under” that earthly Kingdom where the Forgiveness of Sins is Proclaimed and given out as a gift to the unworthy, the unfaithful, and even all the wicked, indeed without our prayers.

    In this Kingdom Christs covers all that we can see and do in that other Earthly Kingdom with his own Works. And these works cover us as a vast vault, vaster than the starry sky at night. This vault and covering of the Works of Christ, is where all our best works are hidden from the wrath of God. And so we can live in that other Earthly Kingdom and do Good Works as sacramental signs that signify our baptismal death, and also contain the Promise that we will rise from that death that the Law is working in us for the Goodness and Mercy of our neighbor.

    Also

  7. @T. R. Halvorson #507

    So I hope I have explained how the Law is both a curse and death for us.

    And, at the same time, the fruits of the Law that this death works in all men (rom 2:15), are, for our neighbor, Fatherly Goodness and Mercy.

    The bible does not say that “men are to be in authority over women”. Note this is a statement of how things will work now.
    This is the exact equivalent(as Luther notes) to God saying that there will be thorns and thistles and sweat of brow and that childbirth will hurt like crazy.

    So then what about St. Paul’s telling women to submit? It is the same as St Paul telling us to accept being a slave if that is our situation in life. Or to accept suffering if that is what God brings us. But this is not God telling us through St Paul that God wants the Obedient Sacrifice of Suffering. That would be , as our confessions say: “useless!”

    God wants, through the Law AND the Gospel to work the SAME Fatherly Goodness and Mercy !

    In our Old Adam he works perishable Goodness and Mercy through the Law. And He is killing us to do it!

    In Christ, he has put in us a NEW heart that simply knows nothing but Goodness and Mercy. The perfect Picture of this is our the Blessed Incarnation of our Lord. That is what your New Man looks like TR Halvorson. Your New Man looks exactly like your dear Lord JEsus in the Blessed Incarnation in that Jesus ONLY knew to do Fatherly Goodness and Mercy. There was simply nothing else in Him to do!

    This Goodness and Mercy simply is. It happens like light from sun just as it did in Christ. Christ did not have to work at goodness and mercy. He did not even have to chose between doing right or wrong. He just DID Goodness and Mercy because he IS Goodness and Mercy. So now ARE you as New Man!
    TR Halvorson, right now, in his New Man, IS pure goodness and mercy. But we can only know this by faith and hearing God’s Word.

    Here on earth, in the earthly kingdom of the Law, the proof that ALL our Goodness and Mercy is Old Adam stuff , is that we need to choose to do it and work at doing it. It all requires thought and effort , and lots of it, and we still fail! Our hearts are never fully in it.

  8. @T. R. Halvorson #507

    TR HALVORSON “Two, it is good that you qualified the word curse with the phrase “sort of.”

    FRANK No. It was not good to qualify that. I retract it in favor of saying it was simply a curse! But God , even when he curses us, is busy making Fatherly Goodness and Mercy happen.

    This is what faith knows! How? We can be certain of this in that He made his only beloved Son to be a Curse for us! Only a Christian can be certain of this.
    This is why suffering and good works are sacramental signs for a Christian.
    In, with, and under them faith clings to the Promise and sees Goodness and Mercy.

    TR HALVORSON but “you shall eat” is gospel. “You shall eat bread.” Sounds like gospel.

    FRANK I agree. Undeserved Mercy, and Mercy, by definition is ALWAYS undeserved, sure sounds like “Gospel”! And… it is not. So what is this? It is the SAME Fatherly Goodness and Mercy that God works in Christ, but here God is working this Goodness and Mercy with the Law. This is First Article , Earthly Kingdom Goodness and Mercy that is Romans 8 “flesh/body” stuff that will perish, along with all who seek Life in it.

    But that Goodness and Mercy that God works in Christ, that is invisible and so is called “Spirit” in romans 8 will endure forever!

    Only the Holy Gospel can work THIS Goodness and Mercy. And this Goodness and Mercy is meaningless in the Earthly Kingdom except to God and a troubled conscience.

    TR HALVORSON Gotta enjoy that as grace, and though the Reformed call it common grace, and I understand what they mean, it is, nevertheless, grace for the sake of Christ. God for Jesus’ sake lets me farm.

    FRANK When you stop reading that reformed stuff and read our Lutheran stuff, you will discover that Lutherans call this Fatherly Goodness and Mercy. You will read about this in the Catechisms written by Dr Martin Luther. This is first article stuff. This is second and third article stuff only where it is something we can see or do, which is driven by? …. The Law.

    Mercy is always underserved. It sounds like Grace and Gospel. It is not! Only the Works of Christ that cover especially all our best virtue and sanctified righeousness is Gospel.

    God makes the rain fall on the just and unjust alike. And He makes his Goodness and Mercy happen indeed without our prayers [our faith or faithfullness]. our worthiness [our being moral], even for all the wicked.”

    We think we do the Law. That is what the culture wars are about. It is about thinking that the ELCA and society will all go to hell in a handbasket unless… we do something. God WILL make his goodness and mercy happen. And he will punish us to make us do our part if we are unwilling. It is that simple! Curse and blessing.

  9. @T. R. Halvorson #507

    Question:

    Luther is stating this: Men ruling over women falls into the same list as weeds, sweat of brow,and the pain of childbirth.

    So we use roundup, we employ labor savings devices and we give women painkillers often at childbirth. And with men ruling over women we say this is the moral order and so we should , in fact, intensify and avoid diminution of it for to do so would be immoral and subvert God’s intended order. ……

    There is a question in there somewhere isnt there?

  10. @fws #511

    Question: Luther is stating this: Men ruling over women falls into the same list as weeds, sweat of brow,and the pain of childbirth.

    I think not. It is not pure curse. In our distinction of law and gospel, there is an emphasis on proper distinction. I think it is a word that speaks both law and gospel. While we can distinguish law and gospel, this does not mean that God must always speak twice to speak a message of both law and gospel. He can speak once in which we recognize both law and gospel.

    If your following four propositions really are Lutheran:

    1.) No woman is ever to have any authority in any realm over any man (according to traditional Lutheranism);

    2.) The sole reason for number 1 is the order of creation, conflating what Luther and Pieper (and others for all I know, but those two I know for sure) distinguish as the order of creation and the effects of the fall;

    3.) The only reasons for the male-only pastorate are numbers 1 and 2 (additional reasons given by Paul don’t count in Lutheranism);

    4.) Adam’s rule over Eve after the fall is pure curse without any aspect of gospel;

    then you have persuaded me to cease being a Lutheran. I will follow Luther and not Lutheranism, in that case.

    If number 3 were true, the Pauline texts about why women are not ordained would be superfluous and even errorist because he gives additional reasons that by number 3 would be false.

    My take is that those who argue for number 3 do so because of a sensation that the Pauline reasons are insufficient, so they try to bolster the case with an additional, sweeping, panoramic reason. It tries to prove too much and fails to persuade. It is less effective than to just stick with the Pauline reasons.

    By sticking with the Pauline reasons, we are close to the very words, the form of words the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to use. Our work then is proclamation, not persuasion. Persuasion is the work of the Holy Spirit.

    But when we depart from the form of words and resort to sweeping theologies, that authorizes the opponents to use the same procedure. They are able to concoct a sweeping theology just as well as we are. Then the hearers listen to two sides, both of whom are doing the same thing, arguing from their competing sweeping theologies. This is an outright invitation to the hearers to decide between the arguments on the basis of their preferences, because we are not really using the authority of the Word nor the inspiration of the Holy Spirit directly in a proclamation.

    We need to make the decision appear as stark as it really is: either accept the authority of the Word and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, or set yourselves up as authorities and go your own way.

    I am also troubled because in your construction, the ordos and kingdoms condition how we distinguish law and gospel, and how we distinguish cross and glory. Not being a theologian, I worry that the following might be a mistake, but by the best I can muster as a layman, it seems more biblical and Lutheran to condition ordos and kingdoms by law and gospel and by cross and glory.

    Fatherly goodness and mercy to me is gospel. I get that from Luther’s explanation of the Lord’s prayer. It is just like Luther to say to us that in this prayer, it is not so much us speaking to God as it is God speaking to us. This is a complete reversal of Roman, Reformed, and Arminian conceptions of prayer. Of “Our Father who art in heaven,” Luther says, “God would thereby tenderly urge us to believe that He is our true Father, and that we are His true children, so that we may ask Him confidently with all assurance, as dear children ask their dear father.” This is the Father as evangelist. He is speaking the gospel to us, even though we are taught to say these words to him. The direction is exactly like in the Divine Service, where once more, Christ serves us (not that we do not also worship him in the service). This is Evangelical Lutheranism. The Gospel creates faith in us and it also generates the new obedience. A pure curse will never establish the Office of Public Ministry. The office exists by virtue of the gospel and Christ’s institution of it through the Apostles.

  11. @T. R. Halvorson #513

    TR Halvorson, this is becoming a good discussion TR Halvorson. I will respond to what you are presenting with the care , respect and yielding attitude you deserve dear brother. I am going to copy your response to me into wordpad and respond with care, then I will paste it back in here ok?

    love,

    Frank

  12. @T. R. Halvorson #512

    TR HALVORSON August 30th, 2011 at 17:24 | #512 @fws #508
    Are we setting up three words, Law, Gospel, and Fatherly Goodness and Mercy, or is fatherly goodness and mercy a word of Law?

    FRANK Can I please ask how your friend’s address you. My friends call me Frank or William. Here in Brasil I call myself Will since Wilian is a common name here and Frank is sorta rare. Call me Frank, TR, ok? 🙂

    Now to respond to your question.
    Short answer. Yes. And No!

    Fatherly Goodness and Mercy are neither Law nor Gospel. Law and Gospel are two “trees” if you will. Fatherly Goodness and Mercy are the “fruits” that are God’s Eternal Will (FC art VI).

    Permit me to take a small Confessional Detour, and then show how I believe that Detour addresses your specific question. I hope this form of response is acceptable to you brother. I would rather offer what our Confessions say rather than my own dubious opinions.

    Ok here you go!

    The Confessions teach this by teaching the proper distinction of the Two Kingdoms. They do this in the following format. You can verify the Confessional Validity of this merely by reading the Small Catechism with this assumption and see if it fits. You will find that it brings the Catechisms to life!:

    Martin Luther’s doctrine of the two kingdoms (or two reigns) of God teaches that God is the ruler of the whole world and that he rules in two ways.
    He rules the earthly or left-hand kingdom through secular (and, though this
    point is often misunderstood, also churchly) government, by means of law (i.e., the sword or compulsion) and in the heavenly or righthand kingdom (his spiritual kingdom, that is, Christians insofar as they are a new creation who spontaneously and voluntarily obey) through the gospel or grace.

    I took this quote, which is a summary that well expresses this Lutheran Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms that agrees, exactly so, with what our Confessions teach from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_the_two_kingdoms

    If you exclaim to yourself that this version of the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms” is really just a teaching of the distinction of Law and Gospel!”, that would mean that you now understand, fully so, the Lutheran Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms. This doctrine is precisely and only the casuistic version of the Doctrine of L & G. This doctrine is so NOT some theory of separation of church vs state that many suppose….

    So now let me show how this is THE Lutheran and Confessional response to your specific question, as I earlier promised, if you have not already anticipated this part of my response .

    You will note that I am merely rehearsing the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, aka, Law and Gospel:

    God rules the whole world, in order to make His Eternal Will be done. God’s Eternal Will is that the Fruit that is Goodness and Mercy happens (FC art VI). God’s rulership is exercised with the aim of producing this Fruit. This is precisely why FC Art VI states that Fruit of the Spirit and Works of the Law are the SAME Fruits, or Eternal Will of God.

    There is no difference between Fruit of the Spirit and Works of the Law as to their essense! Imagine that.

    God providence this SAME fruit called Goodness and Mercy in two ways:

    With the Law:

    God “extorts” (FC art VI) Fatherly Goodness and Mercy out of the Old Adams of ALL men in the SAME way, even in those men without Bibles (Rom 2:15) through his Divine Law as written in the Reason of ALL men. This is why Reason agrees with the Decalog. It is the SAME Law (Apology art IV near the beginning of the article). This Law-driven Mortification, is the only way Goodness and Mercy can happen in Old Adams in the Earthly Kingdom that consists of ALL we can see and do in our bodies/flesh. This St Paul calls in Romans 8 “things that will perish.” We call this Goodness and Mercy “Works of the Law ” not because it is a DIFFERENT Goodness and Mercy.

    Mercy is always undeserved. That fact does NOT make Goodness and Mercy Gospel.
    And Mercy is always extorted through the curse of Law. Lutherans say that by saying this : “The Law ALWAYS accuses!” That fact does Not make Goodness and Mercy Law.

    We call Goodness and Mercy “works of the Law ” in ALL we can see and do, which is ALL Earthly Kingdom, because it is the Law that produces it. It is “extorted” out of you and me in ALL we can see and do in our bodies and flesh. But Goodness and Mercy ARE Goodness and Mercy no matter how it is produced in us. Bread given to starving man is Divine Goodness and Mercy done regardless of whether the motive for doing so is “good” or “bad”.

    With the Gospel:

    God’s Goodness and Mercy simply happen here like brilliant light from sun. “Spontaneously!” “as the angels obey!” “automatically”.

    We call this Goodness and Mercy “fruit of the spirit” not because it is a DIFFERENT Goodness and Mercy than what is ‘extorted ” out of us by the Law. We give it a different name then why? We do this because this Goodness and Mercy does not need to be driven out of New Man, for exacly the SAME reason Goodness and Mercy did not need to be driven or extorted out of Christ by the Law in the Blessed Incarnation.

    This is the Lutheran and Confessional relationship between Law and Gospel and Goodness and Mercy.

    Lutheranism IS the Two Kingdoms Doctrine which is merely and only the Distinction of Law and Gospel.

    It is this Two Kingdoms (aka Law and Gospel Distinction) that is exactly what divides us from both Rome and the Reformed. How so?

    They confuse the Two Kingdoms. And so they confuse Law and Gospel. How so?

    They call Goodness and Mercy “Gospel” or they call it “Law”. It is neither. And it can be about both. Depends! It is the Eternal Will of God that God realizes by BOTH the Law and the Gospel. It is easy to see how this confusion would happen isn’t it? The distinction here is not Law vs Gospel really. it is Tree vs Fruit, But this cannot be rightly distinguished without first being clear on the distinction between the Two Kingdoms, which is in fact, only the casuistic version of the Distinction between Law and Gospel.

    I hope this is helpful TR.

  13. @T. R. Halvorson #513

    I will now work on responding to your more lengthy (and quite excellent!) response shortly!

    Thanks for your meek and kind spirit that seeks to cover my errors and that you seek, singlemindedly, to focus on doing Goodness and Mercy to each other and to those who read our exchange! I give thanks that you obviously seek to sow the Seed that , alone, will produce the unity we all pray for and that , alone, the Holy Spirit will be able to preserve between the two of us.

    Love,

    Frank

  14. @T. R. Halvorson #513

    Wow. Your response was long. So my response to your response, will of necessity, be longer still! For those here who have asked me not to take up too much space, feel free to skip over this comment…

    Here Goe TR!

    T. R. Halvorson August 30th, 2011 at 18:43 | #513 @fws #511
    FRANK Luther is stating this: Men ruling over women falls into the same list as weeds, sweat of brow,and the pain of childbirth.

    TR HALVORSON I think not.

    FRANK: Ok. Maybe you are right TR! Let’s reinsert the exact quote to let others decide for themselves in our conversation that follows ok?

    @T. R. Halvorson #328
    “1]Now there is also added to those sorrows of gestation and birth that Eve has been placed under the power of her husband, 2]she who previously was very free and, as the sharer of all the gifts of God, was in no respect inferior to her husband. …3] If Eve had persisted in the truth, 4] she would not only not have been subjected to the rule of her husband, 5] but she herself would also have been a partner in the rule which is now entirely the concern of males.” Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis, (Gen 3:16), I Luther’s Works, (Concordia, St. Louis), pp. 202-03.

    I am going to paraphrase to illustrate how I am reading this quote. Feel free to take issue with my version of this. Unfortunately I don’t have the German text. If you can provide this, it would be extremely helpful to me TR! I often do this with the Confessions to help me get at what they are saying and to internalize and digest them. I think it is a useful exercise. I am going to number each sentence, so it can be seen that I have merely reordered the phrase and have not paraphrased it or otherwise tampered with the text. See if you can accept my reading as having the same force and meaning as the translation you have presented:

    2] [Eve]… was previously very free, and, as the sharer of all the gifts [that we call the Goodness and Mercy] of God, and she was in no respect inferior to her husband [in her sinless state].
    3] If Eve had persisted in the Truth 5] she would have been [ a full and fully equal ] partner in the rule[ership and authority and headship] that is now entirely the concern of males.

    Comment: So we are only able to know and see this Order of Creation through the stain of sin. So much for Scholastic/Thomist Natural Law! Also, only from the Holy Scripture can we trust and know that this Order which God has cursed, he has cursed precisely in order to preserve Goodness and Mercy among men and alo so that so that that stain of sin might be made apparent to all men, even those without Bibles! Romans 2:15). And the list of these curses that are consequences, or punishments on account of the Fall that now order creation are as follows.

    I suggest that is important to observe three things:
    A)NONE of these realities were true or the state of affairs prior to the fall!
    B) All of these curses are intended to providence Goodness and Mercy in a fallen Order.
    C) Lutherans are correct to reject Thomist “order-of-creation-as-revelation-of-Divine-intent” in favor of “natural law” being precisely and only what Rom 2:15 informs us that it is.
    So here is the list of curses from Genesis 3:

    A) Goodness and Mercy will happen now only as as fruit of the sweat of one’s brow, in the midst of thorns and thistles.
    B) Womens’ desires will be to their husbands for Goodness and Mercy to happen.
    C) To dust you shall return. You will die. For Goodness and Mercy to be done.
    D) I will make satan’s seed (Old Adam) hate The Offspring, in order for Goodness and Mercy to be done]

    and… in addition to these curses, Dr Luther notes these additional two:

    E) [There will be] 1] sorrows of gestation and birth [ to do Goodness and Mercy.]
    F) 1]Now there is also added to those… that Eve has been placed under the power of her husband: 4] she [will now be]… subjected to the rule of her husband, [in order to make Goodness and Mercy happen]

    Ok. This is how I am reading that Luther quote you provided and you disagree with my reading. Let me continue reading your response and see what your basis is for disagreeing with my reading of this text.

    TR HALVORSON It is not pure curse.

    FRANK Ok. What does the text say about this?

    “1) cursed is the ground 2) for thy sake.”{gen 3:17)

    I read this this way: Pure curse. For Goodness and Mercy.

    That is how I read that word “curse”. Are we arguing definitions here apart from the text? I read these words, in context, this way. In what way is this error TR?

    TR HALVORSON In our distinction of law and gospel, there is an emphasis on proper distinction. I think it is a word that speaks both law and gospel.

    FRANK ” I think it is a word that is both Law and Gospel [at the same time]. ” What is the “it”? Men’s ruling over women? Ok. You agree it IS a curse, but it is not a “pure” curse. I will continue to read to see what you mean by that.

    TR HALVORSON While we can distinguish law and gospel, this does not mean that God must always speak twice to speak a message of both law and gospel. He can speak once in which we recognize both law and gospel.

    FRANK SONNEK Absolutely. To agree even more, I will point out that Our Confessions say that even Christ Crucified is the most terrifying preachment of the Law that there is! (I think that is in the Formula of Concord’s section on “Law and Gospel”)

    TR HALVORSON If your following four propositions really are Lutheran:
    1.) No woman is ever to have any authority in any realm over any man (according to traditional Lutheranism);

    FRANK Well now. That does depend. My thesis is this: We are to treat the issue of women’s subordination consistently in ALL 3 “ordos/governments” of family, church and society. So if women “shall not” be in authority over men in the family, then the logic and form of this must be the same in both church and society as well. But now read my second comment below to understand why , based wholy upon this Luther quote, “that depends.”

    As a housekeeping point. I would suggest we avoid using the term “realm” . Why. The confessions set up their categories thussly: two kingdoms, earthly(law driven) and heavenly (Gospel created). In the earthly kingdom there are 3 ordos/orders/governments. There is no rule against being creative with our terms. But if we want to track to the Confessions, then those are the categories, and relation between the categories.Now for my points in response:

    First: My understanding is not that we are debating my personal propositions. My understanding is that we are trying to determine how to unpack what Dr Luther said in the quote you previously provided.

    Second and more importantly and I am going to bold this, since it is the key thing in the Luther quote: You are not seeing what I think is the most significant aspect of this quote. That is this: Luther places the subordination of women in the category of IS rather than OUGHT. He is saying that the subordination of women, in ANY realm , is DESCRIPTION it is not PRESCRIPTION.
    You, in contrast are placing the question of womens subordination in the category of shalt/shalt not, ought, as moral question, as prescription.

    TR HALVORSON 2.) The sole reason for number 1 is the order of creation, conflating what Luther and Pieper (and others for all I know, but those two I know for sure) distinguish as the order of creation and the effects of the fall;

    FRANK Ok. I don’t get your point TR. I will recap my point 2 in a previous post hoping that it somehow responds to what you are saying here. My point to asserts this: men ruling over women is, based soley on the Luther quote, a) a curse, b)a statement of fact not moral prescription. c) it is not a revelation of Divine Prefall or Post Fall Intent and Will, since it pertains , alone to Romans 8 “flesh/body” that will perish. Cf http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=15471#comment-179454

    TR HALVORSON 3.) The only reasons for the male-only pastorate are numbers 1 and 2 (additional reasons given by Paul don’t count in Lutheranism);

    FRANK Charity would seem to demand that you feel at liberty to assume that I would not agree that what St Paul says “doesn’t count”. Would it not be kinder and more useful my brother to bind us in unity by listing those “additional reasons” of St Paul that you assume I am saying “don’t count”?

    TR HALVORSON 4.) Adam’s rule over Eve after the fall is pure curse without any aspect of gospel;

    FRANK Let me rephrase your point 4) in a way that I would accept as true: “Adam’s rule over Eve was listed as one of the several curses God punishes us with as a result of the fall. These curses are Law. They are not Gospel. The Law always accuses.

    It is also true that the Law is good because God’s entire intent in the Law is to providence Goodness and Mercy. Jesus says this when he points to the Law and says that a) the Law was made for man, not man for the Law, and then b) asked the Pharisees to go and consider that God says that the Law is to produce Mercy not to have us make Sacrifice.

    I ask you TR this: What is the distinction Christ is here making between Mercy and Sacrifice? How would one distinguish between those two things in practice? It is also true that the Law is an article of the Gospel (Augsburg Confession). This means, precisely that the Law exists to serve the Gospel by being our Schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.

    And yet… the Law always accuses. The Law always kills. Mortification, which is latinate for “deathing’ is what the Law does. It kills us. This killing is not Goodness and Mercy. But faith sees that practical and useful and sense-ible Goodness and Mercy are the fruit, and also the purpose of this deathing or mortification.

    I would not express this as saying that “there is an aspect of the Gospel in the Law.” This would be to confuse Law and Gospel rather than properly distinguish them.

    TR HALVORSON then you have persuaded me to cease being a Lutheran. I will follow Luther and not Lutheranism, in that case.

    FRANK I am not following why this is? Are you saying that I am asserting points 1-4 and if those points are true and are Lutheranism then you are no Lutheran? But I dont agree that points 1-4 are what either Luther or Lutheranism teach. So then what are you saying?

    TR HALVORSON If number 3 were true, the Pauline texts about why women are not ordained would be superfluous and even errorist because he gives additional reasons that by number 3 would be false.

    FRANK What are those texts. I am not going to try to guess what texts you are referring to out of deference to you. Lets look at them dear brother! 🙂

    TR HALVORSON My take is that those who argue for number 3 do so because of a sensation that the Pauline reasons are insufficient, so they try to bolster the case with an additional, sweeping, panoramic reason. It tries to prove too much and fails to persuade. It is less effective than to just stick with the Pauline reasons.

    FRANK Again what are the texts? I agree, of course, that the only course is to follow the Holy Scriptures. And I disagree that it is kindness, love or charity to assume errant motives on the part of those who disagree with my understanding of St Paul or my “take”.

    TR HALVORSON By sticking with the Pauline reasons, we are close to the very words, the form of words the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to use. Our work then is proclamation, not persuasion. Persuasion is the work of the Holy Spirit.

    FRANK Amen! And proclamation, done in a God-fearing way, believes that God will need to punish us if a pagan. God nowhere tells us that we are ever allowed to chose between obedience and love. Love is the sum total of the obedience God demands in the Law.

    TR HALVORSON But when we depart from the form of words and resort to sweeping theologies, that authorizes the opponents to use the same procedure.

    FRANK Ok. I think I agree, but I cant be certain because I am not sure I understand for sure what you mean by “sweeping theologies” here or “depart from the form of words”. For example, Rome accuses Lutherans of “sweeping theology” when we insist upon Justification by faith alone, apart from the works of the Law. They say we oversimplify things by insisting on applying that doctrine, in a mega sweeping way, to every other doctrine. And then they accuse us of error in insisting on reading every single word of Scripture through that ultra sweeping lense.

    TR HALVORSON. They are able to concoct a sweeping theology just as well as we are. Then the hearers listen to two sides, both of whom are doing the same thing, arguing from their competing sweeping theologies. This is an outright invitation to the hearers to decide between the arguments on the basis of their preferences, because we are not really using the authority of the Word nor the inspiration of the Holy Spirit directly in a proclamation.

    FRANK Right. So proclamation is not just quoting scriptures. It is interpreting and applying and understanding them in a context. This is what the Confessions teach us to do. It is why Lutherans do not just quote scripture in the way Baptists do. Even Satan ‘proclaimed scripture”. Jesus corrects him by putting scriptures into a context and interprets them.

    TR HALVORSON We need to make the decision appear as stark as it really is: either accept the authority of the Word and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, or set yourselves up as authorities and go your own way.

    FRANK Amen! I would point out that Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses accept the authority of Bible in the sense that they agree that it is the inerrant Word of God. So does the devil for that matter. And the Reformed also accept this authority, and yet, at the same time, deny what that inerrant authority says.

    And things are actually worse than that. We need to confess that we are often are guilty of this as well: We say we trust in Christ, but when our conscience troubles us, we cast about for things to do to calm our conscience. We make lists of things to do , or that we ought to do. We dont surrender to the Forgiveness of Sins in Christ Alone.

    So we have to confess that we are phoney christians and that we are truly faithless. Thank God that it is not our right believing, or right doctrine that saves us but alone Christ and his Perfect Faithfulness within which, we can hide our unfaithfulness! And is right doctrine important? It is! Why? It alone declares that it is Christ alone + nothing at all that saves us! Christ + anything is an anything that is poison to the soul.

    TR HALVORSON I am also troubled because in your construction, the ordos and kingdoms condition how we distinguish law and gospel, and how we distinguish cross and glory.

    FRANK Two Kingdoms is merely another format or modality for Law and Gospel. It IS nothing but Law and Gospel in another teaching format. Earthly Kingdom is whatever God rules and drives by the Law. Heavenly Kingdom is whatever God rules by Faith Alone in Christ Alone apart from the Law.

    “cross and glory” is a distinction I am not familiar with TR. Where are those terms contrasted or that distinction made by Luther or the Confessions? That sounds alot like a Reformed distinction to me… QWhat kinda stuff are you reading TR? I hope that does not offend.

    TR HALVORSON Not being a theologian, I worry that the following might be a mistake, but by the best I can muster as a layman,….

    FRANK I too am a layman. I would encourage you to not only read the Book of Concord, but sit down and try to outline in your own words what the presention points are especially in the Large Catechism and the Apology. And I would use the small catechism as your basic outline in this. I think, even as a layman, that I cannot be wrong or unwholesome in urging this upon you.

    TR HALVORSON it seems more biblical and Lutheran to condition ordos and kingdoms by law and gospel and by cross and glory.

    FRANK I am not sure what it is you mean by that word “condition”. Two Kingdoms IS Law and Gospel. And the 3 “ordos” are the 3 ways God rules with the Law. “ordo” means simply “order” or “government”. These two terms, by the very etymology of the terms themselves, signal that we are talking about the Law and not the Gospel.

    TR HALVORSON Fatherly goodness and mercy to me is gospel.

    FRANK It can be! Christ’s death in payment for our sins is Goodness and Mercy.
    The Gospel is Goodness and Mercy. Goodness and Mercy are not the Gospel.

    TR HALVORSON I get that from Luther’s explanation of the Lord’s prayer. It is just like Luther to say to us that in this prayer, it is not so much us speaking to God as it is God speaking to us.

    FRANK. I agree with your earlier statement that we should avoid sweeping and stick to the particular words. May I ask you brother to please quote the words in the catechism you believe state the assertion you are making? I am not seeing that. I am seeing that Prayer is something we do, that we are commanded to do, and that God will punish us for if we fail to pray.

    TR HALVORSON This is a complete reversal of Roman, Reformed, and Arminian conceptions of prayer. Of “Our Father who art in heaven,” Luther says, “God would thereby tenderly urge us to believe that He is our true Father, and that we are His true children, so that we may ask Him confidently with all assurance, as dear children ask their dear father.”

    FRANK Excellent! Faith knowing this and being certain of this is a fruit of the Gospel. It is something that the Holy Gospel works in us. But these words are not the Gospel. The Gospel is alone the Works of Christ. The Father did not die for us. (cf Dr Luthers Questions and Answers in Preparation for the Holy Supper)

    TR HALVORSON This is the Father as evangelist. He is speaking the gospel to us, even though we are taught to say these words to him.

    FRANK Excellent! But see my previous response. But our saying the words, that God indeed speaks to us through, is a Good Work that God commands us, in the Law, to do. And if we fail to do this, God will punish us. Again, the fact that God is Father and Merciful and Good is not Gospel. Even muslims and other pagans know this. The Holy Gospel is, alone, faith that we can hide our own righteousness in the Righteousness of Another. Alone. Alone. Alone. Alone. Did I say Alone? Alone!!!!! Fatherly Grace and Mercy are not the Gospel TR!

    TR HALVORSON The direction is exactly like in the Divine Service, where once more, Christ serves us (not that we do not also worship him in the service). This is Evangelical Lutheranism. The Gospel creates faith in us and it also generates the new obedience.

    FRANK Amen!

    Art VI of the Augustana ” Of New Obedience” says:
    1] .. faith always produces good fruits, and it is necessary to do good works that the Law demands, because of God’s will [ that Mercy and Goodness be done]. We should not rely on those works to get ourselves right 2] before God. This is because the cancelation of sins and justification is taken on faith. Christ also confirms this: When ye shall have done all these things, say: We are unprofitable servants. Luke 17:10. …3] …Ambrose says: It is ordained of God that he who believes in Christ is saved, freely receiving remission of sins, without works, by faith alone.

    and..

    FC art III “of the Righteousness and Faith before God:
    We reject these ideas:
    That faith saves on this account, because by faith the renewal, which consists in love to God and one’s neighbor, is begun in us.
    That faith has the first place in justification, nevertheless also renewal and love belong to our righteousness before God in such a manner that they [renewal and love] are indeed not the chief cause of our righteousness, but that nevertheless our righteousness before God is not entire or perfect without this love and renewal.
    That believers are justified before God and saved jointly by the imputed righteousness of Christ and by the new obedience begun in them, or in part by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, but in part also by the new obedience begun in them.

    TR HALVORSON A pure curse will never establish the Office of Public Ministry.

    FRANK Who, and in what way, asserts this? No one is. So I dont get your point here.

    TR HALVORSON The office exists by virtue of the gospel and Christ’s institution of it through the Apostles.

    FRANK Amen! This means that even unbelievers (or women by logical extension) who are pastors we are to believe act in the stead and by the Command of Christ. Example : Judas. http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_6_church.php#para28

    Is this an argument for unbelievers or women to be made pastors? To the contrary!
    Yet it is still true. And it is what the Lutheran Confessions teach.

  15. @fws #518

    “cross and glory” is a distinction I am not familiar with TR. Where are those terms contrasted or that distinction made by Luther or the Confessions? That sounds alot like a Reformed distinction to me… QWhat kinda stuff are you reading TR? I hope that does not offend.

    Heidelburg Disputation, 1518.
    http://bookofconcord.org/heidelberg.php

    Walther von Loewenich, Luther’s Theology of the Cross, (Augsburg 1976), English translation by Herbert J. A. Bouman.
    http://www.amazon.com/Luthers-theology-cross-Walther-Loewenich/dp/B0006CIZM2

    Aside from the Book of Concord, it is among the most Lutheran stuff anyone can read, and the Book of Concord makes more sense after gaining some appreciation for the theology of the cross.

    The theology of the cross is not what men, though theologians, say about the cross, but what the cross says. The cross speaks. Its word is the opposite of the theology of glory.

    This is a complete reversal of the Roman, Reformed, and Arminian orientations to the cross, and hence to everything else. The cross made Luther, and then Lutheranism. Because of the cross, Justification. Because of the cross, Law and Gospel. Because of the cross, Word and Sacrament. Because of the cross, Word and Spirit. Because of the cross, Prayer. Because of the cross, Trial. But all these statements that I have just made fail to portray the theology of the cross, because they sound like things I am saying about the cross rather than things the cross is saying about everything else. In the theology of the cross, the cross can never be the object of a verb, and the cross is never qualified by an adjective. The cross always is the subject of an active voice verb.

  16. A whole lot of discussion has ensued over one simple statement made by Dr. Lumley. The pastoral office is reserved for men. It’s assumed within the LCMS that this is agreed upon, as it is the very doctrine and practice we ALL confess through our membership in the Synod. You can pick apart her one statement until Jesus returns, but her assertion that the office is reserved for men stands. Scripture states this clearly.

    As for additional reading on Mercy, our Synodical President has put together some wonderful resources for further reflection:
    http://itistime.org/index.php?option=com_rubberdoc&view=doc&id=15&format=raw
    http://itistime.org/index.php?option=com_rubberdoc&view=doc&id=8&format=raw
    http://itistime.org/index.php?option=com_rubberdoc&view=doc&id=16&format=raw

  17. @T. R. Halvorson #519

    Aside from the Book of Concord, it is among the most Lutheran stuff anyone can read, and the Book of Concord makes more sense after gaining some appreciation for the theology of the cross.

    You seem to be making some distinction between the theology of the Lutheran Confessions and the Theology of the Cross in this statement TR. If I am reading you right, what is the difference? And if not how would I make sense of your statement?

    I will reread the Disputations this week as I get time. The book you recommended would be hard to get here in Brasil.

    Thanks for the nice and very informative post!

    love , frank

  18. @fws #521

    You seem to be making some distinction between the theology of the Lutheran Confessions and the Theology of the Cross in this statement

    Absolutely not. The phrase “aside from” has no such meaning.

    Here is the trouble with your analysis-only way of thinking. Analysis takes things apart to see what they are made of. Synthesis puts things together to see what is made. Both views are needed, but you tend in the very great fraction of cases to use analysis only.

    Imagine a brown paper bag. I tell you that there is a clock inside. You look and being removing the contents. There is a minute hand, an hour hand, a spring, some gears, and clock dial, etc. Is that a clock. No, because it cannot keep time or tell you the time. It is the clock analyzed to such an extent that now it is no longer a clock. It is not a clock unless we put it back together and see what it does then.

    When you post these imaginary, Socratic dialogues, you analyze, that is, take apart into pieces, what other people said. You respond to a piece as if the piece were freestanding. You sometimes even ask questions about a sentence that the person you are responding to answered in his or her very next sentence, but because your analysis has separated the sentences, you are treating the posting as if the poster left your question unanswered or wrote something ambiguous. Another effect of hyperanalysis is separating a pronoun from its antecedent reference, which is why you are so frequently asking what “it” is. Pronouns depend on taking the synthetic view of a person’s writing. You even ask a question, and when the answer beings “It …,” you don’t catch that the antecedent reference is to the nominative in your question or propostion. There are not many people who have the stamina for the tedium of these miscommunication effects of hyperanalysis.

    View people’s writing both analytically and synthetically, and realize that posters themselves vary in the degrees of analysis versus synthesis that they use in writing.

  19. @T. R. Halvorson #522

    FRANK You seem to be making some distinction between the theology of the Lutheran Confessions and the Theology of the Cross in this statement

    TR HALVORSON ” the Book of Concord makes more sense after gaining some appreciation for the theology of the Cross”

    TR HALVORSON

    Your list of criticisms my response to you:

    Here is the trouble with your analysis-only way of thinking.
    …but you tend in the very great fraction of cases to use analysis only.
    … you post these imaginary, Socratic dialogues…
    You respond to a piece as if the piece were freestanding.
    You sometimes (actually one time geez…) even ask questions about a sentence that the person you are responding to (would that person be TR Halvorson? Why the 3rd person?) answered in his or her very next sentence,…
    [you hyperanalyze…

    There are not many people who have the stamina for the tedium of these miscommunication effects of hyperanalysis.

    FRANK But there are some somewhere? 😉
    Would it be hyperanalysis to say that “miscommunication effect of hyperanalysis ” is a mouthful? 🙂

    And then the suggestion:

    TR HALVORSON View people’s writing both analytically and synthetically, and realize that posters themselves vary in the degrees of analysis versus synthesis that they use in writing.

    FRANK What do I DO with that suggestion? Yikes! The practical application of this tip looks like…. um… what? Why the third person?

    Ok. At least it is certain that I carefully read everything you wrote and responded thoughtfully and kindly eh 🙂

    Anyone willing to jump in and turn this into a set of criticisms that would actually be usable?

    And um… what about the content of what I wrote?

  20. @T. R. Halvorson #522

    TR I am registering that you are displeased, upset at my response to you. It was not my intent to draw that kind of response.

    Please feel my permission to read my response as containing nothing but kind and friendly intentions in your direction.

    Your criticisms are written in the theoretical third person. I don’t really have a clue how I would digest your criticisms in a way that I could practically apply them. I normally only address monarchs in the 3rd person. Is it wrong of me for that to feel a little wierd?

  21. @T. R. Halvorson #522

    Dear TR Halvorson,

    I was troubled by this post. I didn’t really know how to respond. So I will try again.

    Your post consisted entire of criticism.

    I had to consider the possibility that your response was because you felt other than kindness, fairness or love in my response to you.

    In that case I really wish that you would have told me that, and then the only proper response on my part would have been to sincerely appologize and try to do better.

    I am confess that often when I feel attacked or criticized, I myself reach for retribution rather than love in such a situation. That was my initial impulse when reading your post for example.

    I really need to assume otherwise , that your response was instead purely out of love for me. It was was intended as a loving encouragement for me to improve my written interpersonal skills with others.

    In that case would you be offended if I asked you please to avoid some of the words you used like “tedious” and “imaginary” and the third person? In a previous post you said I was “artful” in the sense that I was a destroyer of truth by use of artifice. That is a pretty dark accusation isn’t it? None of this stuff feels good TR Halvorson. Would you please stop?

    Also in that case, would it offend you if I asked you offer advice that is more simple? That way I actually could imagine how to employ your suggestions for my benefit and the benefit of others.

    You told me that the solution to my error is to become more aware of analytics and synthetics in the writings of others. I don’t have a clue what that would look like in practice.

  22. @fws #524

    It is fatigue. I mentioned tedium and stamina.

    You don’t take me at my word, and instead personalize the matter from fatigue to displeasure, unkindness, unfairness, and unlovingness. You have resorted to these ad hominems that try to psychoanalyze rather than accept the words written on multiple occasions. Look back through your messages and consider the suggestions about character and personality that you’ve made, and consider your apparent oblivion to what you’ve done. Consider that when a participant posts a single message, your MO is to post two, three, or even four responses to one message. You can’t see from this that the problem is fatigue?

    I don’t have a clue what that would look like in practice.

    Answer a posting with a single reply.

    In the reply, don’t take the posting apart into such atomized pieces that it no longer says what the poster meant, and you are refuting something the poster never said. Every frog after dissection is dead.

    In the reply, take people at their word. Enough with the pop psychology.

    In the reply, don’t suggest people are holding to Reformed (or some other non-Lutheran) theology or are reading the wrong stuff because of your lack of familiarity with something, like Luther’s theology of the cross and the Heidelberg Disputation.

    Stop refusing to consider a person’s proposition when they refer for support to well known Lutheran material such as Luther’s explanation in the Small Catechism of the introduction to the Lord’s Prayer, simply because they did not quote the explanation. Do we really have to quote something that, in this forum, should be so familiar? Can’t a reader open his catechism if he needs to refresh himself on what that says? That’s merely a demand for bloat, and tedium, and leads to fatigue.

    Love is what love does, not a veneer of smooth words. Who has hung with you this long? Do you receive no message from action? My father has never once told me he loves me. That is a mistake, but if at 93 he should tell me now, that would spoil it, because by his actions, I have never doubted. Culture varies, Frank. You can’t expect everyone to exhibit love in the same cookie cuttered ways.

  23. @fws #525

    @T. R. Halvorson #526

    fws, I am sorry that this feels bad, but I think you should go and learn the meaning of this:

    Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
    profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

    Your taking exception to every word that is not soft is an attack in its own right.

  24. It’s been suggested here that Chemnitz says that gender is an inessential attribute of Christ’s human nature. It seems also to have been implied that attributes that are not essential are considered accidental, but that is false. Chemnitz classifies attributes as essential, accidental and personal. Therefore not being essential allows for being personal. I do not say that the gender of Christ is not essential.

    I can find no place where Chemnitz addresses the gender of the Son as an attribute or per se. My own opinion is that Chemnitz knows, as I think I know, that this would be highly impious. The word that says it all, as the first couple of responders to this post very succinctly said, is SON.

    Here are a few words that Chemnitz _does_ say (as translated by J.A.O. Preus). I apologize for the long quotation. My emphasis.

    Furthermore, attributes are either essential or accidential or personal. And of the essential attributes some are constitutive of natures [17] that is, they actually constitute the natures or pertain to the constitution of an essence, as in the divine nature all attributes are essential which are not something distinct or different from the essence of God itself. For if the divine essence () were perfected by something different from itself, that is, if it were made better, more blessed, or more perfect, it would then not be a completely simple essence, nor would it be the highest and most perfect good. And so the divine essence is powerful and wise, not power and wisdom which are different from the essence, like a quality; but the divine essence is omnipotence itself, wisdom itself, goodness itself. But the properties of the human nature are constitutive (), because it consists of body and soul. The soul is a created spirit, rational and immortal, an essential part of human nature. The body is created, consisting of flesh, blood, skin, bones, nerves, with all the members arranged in a symmetrical order (). In regard to the properties which are constitutive attributes of the natures, [18] Damascensus correctly points out that without them the nature, essence, and species could not exist. In [De Fide Orthodoxa] Bk. 1, chs. 4 and 12, he calls essential or natural those attributes which relate to the nature () or result from the constitution of a nature () or an essence already constituted, as in the case of human nature, which because of its character is visible, tangible, and circumscribed by physical localization to one place. [19] However, we will show later what the divine omnipotence can do in these material properties. We also call accidental properties those infirmities which because of sin have been imposed upon the human nature, which Christ willingly assumed in His state of humiliation, not because of the necessity of the nature but in order that He might become the victim for us, yet without sin. And in keeping with Scholastic terminology we call accidental attributes the other created gifts, qualities, characteristics, or natural powers with which the human nature of Christ is ornamented formally, habitually, and subjectively. Even without these attributes the human nature could possess and retain its own species, for it possesses them not out of its own constitution but from without. Personal attributes are those which distinguish the person of the Logos from the other persons of the Trinity, for example, that the Son or Logos is the Only-Begotten of the Father, or that the Second Person of the Trinity is united personally with the human nature. Likewise, in 1 Cor. 1:24 He is called the power and wisdom of God, not unbegotten, as in the case of the Father, nor proceeding, as in the case of the Holy Spirit,

    but begotten, that is, it is a characteristic attribute by which the common divine essence is defined and determined in the person of the Son. Thus the whole fullness of the Deity dwells personally in the assumed human nature, but not under the person of the Father or the Holy Ghost, but only in and under the person of the Son. Thus the human nature in Christ (although it does not subsist by itself or alone) in a sense possesses personal attributes, because this unit (massa) or this individual unit of human nature which subsists in the person of the Logos differs from all other persons possessing human nature in that it does not subsist in itself but in the person of the Logos and does not possess a personality of its own, since it has the person of the Logos for its hypostasis. It belongs to the very person of the incarnate Son with which it is joined (), as Nazianzus says. This individual entity alone of all human nature has been personally united with the divine nature of the Logos and exalted above all creatures to the right hand of the majesty and omnipotence of God.

    17. Dial. 5; MPG 94, 544.
    18. Ibid.
    19. MPG 94, 800.

    Chemnitz, Martin (2005-01-01). Chemnitz’s Works: The Two Natures in Christ: 6. (c) Concordia Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

    — Fair use —

  25. @mbw #528

    “The distinction between essential versus accidental properties has been characterized in various ways, but it is currently most commonly understood in modal terms along these lines: an essential property of an object is a property that it must have while an accidental property of an object is one that it happens to have but that it could lack. ”

    MBW, I think Dr Becker’s argument looks like this:

    1) Jesus, as the Second Adam was Savior of the Human Race, which includes male and female.
    For Jesus to be Savior then , it was essential for him to be human.
    To be human it is not essential to be male or female.
    Gender is “accidental” to being human Dr.Becker is saying.
    Therefore for Jesus to be Savior , it was not essential for him to be male.
    This is his Thesis.

    The resulting arguments raised these issues:

    2) Was being male, jewish, unattractive,, born in bethlehem, a blood descendent of David essential for Jesus to be the Person of Jesus ?
    I think Dr Becker would answer yes to this question.
    I suggest that Dr Becker says Chemnitz would agree as well, and that this is why he pointed to Chemnitz.
    How is this connected to Dr Becker’s Thesis? I am not sure precisely.

    3) Were the following attributes essential for Jesus to be the Messiah? male, jewish, unattractive,, born in bethlehem, a blood descendent of David?
    I suspect Dr Becker would also answer yes to this question as well.
    How is this connected to Dr Becker’s Thesis? I am not sure on this either.

    4) It’s true that Jesus had to be the Messiah to be the Savior. So in that way one could argue Male>Messiah/Savior. On the other hand was Jesus being jewish or galilean essential to his being Human? No.

    I am not sure where this leaves all of us as to this discussion. Is there some category error going on here?

    It seems that the purpose here is to prove that Dr Becker’s Christology is false.

    If I am right about where I think Dr Becker is on all these points, then reading Chemnitz is probably not going to really accomplish this is it? Or am I missing something MBW?

    So my question about category error is this: Is my being born in the united states or of norwegian ethnicity, or handsome (my mom says!) things that are “essential” to my being the “person” I am, or are they accidents in the “scholastic” definition of those terms “essential” and “accidental”? Dr Chemnitz said that he was following the Scholastic definitions for these in the quote you produced from him.

    Is there anyone here who can provide an answer to this question and produce some authority we can look at to verify that the answer is the correct and scholastic one?

    I am thinking and suggesting MBW, that the answer here will not be found in Chemnitz. it wont even be found in proving what the Scholastic definition is for these terms and whether or not blue eyes are essential or accidental to my “person”. They are accidental , obviously, to my being human.

    It might be found in evaluating if “human”, “person” and “savior/messiah” are in the same category. I am not sure how to tease this out, but it seems that savior/messiah are not “ontological” while human/person are that.

    Some here argue for this: To be savior required attributes…male.. jewish…unattractive..that were essential to being Jesus and accidental to being human.

    Dr Becker seems to argue this: While being male, jewish and unattractive were essential for Jesus to be the messiah and to be Jesus, these attributes were accidental to being human and therefore accidental to being the Savior.

    I don’t know if these observations help, or muddy the waters further. But I am pretty sure MBW that you wont get us to clarity with Chemnitz for the reasons I have outlined.

  26. @fws #529

    fws, if nobody said the following, somebody should have: It’s dangerous to argue with an errorist (Becker) but it’s even more dangerous to defend one.

  27. @mbw #530

    I am not connecting the dots MBW . Are you suggesting that I am defending an error of Dr Becker? That would be wrong to do of course. What is the error I am defending in that case?

    I am studying accidental and essential on line. Is it possible that we have a situation that seems to look like this:

    Similarly, an anti-essentialist might say that when a person who is both a mathematician and a cyclist is thought of as a mathematician, being rational is essential to him, while being two-legged is not; but when the very same person is thought of as a cyclist, then although being two-legged is essential to him, being rational is not.

    I am wondering if maybe then problem is relying to much on logic? Is my having two legs or blue eyes essential to who I am as a person as is being male. and is this stuff essential in the same way to my being someones husband? what about as a basketball player?

    I am smelling some sort of category or other error.

  28. @mbw #530

    my question is like this MBW to show you what I am uncertain on.

    I have certain attributes. I am male, white, american, human, green eyed etc.

    are these things essential or accidental? are they separable? are any of the propriums? are they necessary accidents if they are accidents? Why?

    Is there anyone here who has the tecnical knowledge to answer these questions? MBW? TRH? Anyone here know this sort of stuff? I dont!

  29. @fws #532

    These questions (the ones you asked in #532, understand that I am replying to your posting, instead of asking me what the pronoun “these” refers to) are not answered in Scripture. Therefore they are the wrong questions. Had God seen our need for answers to these, He, in his fatherly goodness and mercy, would have given them to us.

    These questions come not from God or the Bible, but from Aristotle, the Scholastics, and people who build theologies afield from revelation, such as Prof Becker. Persisting in promoting the significance of these questions is a type of cryptobeckerism, and here is why:

    Because dispuations often are won and lost at the very outset by how the issue is framed, when you keep framing the issue with questions that are the foundation of Prof Becker’s argument, you support his argument. You help him frame the issue, and foreordain the disputation’s conclusion.

    The question you need to be asking is not, what are the answers to Prof Becker’s questions about essential, accidential, etc., but why do those questions even matter? And if they matter, why didn’t God give us the answers?

  30. @mbw #527

    1) My comments were not addressed to you MBW, and “peacemaker ” would not be the right word to describe your injecting yourself here.

    2) This passage does not divinely command us to be “friendly” by deliberately selecting a choice of words that are aimed to wound rather than to love. This is what you have twisted it to mean.

    3) I won’t address TR here in a post to you.

  31. @T. R. Halvorson #533

    I am going to show you what patience and love look like TR Halvorson now.

    1) I agree that Scripture does not answer the questions as to what is the meaning of philosophical categories such as essential, accident, separable accidents, necessary accident, probrium , or for that matter , the meaning of medical categories such as homosexual, or even more general categories such as human, nature, divine, or person.

    2) I agree therefore that it would be wrong to try to resolve the meaning of scripture by employing the use of logical categories. FC art I in fact, informs us that Dr Luther used the terms essence and accident not as proof since that would be wrong to do (but not for the reasons you say), but rather as description.

    3) The questions I am answering are not from God, the bible, aristotle or even Dr Becker. They are from our MBW who quotes dr Chemitz as saying this:

    “And in keeping with Scholastic terminology we call accidental attributes”

    So Dr Chemnitz says that he is obeying the meaning of terms in their scholastic sense.

    I am certain, from FC art I, that this is not to say that he is employing also scholastic logic to determine what scripture means. See the difference TR?

    So what I am asking here, is if anyone knows what the schlastic definitions are of all those terms. They are technical terms that have very technical meanings. I am not someone trained in that. Further I am saying that someone like me would not understand what MBW quoted from Chemnitz without understanding what I am asking here for help on.

    4) if you are as clueless here as I am TR Halvorson, it would have been more polite for you to just say that rather than again go on the attack. Relax TR. Be friendly. Be Kind. Be Patient. Be Meek. Be Humble. Show mercy and goodness to others always.

    I fail continuously at this too. Throw these exhortations right back at me as often as you feel I am not being these things toward you brother!

  32. @T. R. Halvorson #533

    But my feeble and sinful attempt to show you what love towards you looks like is the moral equivalent of a used tampon compared to this word of Law TR Halvorson:

    If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
    2 And if I have aprophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, bso as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
    3 cIf I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,1 but have not love, I gain nothing.

    But we all, like clever attorneys, try to get out of the accusations of the Law. How?

    We make the claim that the bible says that “love” or to be “friendly” does not require our words and actions to look like love or , to be more midwestern lutheran FEEL to the recipient, like love. What does God say?

    Is that assertion true? What does St Paul say?

    To be patient is to love.
    To be kind is to love.

    How does one know if they are being the receipient of patience and kindness from others? It is contrary to God’s Word to assert that feelings are less than urgently important here.

    Love does not envy
    does not boast
    is not arrogant
    is not rude.
    does not insist on its own way
    it is not irritable
    it is not resentful

    How does someone know that others have not been arrogant, rude, irritable or resentful or is intent on winning an argument to the negation of love? It would be wicked and unscriptural to say that the feelings of others here are less than urgently important.

    Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing (it does not take pleasure in finding fault this means)
    Love, in contrast, rejoices with the truth.
    Love bears all things
    Love believes all things (It puts the words of others in the most favorable light, cf 8th com)
    Love hopes all things
    Love endures all things.

    It would be wicked and contrary to God’s Word to say that being right ever, ever, trumps the command to do all we can to make the other party sensible of our love towards him.

    Love never ends. (Love is the Eternal Will of God worked by both Law and Gospel FC art VI)

    Then St Paul states the following

    1) Preaching and Learning Law and Gospel will pass away. They pertain to this earthly existence. (FC art VI) We should remember here that all we are doing here is Romans 8 “flesh/body” that will pass away this says. Relax and love this says. This is all about OUR Love. And our love will perish as the moral equivalent of used tampons that it is.
    2) Love will endure forever. This is to trust only in that Love that is the work of Christ.
    3) Idolatry trusts in our Love that is about our needing to right or thinking that truth will not endure without our defending it
    4) Faith in Christ alone is alone free to make love for neighbor the priority
    5) To focus on our own making things right, rather than having the priority be making our neighbor feel loved, are diagnostic signs of spiritual immaturity.
    4) So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

  33. @mbw #527

    Our love (aka moral actions) must always be about getting right with our neighbor, rather than getting things right with God.

    To aim our love/morality at the task of making things right between us and God is idolatrous sacrifice. This is a stench to God.

    The only Love we can offer up to God that is not the moral equivalent of a used Tampon is the Love of Another

    That is why this is true

    The Law is the Tree that extorts the Fruit called Love.
    The Law always does this by killing You to make Love for Me.

    This looks like Death (a fatal wound!) for You Proverbs 27:6 !

    The Law purposes your Death (aka mortification/deathing) to make this look like Love for Me!

    And the reverse is true in my actions towards you MBW.

    Further: Only Faith that is created by our Life in the Death of Another in Holy Baptism can trust that God is truly our Friend even as he is killing us with the Law with the purpose of Providencing his Fatherly Goodness and Mercy out of our Death for he creaturely and transitory , temporal, fleeting Romans 8 fleshly and bodily needs of others . We are to help and befriend our neighbor in every bodily need. This is to happen without or neighbor’s worthiness, faithfulness or goodness. We are to do this even for our wicked neighbors (4th petition Lord’s Prayer Small Catechism says this).

    Mercy is always , by definition, done only for the unworthy, the faithless, and the wicked. Mercy is always, by definition, undeserved. And God is Goodness and Mercy.

    Therefore the Works of Christ are a consequence and revelation of this Goodness and Mercy. They are not the basis for this Goodness and Mercy towards us.

  34. @mbw #530

    We are show mercy to our neighbor MBW. Mercy is always undeserved. So even to our unworthy, faithless and wicked neighbor (small catechism 1st petition and 4th article) we are required to do this mercy toward him:

    we are to defend his reputation. We are to seek to propose to others the understanding of his or her words that puts that person in the most favorable and kindest light.

    It is never wrong to do this MBW. And it is wicked to suggest othewise.

  35. @fws #538

    > It is never wrong to do this MBW. And it is wicked to suggest otherwise.

    Glad to have you a little more out in the open on this, fws.

    By going soft on a public false teacher, one does not love the weaker and less educated sheep who may be misled by that false teacher.

    It is necessary to publicly condemn false teachings, publicly. What I have said about Becker is that he is teaching heresy. If you go soft on that, you are going hard on the women and children he will mislead.

  36. @mbw #539

    There are two objectively substantive issues here in your post.

    1) God’s Law in my conscience accuses me and tells me that I am supposed to ignore the embedded ad homen (cf footnote) that seems designed to goad my Old Adam into a snark-fest. You can be certain that my Old Adam is goading me to respond in kind! And my Old Adam will, heart and soul is hating that! So even if I respond civily to you, the Law is telling me that I am STILL pot calling kettle black. The Law always accuses.

    This is true, especially when when I manage to stumble into DOing the right thing, or try my best to do it! It even manages to accuse and condemn me even if I manage to lie to myself and imagine that somehow I am better than you because I am whitewashed outwardly (as God wishes me to be) and still death and putrification in my heart on the inside (which is God’s judgement of my own righteousness).

    You are accusing me of being dishonest. That is in fact necessary IF it is true.
    But the way you did it is most certainly wrong : “… a little more out in the open …”.
    TR Halvorson’s accusations directed at me are couched in the same exact way.

    You both need to simply stop it.

    2) Your accusation is also wrong because it is simply not true. You simply cannot demonstrate where I a) have failed to publicly condemn public false teaching that I am aware of first hand , or b) that I have in any way supported error.

    You need to simply stop this behavior MBW. So does TR Halvorson.

    (footnote) “ad homen” by the way, is when, in an argument, one focusses on the person , as in, and I paraphrase: ” you are less than open and honest” (MBW to me)… “you are artfully a destroyer of truth (TR Halvorson to me)”. It is criticism directed “at the man himself” (latin: ad homen) rather than directing criticism at the arguments or actions of that man.

    I need to post this because TR Halvorson seemed confused on this in another post and in one of his many accusations directed at me, has accused me of criticizing him “ad homen.” Charity seems to require that I assume he is innocent as to what the term “ad homen” means.

    This is because I am not aware that I have ever attacked or questioned his person as to his intent character. He has done so to my own multiple times. I am not sure what is evoking that in him. I am more than eager to consider that something I said was inartfully spoken and wounded him. I am eager for this because then he could point out my error and I could then apologize. That is always the best thing to have happen.

  37. @mbw #539

    MBW… MBW… MBW! You are also accusing me of failing to love those that might be influenced by false teachers. How?

    Are you saying that I am require by the Law of God to serve up a steamy plate of hate to anyone who says some doctrine that is false? And if I do not I am then failing to love those who they might wrongfully influence?

    No. You are NOT saying that are you? Are you??

    So what ARE you saying then? What is it you are accusing me of here then? Come out with it man.

  38. Would it be better to exchange the personal comments via email?  I think Norm can supply email addresses.

  39. @fws #394

    I would suggest that this is not an honorable strategy

    May we agree that saying someone has used a not honorable strategy is an ad hominem, speaking directly against the honor of the person, rather that speaking on the substance of the topic or the method of discourse.

  40. @John Rixe #542

    Wouldn’t it have been nice if…
    1) Dr Lumley’s editors had been more diligent.
    2) Dr Becker had done the christian think and privately approached Dr Lumley
    3) The APLB and this site and the responders had insistently sought defend let alone not attack the kindest and most forgiving understanding of both Lumley and Becker?

    The only reason to take such matters offline is exactly to preserve the reputation and good name of others. I don’t see how doing that in this case would work to that end.

    And, as MBW has pointed out here, it is good that doctrinal errors made in public be also corrected in public. Here there are men who have directed comments directly at each other in the same public forum. It is not the identical situation to Dr Lumley and Dr Becker I would suggest.

    @T. R. Halvorson #543

    No TR Havorson. That doesn’t go far enough! We are require not only to avoid hurting or harming the honor of our neighbor and not hurt his reputation.

    I am required to help and befriend and defend YOUR honor TR Halvorson, in every way I can honestly think to do. This is NOT the time to put what I am saying in the abstract 3rd person. I have absolutely no excuse not to take every chance I am given to build you up, and equip you to be more useful to the Body of Christ and others by building up your honor and reputation before the other brothers here in this blog.

    Where I have failed to do that TR Halvorson, you are required to gently tell me that I have hurt your feelings or otherwise wounded you. And you are also then required to be specific as to exactly what the offending words were. That is to afford me to repent in a way that allows me to better serve you in love.

    And then I am required to seek your forgiveness and try to do better. It is no excuse for me to be right. Love is demanded of me in any case, and the only person who can judge my love for you is you. That is the way love works. I dont make the rules (fortunately, because then the world would be really messed up!)

    I would not be offended at you doing that here. I have done that with you after all.

    Wouldn’t this be a nice outcome if this happened frequently on blogs like this? For all to see? as in “look at how they love one another!”

  41. @T. R. Halvorson #543

    No TR Halvorson. To criticize someones actions or words is not an ‘Ad homen” attack.

    That would look like this “you are dishonorable man because you attacked me in a way that was dishonorable.”

    If that feels like a trivial distinction then compare these two scenarios:

    Johnny! You are a rotten dishonorable little boy! You have no honor! You hit little susie.
    Analysis: Johnny should just keep flailing away at poor susie since he is rotten whatever he does. I am telling Johnny that honor simply is unrestorable. Why? He is what is dishonorable. So his actions are just whatever. This is about shame and not about damage control really.

    and now this one:

    Johnny! You hit little Susie! You need to stop! You are hurting her. It is a dishonorable thing to do.
    Analysis: This says nothing to the person (ad homen) of Johnny. And.. he needs to stop, whether his stopping even will make him a good or a bad person is rendered completely irrelevant Dishonorable? It removes honor from the perpetrator, victim and act itself. Pick one. It really doesn’t matter does it where dishonor gets pinned in this scenario? It is totally about damage control and not about shaming someone.

  42. fws :@Matthew Becker #259
    Ok. You do not accept the Order of Creation argument. My point was that the “conservatives” no longer do either!

    I hope you get my point here.

    I’m not sure what you mean about church being an “earthly government;” I don’t think the pastor’s authority in the church is analogous to the father’s role in the home or the ruler’s role in government.

    However, I do agree that the old Lutheran rejection of ordination of women on the basis of the order of creation actually makes sense, whereas basing it only on two prooftexts (that themselves refer back to Genesis) is bizarre. And just as LCMS conservatives get around having women speak in worship by not allowing laymen to do anything in the service, now the pastor’s validity has something to do with representing Christ.

    All that’s far too subtle. Simply, God gave leadership and authority, whether that of the preaching office or of the home and the state–to men. He gave women other callings.

    And because the LCMS can’t bring itself to say things like this in a simple way, everyone is confused. The new testament prooftexts about women not being pastors are there because in general women are not to rule men, but be in subjection. And though husbands are supposed to submit to their wives, and pastors to their people, it is not a submission that negates the hierarchy that God created.

    So you’re wrong about conservatives no longer believing in the order of creation. There are still more than a few that do, and I would imagine the number is growing as more people become aware that the attempts to conform the church to the functional androgyny of our society are dead ends.

  43. @Karl Hess #547

    I’m not sure what you mean about church being an “earthly government;” I don’t think the pastor’s authority in the church is analogous to the father’s role in the home or the ruler’s role in government.

    The Old Lutherans taught the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms as being a practical version of Law and Gospel. it works like this:

    God rules everything, and he rules in two ways. He rules everything we can see and do in his Earthly Kingdom with the Law applied to our Old Adams. In this Kingdom he rules this way using 3 forms of government: family, church and society.

    The God rules in his Heavenly Kingdom, that is “in, with and under” things we can see and do, and he rules in this kingdom alone by faith in Christ alone. This kingdom does not include anything we can see and do in our bodies, since those things are ALL already included in that other Earthly Kingdom.

    This is really just the practical form the Old Lutherans used to practically apply the Doctrine of Law and Gospel in our everyday life.

    Further there is this:

    Inside each believer is also two Kingdoms or Powers that look exactly like the Earthly Kingdom and Heavenly Kingdom distinction. This is the distinction between the Old Adam and the believer , in so far as he is Regenerated . This is taught in FC art VI.

    The Luther sermon I draw all this from is Luthers 1528 marburg sermon on the Two Kingdoms that FC art VI says is the basis for understanding FV art VI.

    I hope this helps!

    Love,

    frank william

  44. @Karl Hess #547

    Dear Karl Hess

    All that’s far too subtle. Simply, God gave leadership and authority, whether that of the preaching office or of the home and the state–to men. He gave women other callings.

    This simple view appears to be the universal view of all christians up through Franz Pieper.

    Now here in this thread our TR Halvorson has come up with a quote from Martin Luther´s “Genesis Commentary” that nuances this view quite a bit Karl.

    I will point out that the Genesis Commentary is referenced by the Lutheran Confessions as a further explanation of many of their points , and it represents Luther´s most mature thinking since it was his last major work.

    In this writing Luther lists female subbordination as one of the curses he embedded in the Order of Creation, along with weeds, work now being UNpleasurable, women giving birth with excruciating pain, and….. women now being placed under the thumb of men.

    Luther says in that quote, that before the fall, women were completely equal partners with men. Men were not in authority over women.

    So this IS an Order God set up indeed, as are weeds, work-as-unpleasant and women in birth pain.

    But we use roundup, we welcome labor-saving devices, and we give women pain killers when they give birth. So if we were consistent in family , church and society, how would we also treat womens´s subordination?

    The Luther quote that TR Halvorson has provided us here has really changed my thinking alot about this entire subject Karl.

    Here is the quote:

    @T. R. Halvorson #328

  45. @fws #549

    fws you have obfuscated and sidetracked this discussion with your many words. Nobody who was capable of addressing the important issues involved in the original post was willing to wade through your interminable bilge.

    In your many syrupy words of ‘love’ you condemn others who speak plainly.

    You should go away, or be banned.

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