Steadfast Media Pick of the Week — A Pick in Exile

A Pick in Exile

I was too young to remember the struggles in the church during the 1970’s and I’ve never been too interested in diving into this part of LCMS history. But Pr. Scheer recommended a debate to me this past week on the conflict so I decided to take a look.

The panelists for the program were Rev. Samuel J. Roth, Gerald A. Miller , Rev. Thomas A. Baker, and Rev. Herman J. Otten.

I found the exchange at 43:45 most interesting. Pr. Otten asks if there is room for men in our church that say that Christ is not the only way to salvation and that maybe some of these people who die without are going to be save. Pr. Roth says that there is no other way to salvation except through Jesus Christ but he starts with the grace of God and God is free to save anyone in anyway He wants.

The other exchange I found interesting was at 1:03:50 on the historicity of Jonah.


Comments

Steadfast Media Pick of the Week — A Pick in Exile — 34 Comments

  1. Is the “Tom Baker” in this video the same “Tom Baker” from KFUO’s “Law & Gospel” and frequent Issues Etc. guest?

  2. Here’s the XXXA obituary of Rev. Samuel J. Roth, former president of Evangelical Lutherans in Mission (ELIM) and retired XXXA pastor, who died on February 20, 2002.

  3. Carl Vehse :
    Here’s the XXXA obituary of Rev. Samuel J. Roth, former president of Evangelical Lutherans in Mission (ELIM) and retired XXXA pastor, who died on February 20, 2002.

    What exactly does XXXA stand for? Thanks in advance…

  4. @CDJ #4
    Carl Vehse means ELCA, but leaves out the ELC because they have lost their “Evangelical” character because they do not have the pure Gospel (how can you when you deny sin being sin?). They have given up the name Lutheran as well (fellowship with Reformed and others shows that). They also have given up the name church (because of the previous two being removed, they are no longer a place where the Gospel is preached clearly, nor are they properly adminstrating the sacraments).

    Carl, feel free to correct me if you need to.

  5. Yeah, I knew that Pr. Scheer, I just wanted Dr Rick Strickert to answer the question. Seems rather pedantic and juvenile for him to continue to use these tired terms after all these years in every Lutheran forum…

  6. @CDJ #6,

    At its 2001 Convention, the Synod approved (706/343) Resolution 3-21A, which resolved to

    affirm the late President Alvin L. Barry’s judgment that “we cannot consider them [the ELCA] to be an orthodox Lutheran church body” (President’s Report, CW, p. 7).

    In its “Response to Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust,” A Report of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, April 2012, the CTCR stated:

    “The ELCA has now taken this step, embodying apostasy from the faith once delivered to the saints.”

    While there may be people who still hold onto their Christian faith within the XXXA, the CTCR statement and the normal definition of apostasy means that a person who truly replaces their faith in Christ with faith in XXXA apostate doctrine would be damned to hell.

    Thus my use of XXXA is congruent with statements approved by the Synod in convention and a report approved for public release by the Synod’s CTCR.

    Thus your comment, “Seems rather pedantic and juvenile for him to continue to use these tired terms after all these years in every Lutheran forum…,” is, for all practical Lutheran purposes, worthless.

  7. Carl Vehse :
    @CDJ #6,
    At its 2001 Convention, the Synod approved (706/343) Resolution 3-21A, which resolved to

    I was not aware that the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church was established by resolutions approved by LCMS in convention.

  8. @Johan Bergfest #9: “I was not aware that the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church was established by resolutions approved by LCMS in convention.”

    Neither was I. Where have you heard that?

    According to the Missouri Synod Constitution, Article II, the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and of practice, and in Lutheran Confessions (the Book of Concord) as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God.

    The Missouri Synod does adopt doctrinal resolutions and statements which are in harmony with the Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, and conform to the confessional position of the Synod as set forth in Article II, in order to clarify its witness, to settle doctrinal controversy, or to provide information, counsel and guidance.

  9. Carl – I got the impression that some folks think the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church is established by resolutions approved by the LCMS in convention. Your explanation tends to affirm that explanation.

    And, didn’t the LCMS in convention suspend Article II for the purpose of approving the doctrinal statement which subsequently was used to accuse seminary professors of teaching false doctrine?

  10. @Johan Bergfest #11: “Your explanation tends to affirm that explanation.”

    Actually the explanation, which comes from the LCMS Constitution and Bylaws, contradicts such an impression you got from some folks. Perhaps you need to rely on some different folks.

    “And, didn’t the LCMS in convention suspend Article II for the purpose of approving the doctrinal statement which subsequently was used to accuse seminary professors of teaching false doctrine?”

    Did it? Let me know when you have specific evidence rather that rhetorical gossip.

  11. Carl – that may be the explanation, but on several occasions you have cited those resolutions as though they were the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. They aren’t. They are the doctrine of the LCMS.

    If the specific evidence that you requested could be found in the minutes from the 1973 LCMS convention, would you still consider it to be rhetorical gossip?

  12. 0000-02:04

    Luther

    The Man…The Conflict…The Creation of a New Faith.

    Starring Stacey Keach, Patrick McGee, Robert Stephens

    1974
    Rated PG
    108 Minutes

  13. Some may wonder what any of these things in the early 1970s have to do with the situation today.

    The AELC, the group formed by congregations that left The LCMS, were the catalyst for the formation of the ELCA, and at least one prominent ELCA theologian has argued that the AELC approach and style of doing things was a major contributing factor for the ELCA’s present state.

    Here is a portion of an article from Carl Braaten’s recently published autobiography:

    The source of the contention
    Braaten lays much of the blame for the ELCA’s alleged slide from its theological foundation at the doorstep of the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC), the splinter group that broke away from the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in 1974. The AELC joined with the American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) to form the ELCA in 1988.

    “The AELC received a lot of the credit — or the blame — for creating a new church that moved to the left on the spectrum of Christianity in the United States, resembling more than ever just another liberal Protestant denomination,” Braaten writes. “The ex-

    Missourians pushed for greater democracy in the church and they got it, with all its virtues and liabilities. The upshot was that the church was destined to be governed by a lay majority vulnerable to the manipulation of an unelected bureaucracy at liberty to use the organs of the church to promote its own liberal agendas.”

    Braaten maintains that during the deliberations of the Commission for a New Lutheran Church (CNLC), which drafted the constitution for the ELCA, “the AELC representatives, together with the representatives of minorities, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians, and the representatives of women, formed a coalition to emasculate the … veteran leaders from the ALC and the LCA.

    “On account of the quota system, it became clear from the start that theologians would not have much say in the formation of the new Lutheran church. The coalition of minorities and feminists would see to that. To them the issue of race and gender was far more important than dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s in matters theological and ecclesiological.”

    Braaten had seen an example of the AELC’s influence before when that synod’s Seminex seminary was merged with the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. “The unexpected consequence of such a strong contingency of Seminex personnel was to move the faculty and student body to the left on social, cultural, and theological issues,” Braaten says.

    He adds: “Having been condemned as liberals and heretics in their home church, they became advocates of progressive agendas in their new ecclesial setting. The poison of political correctness spread into every aspect of seminary life.”

    Source:
    http://metrolutheran.org/2010/12/lutheran-theologian-considers-aelcs-disproportionate-influence-on-the-elca/

  14. @Rev. Paul T. McCain #15

    Some years ago, Pr. Peter Kurowski, who matriculated to Sem StL at that time (M.Div. ’78), related to me how, after the “walkout” students left, the dumpsters holding contents from the dorm rooms contained large amounts of pornography. I was dumbfounded, finally asking “How could that be?” His wry response: “Freedom in Christ.”

  15. Carl Vehse :
    Johan @13, you are playing rhetorical gossip games. Produce evidence if it is be discussed.

    Carl – do you know whether the documentation of the 1971 and 1973 LCMS conventions are available online? If so, I think we could discover whether or not I am playing rhetorical gossip games by checking out those sources.

  16. Johan, arguing about whether, or not, the LCMS doctrinal statement: “A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles” is, or isn’t, the “doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church” is really beside the point.

    The LCMS declared itself to adhere to that statement and it requires members of the Synod to do the same.

    The liberals who left to join the AELC or went elsewhere did the honorable thing. Those who remained behind, for instance the people editing and participating in the DayStar journal, etc. have no right to whine and complain.

    The ELCA, I’m sure, has a big enough tent for them. The ELCA is a good example of what lies ahead for a church body that embraces the theology reflected by the Seminex and AELC crowd.

  17. Rev. McCain – it sounds like one point of agreement between Burkee’s dissertation and Braaten’s memoir is that social/political differences had a lot to do with the split in Missouri. What remains an open question to me is whether those differences were wrapped in theological differences for the sake of being politically correct.

    I also note that one of the Braaten quotes that you posted seems to suggest that minorities, blacks, Hispanics, Asians and women ought to remember that, within the Priesthood of All Believers, they are subordinate to males who can trace their roots to Saxony.

  18. Anyone who actually believes the issues at the time of Seminex were not theological simply has no idea what they are talking about.

    If you want to read the cold, hard, actual facts, not the type of National Enquiror stuff put out by Burkee, read the book by Paul Zimmerman about the investigation of Concordia Seminary where he documents precisely what was being taught there.

    http://www.cph.org/p-664-a-seminary-in-crisis.aspx?SearchTerm=seminex

    By the way, maybe you can “trace your roots” back to Saxony, I certainly can’t.

    : )

    I have to admit I actually giggled at your last comment. Good grief, what utter bosh.

  19. Rev. McCain – I’m not suggesting that there are not theological differences. I just wonder whether it is the theological differences take precedent over the social/political differences. You may think it is “utter bosh”, but Braaten’s choice of words certainly sounds as though he has the same disdain for minorities and women as he does for AELC theologians – and please note that you, not I, selected that quote.

  20. Johan Bergfest :
    I also note that one of the Braaten quotes that you posted seems to suggest that minorities, blacks, Hispanics, Asians and women ought to remember that, within the Priesthood of All Believers, they are subordinate to males who can trace their roots to Saxony.

    Well, Braaten is out. He’s of Norwegian ancestry. And ELCA.

    What is your point, Mr. Bergfest? Paul isn’t subscribing to Braaten’s opinions. He’s simply reporting a view from the ELCA about the AELC.

    IOW, ask Braaten.

  21. ELiM is hurtful to the Synod because they are dedicated to the overthrow of the constitution and purposes of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

    Robert D. Preus
    “Interview on Jan. 20-Feb. 20, 1974 period of St. Louis seminary history”
    February 26, 1975

  22. I do believe that church history would show that when a group of people start an opposition seminary, they are starting an opposition church. And, of course, this is exactly what has happened and is happening within our Missouri Synod today.

    Robert D. Preus
    “Interview on Jan. 20-Feb. 20, 1974 period of St. Louis seminary history”
    February 26, 1975

  23. The fact that A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles is a good statement and well written in no way says that it has any long or auspicious future in our church.

    Robert D. Preus
    “Interview on Jan. 20-Feb. 20, 1974 period of St. Louis seminary history”
    February 26, 1975

  24. Johan Bergfest :
    Rev. McCain – I’m not suggesting that there are not theological differences. I just wonder whether it is the theological differences take precedent over the social/political differences. You may think it is “utter bosh”, but Braaten’s choice of words certainly sounds as though he has the same disdain for minorities and women as he does for AELC theologians – and please note that you, not I, selected that quote.

    I have no idea what you are talking about, but you don’t either, so there you go.

  25. @Rev. Paul T. McCain #15
    the AELC representatives, together with the representatives of minorities, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians, and the representatives of women, formed a coalition to emasculate the … veteran leaders from the ALC and the LCA. –Braaten

    I have a hard time believing in the leadership of the LCA “led astray” by AELC; I think they were willing co-conspirators. [About the ALC… a mixed bag, IMO.]

    Robert Jenson, co-author with Braaten of the xxxA’s Dogmatics textbook, brought his cesspool of liberal ideas back from “out East” (Gettysburg, I think) and polluted the religion department at our alma mater to the extent that the best man was forced out.
    Luther is no longer a Lutheran school, but I do not blame AELC for that.

    Braaten seems to be having second thoughts in various forums; if Robert Jenson has, I haven’t read them. And isn’t their “Dogmatics” still xxxA’s required text?

  26. Jesus saved us from our sins on the Cross and at Baptism and at communion. We all need to repent and confess our sins to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, it is by grace that we are saved and we have no way of receiving grace except through the Goodness and Grace of Our Lord and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST who died and rose again and saves us from our sins.
    Rejoice and be happy that the love of God and the Grace of Jesus and the Holy Spirit is in you and dwells among us.
    PRAISE GOD
    Roger

  27. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Pastor McCain’s quotes from Carl Braaten’s new autobiography are right on target. I wrote a review of Braaten’s book, for those of you who read LOGIA, here:

    http://www.shop.logia.org/21-1-Lutheranism-in-Scandinavia-ePub-format-21-1ePub.htm

    I disagree with Braaten’s theology, but what Braaten experienced and testifies to, in his experience with “liberation-theology-Lutheranism,” is most certainly true. That alone makes his autobiography worth reading – besides the fact that he is a good writer.

    When I was doing my doctoral work at Union Theological Seminary-New York, in the late 1980s, I observed that there were two types of liberals there.

    The old type of liberal practiced biblical higher criticism, was active in the ecumenical movement, favored “progressive” political and social agendas (i.e., benefitting the poor and non-privileged), could trace their ideas and practices in a long-and-venerable lineage back through their own professors, through the Niebuhr brothers, Paul Tillich, Charles Briggs, William Adams Brown, Philip Schaff, and all the way back to William Ellery Channing in Boston. Above all, they were “tolerant” in a good, contented-middle-class sort of way and they recognized good scholarship when they saw it.

    The new type of liberal, if they had a theology, was more or less a “liberation theologian.” They didn’t bother with the hard, scholarly work of biblical higher criticism, they just rejected the Scriptures. They weren’t involved in the ecumenical movement, because that was too “churchly.” They favored “radical” political and social agendas, scarcerly different from European socialism or Trotskyite communism. Their favorite “religious” authors were Karl Marx and Ludwig Feuerbach. They were “intolerant,” rejected the writings of any DWM “dead white male,” and refused to have civil conversation with anyone who was not homosexual (or at least publicly pro-homosexual), female, black, or Latino/a. This new type of liberal took over control of the seminary where Braaten served, and has since taken over control of the ELCA.

    As to why these things happened, you have to look at the political and social relationships of the LCA with its ecumenical partners on the East Coast (Episcopaleans, UCC, United Presbyterian, Unitarians, etc.). It is not so much the theology of the LCA that led it into this path, but the fact that it was willing to give up its Lutheran theology and distinctives in order to join the “big league mainline” churches in power, wealth, and influence. The theology was more a symptom than a cause in this particular case of “church-meltdown.” When the ALC joined up with the LCA in 1988, it bought into the whole package, with the AELC being the ideological salesman.

    The LCMS just missed getting sucked into the vortex “by the skin of its teeth.” Whatever their detractors (like James Burkee) might say, Lutherans in the LCMS have to give credit to Herman Otten, Faith-Forward-First-Concerns, JAO Preus, Tom Baker, Balance Inc., Affirm, and Robert Preus for “putting on the brakes” before it was too late.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  28. @Martin R. Noland #33: The LCMS just missed getting sucked into the vortex “by the skin of its teeth.”

    … the vortex of apostasy, of which the CTCR has publicly stated: “The ELCA has now taken this step, embodying apostasy from the faith once delivered to the saints.”

    Yes, “vortex” is an appropriate description.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.