Steadfast Media Pick of the Week — Liturgical Re-Adjustments

Liturgical Re-Adjustments

I found that the Symposia 2013 videos are available at Concordia Theological Seminary’s media site. The first presentation that caught my eye was by Dr. Paul Grime entitled, “Liturgical Re-Adjustments: Off Ramp to Apostasy?” Dr. Grime talks about how small accommodations in the liturgy can have dramatic effects on theology. This has always made sense to me from a common sense perspective, but having Dr. Grime walk through the example of how gender neutral language in the liturgy can lead to a rewriting of Scripture and a completely different understanding of Christ was eye opening.


Comments

Steadfast Media Pick of the Week — Liturgical Re-Adjustments — 13 Comments

  1. I have no qualms about adapting the Nicene Creed to read “for us” instead of “for us men”. Dr. Grime’s arguments pertaining to male words and images in common signage are unpersuasive. (Might they be strawman arguments?)

    When a woman next to me in church recites the Creed and says, “… who for us men …,” it strikes me each time as an inaccurate use of the English language, and plainly so. I cannot think of another situation where a woman could refer to herself among “us men” and not sound awkward at best.

    Removing the word “men” will surely disturb some who would regard the removal as a capitulation to unwelcome feminist influences, with larger consequences. Retaining it will disturb others who consider the language anachronistic, chauvinistic, inaccurate, and/or non-inclusive. While it would run counter to the Gospel itself to endeavor to make sure that no one is disturbed by anything we say in church, we do have an interest in removing unnecessary stumbling blocks for both believers and unbelievers who attend.

    Which of the two stumbling blocks is the lesser one? For my part, I would anticipate that having women say “us men” will sound anachronistic and inaccurate to an increasing number of people, while removing the language will be objectionable to a decreasing number and in the end would result in language that can be embraced heartily by most of the next generation.

  2. Not only Scripture, the Creeds, and the Liturgy, but also the Book of Concord has had this gender-neutralizing forced upon it in the ELCA’s Kolb/Wengert edition:

    http://cyberbrethren.com/2006/10/13/when-is-a-book-of-concord-not-a-book-of-concord/

    http://cyberbrethren.com/2010/12/14/avoid-gender-neutrality-like-the-plague-heres-why/

    http://cyberbrethren.com/2013/01/18/the-three-things-we-must-do-to-support-a-revival-of-confessional-lutheranism/

    Part of the ELCA’s reason for doing this is to support women’s ordination. But gender-neutralizing the language gives the BOC a heretical Christology, among other things.

    Rev. McCain also points out that Timothy Wengert later when on to become one of the ELCA’s leading defenders of their decision to sanction homosexuality and ordain homosexual clergy.

    Dr. Kolb is an LCMS member and teaches at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. I have no idea why he would assist the ELCA in corrupting the BOC in this way, but it further demonstrates how close to home this all hits.

    And as Rev. McCain also says, “avoid gender neutrality like the plague!” We have no right to alter the ancient Creeds in any way. Altering the language will alter theology as well, as has been done in the ELCA and other “mainline” denominations.

    The phrase “for us men” will not be a stumbling block for anyone serious about the Christian faith.

  3. Gender-neutral language is not a natural evolution in the English language but originated with feminist language reformers in the 1970s: http://bible-researcher.com/inclusive.html

    Secular schools and publishing companies have fully adopted it. It wasn’t long before liberal “Christians” attempted to apply these new language principles to the Scriptures themselves: http://bible-researcher.com/ill.html

    http://bible-researcher.com/nrsv.html

    Now “evangelicals” have adopted it, as is evidenced by the TNIV, NIV 2011, NLT, NET, and others.

  4. Nicholas :
    Dr. Kolb is an LCMS member and teaches at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. I have no idea why he would assist the ELCA in corrupting the BOC in this way, but it further demonstrates how close to home this all hits.

    I do not know the mind of Dr. Kolb. However, I have been made aware that there were some issues on the translation of the BOC. Much of this concerned the congregational language of the Tappert edition. It was not sufficiently accurate in describing the church as (to paraphrase concisely) the congregation AND its pastor.

    I also recall some blocks of texts that were missing from the translation entirely in tappert.

    I apologize that I do not have samples on hand, but I have no doubt any of the faculty at either seminary can show highlight some of those differences.

    I admit I’m bothered by the way you, Nicholas, have constructed the critique. That is to say, “I have no idea why he would assist the ELCA…” sounds like Dr. Kolb has actively (maybe even maliciously) endorsed a heretical/heterodox/damning viewpoint.

    I would sincerely and humbly appreciate, in the words of Tappert, if we could “interpret charitably all he does.” and that goes for my reading of you as well.

    thank you.

  5. @Quasicelsus #8

    Point taken. In fact, Dr. Kolb may have had nothing to do with the gender-neutralizing of the Fortress Press edition of the Book of Concord. It may have all been editorial work, as is often the case.

  6. @Carl H #3
    When a woman next to me in church recites the Creed and says, “… who for us men …,” it strikes me each time as an inaccurate use of the English language, and plainly so. I cannot think of another situation where a woman could refer to herself among “us men” and not sound awkward at best.

    You show your age. Men as synonym for ‘mankind, male and female’ has been accepted… until the “womyn” activists started messing with the language (about 40 years ago, but it was largely ignored in the beginning).

    As I told one of my Pastor friends, I have no problem being included in “for us men”.
    You, after all, are included in “the church, the Bride of Christ”.

    Or do you want to change that, too?

  7. @Carl H #3

    On a Roman Catholic site, Mary Beth Bonacci writes:

    ‘”Inclusive language” is the effort to replace words like “man” and “mankind” with more gender-neutral terms like “human” and “humankind”, etc. There are two types of inclusive language in liturgy, horizontal (referring to people) and vertical (referring to God).

    ‘In this case, I am voting firmly with the majority. On the most basic level, I have always found such efforts to be awkward, unattractive, and very condescending. I’m not stupid. I know that the term “mankind” refers to men and women. I know that the song “I Will Raise Him Up” isn’t saying that only males will enter the kingdom of Heaven. True story: A friend of mine was in a liturgy meeting where this topic was being argued. One nun said that the term “man” didn’t include her. A priest said, “Sister, if I told you there was a man-eating tiger outside, would you feel safe?”‘

    http://www.adoremus.org/98-01_bonacci.htm

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