Montgomery-Kloha Debate to be livestreamed. Stay tuned for more information.

bibleconferenceFirst of all, thanks to the Lutheran Concerns Association for heading up the organization of this debate.  Thanks to Dr. Montgomery and Dr. Kloha for agreeing to do it.  The other co-sponsoring groups also for their support of the event (Balance-Concord, Inc., The Association of Confessing Evangelical Lutheran Congregations, Minnesota North Confessional Lutherans, and Texas Confessional Lutherans).  Concordia University Chicago also deserves much thanks for hosting this event.

Because the roots of the Brothers of John the Steadfast include a strong emphasis on new media for Confessional Lutheranism, we have worked with Concordia Chicago, LCA, and the other co-sponsors to provide a streaming video of the debate.  We will have further information on our site or the co-sponsors will also have the information as well.  After the debate we will also plan on making the video available for all to view on our YouTube channel.

This debate promises to be a great event which will hopefully provide the opportunity for clarification between the two Doctors of the Church and for both to make the right confession of the true teaching on the inspiration, inerrancy, and clarity of Holy Scripture.  This should serve as a good example and possibly be a motivation for more of these sorts of disputations on points of theology to be held.  We all know how poorly other venues serve for rigorous theological debate.

For more information on the debate, see our previous post.



About Pastor Joshua Scheer

Pastor Joshua Scheer is the Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Brothers of John the Steadfast. He oversees all of the work done by Steadfast Lutherans. He is a regular host of Concord Matters on KFUO. Pastor Scheer and his lovely wife Holly (who writes and manages the Katie Luther Sisters) have four children and enjoy living in Wyoming.


Montgomery-Kloha Debate to be livestreamed. Stay tuned for more information. — 6 Comments

  1. I was just reading Luther this morning and he has a great suggestion for Dr. Montgomery. In essence, Luther’s suggestion was to first determine by a simple question, “does Dr. Kloha believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant God given and spoken Word of Almighty and Eternal God or not?” Luther’s suggestion is that it is a complete waste of time to debate someone who rejects the inspiration of the Bible.

  2. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Keep checking here at BJS for the web-address of the live-stream from River Forest! I have heard the web-address has been approved and designated.

    As to the question posed by Pastor Zell, Dr. Kloha does say in the published version of his article: “The divine origin of the Scriptures, their inspiration, and consequent inerrancy, have all been rightly emphasized” (p. 170 in Behrens/Salzmann); “rightly” means Dr. Kloha approves of that statement.

    Also Dr. Kloha states: “I would urge the same approach today. That we assume inspiration as an a priori, and then do the challenging and difficult work of going back to the earliest and most reliable sources in order to “judge” and verify which readings are, in fact, apostolic” (p. 194).

    So you cannot say that Dr. Kloha rejects the inspiration or inerrancy of Scripture. People who say that just don’t understand the issues and have probably not read his writings for themselves.

    It may be that the primary difference between Dr. Kloha and Dr. Montgomery is right here in the matter of whether inspiration is assumed or proved. Dr. Kloha assumes inspiration as an a priori; Dr. Montgomery wants to prove inspiration a posteriori. I could be wrong here, but this is what I was trying to say in my September 2016 Lutheran Clarion article (see ).

    Dr. Montgomery’s career has been dedicated to a defense of evidentialist apologetics (i.e., a posteriori), in disagreement with many Reformed apologists who support a presuppositionalist apologetics (i.e., a priori). Many Lutherans, including Francis Pieper and J.T. Mueller, have shied away from, or even disagreed with, evidentialist apologetics. They can do this because they assume inspiration as an a priori–so Dr. Kloha is in agreement with some of the leading systematicians in the LC-MS. Dr. Montgomery is in agreement with some of the leading Lutheran systematicians of the 16th and 17th centuries.

    I could be completely wrong in my analysis here, but I think that we need to agree on our religious epistemology first (either a priori or a posteriori), and then move from there to the principles of text criticism. But if we reject the a priori approach, then we also have to reject Pieper and company in this particular matter.

    This is why I originally said that the solution to these problems are not obvious.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  3. Will there be an “info sheet” with definitions of some of the terms/words used in this debate for the laymen in attendance? That would be helpful! (i.e. “a priori”, “presuppositionalist”, “evidentialist”, “a posteriori”, etc.) Webster is not very useful for these terms! Thanks!

  4. Dear Beggar,

    I can’t say for sure, but I think a one page glossary will be offered to the audience. It is in the works I think…

    I think the glossary will define the technical and discipline-specific terms of textual criticism, since that is the general field of the debate. The terms you mentioned in comment #4 are terms used in philosophy, so you might have to look them up in a dictionary of philosophy. I can’t say whether the presenters will offer definitions of the terms they use.

    Generally the safest thing to do with definitions is to ask the author/lecturer what he means by a term he uses, if it is unfamiliar to you. There will be time after the presentations for Q & A so the audience can ask such questions if needed. Many pastors–though perhaps not all–are familiar with most of the terminology, since they have presumably taken graduate level classes in these subjects. So I’d ask your pastor first.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  5. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    I have given some more thought to the request of “Beggar” #4 above.

    If you want to prepare yourself for the debate, and are not up to reading a standard text on the subject (e.g., Bruce Metzger, The Text of the New Testament [Oxford University Press]), then I suggest that you read the relatively brief treatments at Wikipedia here: (general discussion of the discipline as it applies to all types of literature; check the bottom for links that give definitions for terms) (specific application of the general discipline to the New Testament) (gives you an idea of the type of variants found in the evidence) (a longer list of the same type of thing) (explanation of the “text types” in the New Testament)

    If you read through these five Wikipedia articles, you should have sufficient knowledge of terms and ideas to understand the upcoming debate–at least in terms of the issues in textual criticism. As to the matter of the Lutheran doctrine of Scripture, that is an entirely different matter, and Wikipedia won’t help there.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

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