Wyneken wisdom

February 28th, 2010 Post by

A few months ago my family had the pleasure of attending a lecture on Friedrich Conrad Dietrich Wyneken, the second president of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. LCMS World Relief and Human Care Executive Director Matt Harrison was the lecturer. He’s translated Wyneken’s writings and written extensively on some of our early Synodical Presidents. Well, the good people of Columbus, Indiana, were blessed to hear Harrison speak on Wyneken this weekend and you have to check out this 2-minute clip with a funny Wyneken anecdote. I love how Lutherans sound the same from the time of the Reformation to the present.






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  1. Zant
    March 1st, 2010 at 00:23 | #1

    That YouTube clip made me smile. Thanks for posting.

  2. March 1st, 2010 at 13:07 | #2

    Here is a picture of Rev Harrison standing in front of the Old Otterbein Methodist Church in Baltimore, where F.C.D. Wyneken made his comments after attending the congregation’s prayer service in 1839.

    Here is a picture of the exterior of Old Otterbein and the sanctuary that Wyneken probably saw (less the girl acolyte, of course).

    Rev. Harrison mention the episode in his October 23, 2009 Mercy Journeys column.

  3. March 1st, 2010 at 15:47 | #3

    Oops. Make that 1838 when Wyneken immigrated to America and went to Baltimore.

  4. Alex
    March 1st, 2010 at 16:23 | #4

    Rev. Harrison also recalls the encounter in this blog post. I find it interesting that they tried to pass themselves off as Lutheran but were recognized by Wyneken as anything but. I’m sure he would have a similar reaction to some ELCA churches today. While the LCMS does have a growing diversity of worship practices I’m still hoping that we can become united again since our differences do not seem as extreme as what Wyneken came across.

  5. March 1st, 2010 at 18:54 | #5

    Here’s a couple of interesting quotes posted by Rev. Bob Smith from CTSFW on the Wittenberg List, from Nov. 14, 1997 –

    An interesting tidbit I learned while trying to discover info about F.C.D. It is from a letter of Wyneken’s to A. Biewend, 25 November 1842:

    “Sadly, I have to confess to you, that, as far as I know, neither love for the Lord, nor love for the orphaned brothers drove me to America. I didn’t even want to go. I went there against my will, fighting it. I went because my conscience compelled me, because it was my duty. It grieved me then — and still grieves me, that I didn’t — still don’t love the Lord more and that He had to drive me out to work like a slave.”

    From H.C. Wyneken, LEBENSLAUF VON A. F. C. BIEWEND (St. Louis: CPH, 1896), p. 28.

    Also, from Walther’s opinion of him in the obit of DER LUTHERANER 32 (1876) No. 10:

    “…A rich and highly-gifted spirit, a truly evangelical preacher, “an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures,” a pastor experienced in the school of heavy spiritual struggles, a fearless witness to the pure, whole truth, a heroic soldier of the same, a true watchman of the church, a man without falsehood, whose whole way of life bore the stamp of righteousness and honesty, an enemy of all liars and heretics, a true Nathaniel, in short, a mighty Christian and a true servant of His Lord… to thousands a spiritual father, to whole regions of America an apostle, but above all, a man man loved and honored as much as anyone can be, a beautiful jewel and powerful tool of our American Lutheran Zion, whose name will never fade, but will be blessed and remain as long as the name of our native Lutheran Church remains.”

    The fun is putting these two opinions together.

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