WWCFWWD “’What Would C. F. W. Walther Do?’ Nearly Live Blogging from St. Louis

Dr. Martin Noland just finished his presentation to the Walther conference in St. Louis. Dr. Noland has written in both of our first two issues of the Steadfast Quarterly and was the opening speaker today. BJS got some good publicity when Dr. Noland mentioned that his paper on the structure recommendations was published on our site. The first questioner, during the question and answer period, came to the microphone and asked if Dr. Noland could repeat the website address and Dr. Noland enunciated words near and dear to our ears: www – dot – steadfast Lutherans – dot – org.

His presentation was based on an essay Dr. Walther wrote in 1879. The presentation was sobering to hear in the context of today’s LCMS since Walther so clearly asserted that the number one duty for an evangelical synod is to be faithful to the Lutheran Confessions in word and deed. The fourth of the six duties according to Walther is heartfelt by the Brothers of John the Steadfast because Walther stated that an evangelical Lutheran synod is to promote the growth of its members in the knowledge of the truth, one of our key goals here at “The Johnny Boy.”

Pastor Henrickson from Bonne Terre, Missouri entertained the gathering by raising the specter of a WWCFWWD program in his question for Dr. Noland, i.e. “What would C.F.W. Walther Do” if he were the president of the synod today. Dr. Noland gave a diplomatic response saying that maybe that is what all the participants of the conference could consider over the next two days and then give him the answer after we are all enlightened about Walther.

Still to come from St. Louis: Dr. Baue, Pastor Todd Wilken and Pastor Harrison!

Pastor Rossow

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.

Comments

WWCFWWD “’What Would C. F. W. Walther Do?’ Nearly Live Blogging from St. Louis — 4 Comments

  1. I am honored to call Dr Noland my friend. I hope he feels similarly. He should be a professor at one of our Concordias. It is crying shame that he is not.

  2. It is stated here that Walther asserted that the number one duty of an evangelical synod is to be faithful to the Lutheran Confessions. Shouldn’t the number one duty be to be faithful to the Holy Scriptures? I am not saying that the Lutheran Confessions are not faithful to Holy Scripture but it does bother me that sometimes it comes across that we Lutherans are putting the Confessions above the Scriptures or even equal to the Scriptures.

  3. Anonymous,

    That is a good point that could use some clarification. The title of Walther’s address (from which Dr. Noland is working) is “What are the Duties of a Lutheran Synod?” That is why the emphasis is on the Lutheran Confessions.

    You are correct that the Lutheran Confessions are nothing if they are not scriptural and Scripture is the foundation of the church. Walther’s point in this case was intentionally parochial.

    Pastor Rossow

  4. Anonymous :It is stated here that Walther asserted that the number one duty of an evangelical synod is to be faithful to the Lutheran Confessions. Shouldn’t the number one duty be to be faithful to the Holy Scriptures? I am not saying that the Lutheran Confessions are not faithful to Holy Scripture but it does bother me that sometimes it comes across that we Lutherans are putting the Confessions above the Scriptures or even equal to the Scriptures.

    Actually, Walther spends quite a bit of space answering that exact question. Pick up Harrisons “My Father’s House” and read the essay. I am in the midst of it right now but he spends several pages explaining why he says “confessions” instead of Scripture. Quite interesting.

    This essay of Walther’s could not be more timely. I have long felt that Synod (including districts) are acting like congregations. They have goal statements about “Making disciples” but in fact synod cannot make disciples because only congregations have the Keys, The Word and the Sacraments. The only ligitimate function of a Synod is to supervise the confession and maintain unity. We could add others but that is the one indispensable function of a SP or DP. Helping with calls is certainly legit but that could be dispensed with as well. Truth is that if the Synod is not doing the one thing most needful then it has no reason to exist. Unity of doctrine is what synod is about.

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