We at BJS have created a column where we hope to review programs from Issues, Etc. Our goal in doing this is to help people to understand what types of programs are available on Issues, Etc. and perhaps to generate interest in the show by new listeners. We also hope to make it easier for you to introduce Issues, Etc. to friends or members of your church; you can print these out and hand them to people who might be interested in the topic. Listen to the show (using one of the four podcasts at the bottom of this article) to learn more about this topic, or go to the On Demand page on Issues Etc for other programs.
Doctrine and Practice are two things that for a confessional Lutheran you can’t separate, they are intimately related. Doctrine gives birth to practice, practice flows from what you believe and teach. And so to try to artificially separate those two as to ‘you can do the one without the other’ just doesn’t work. WELS President Pr. Mark Schroeder
As I begin to write, I have listened to the interview with Pr. Schroeder 5 times. The first couple of times I was just happy to hear such an open, honest conversation on the state of the major quia confessional Lutheran bodies in North America. If one listens to just the tone and tenor of the discussion between Pr. Wilken and Pr. Schroeder it was just absolutely refreshing. The world of hardcore debate within discussion groups and blogs can be grating and this discussion was the opposite. But, it was not dialogue in the post modern sense of the word; it was agreement! I truly failed to see how there could be any “confessional” difference between the two men talking.
This leads me into my response upon the third listen. I was angry. Why are we separated from one another? This really hits home for me as a former member of an LCMS congregation who now belongs to a WELS congregation. I heard my former pastors preach and teach and I hear my pastor preach and teach and it is from essence the same: None of them would fail the so called “Wilken Diagnostic”. Both my current and previous pastors practice closed communion. All three believe, teach and confess what is in the Book of Concord and practice it to the best of their abilities within their congregations – yet we are not in fellowship. When one thinks that the LCMS and ELCA often dialogue with one another, yet official conversations between the LCMS and WELS are minimal at best, the situation is even more vexing!
The fourth and fifth times, brought me some hope: The true clear voice of the LCMS, the voice that echoes CFW Walther, was talking with the true clear voice from the WELS. In this brotherly conversation, in which there was no strife, I found the core of the problem. The voices that are not true and clear have been too loud and prideful for too long and we children of the doctrine and practice of the Apostles, the Fathers of the Church, the Reformation Fathers and the Fathers of Confessional Lutheranism in North America have been confused and misled and have allowed braggarts and brawlers and deceitful spirits to bring division where none should exist.
As a postscript to this open and honest discussion between the two largest conservative Lutheran denominations, Issues, Etc. also did 3 hours of conversation with Pr. David Jay Weber, a pastor from the ELS (a synod in fellowship with the WELS) on the subject of Eastern Orthodoxy.
I urge all Lutherans to check these episodes out.
As I have written at this website before, it is time to sit down and talk amongst confessional Lutherans and perhaps realign the constellations of North American Lutheranism.
Anyone for Post Synodical Lutheranism???
Listen to one of the four shows below to learn more about this topic, or go to the On Demand page on Issues Etc for other programs. At Issues, Etc., we love our OnDemand listeners!