Let’s Not Tinker with Article II of the Constitution, by Klemet Preus

The final report of President Kieschnick’s Blue ribbon task force is on the synod’s web site and the conversation surrounding it has continued. Much ink will be invested during the next nine months discussing the relative merits of the far reaching changes anticipated by President Kieschnick’s men.

One recommended change on the face of it may seem godly and pious. But all that glitters is not gold. I speak of the suggestion that Article II of the constitution be changed. Currently this article states:

Article II Confession

The Synod, and every member of the Synod, accepts without reservation:

1. The Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and of practice;

2. All the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God, to wit: the three Ecumenical Creeds (the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed), the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, the Large Catechism of Luther, the Small Catechism of Luther, and the Formula of Concord.

President Kieschnick through his task force’s proposal wants to do two things. First he wants to divide Article II into two parts. The first part will be called, “Confession of faith,” and the second part will be called “Confessional Basis.” Second he wants to tweak the “Confessional Basis” section. I will speak to the tweaking later. For now let’s analyze what will go into our constitution under the title “Confession of faith,” if the recommendation are accepted by the synod.

Here is the statement which is suggested as our “confession of faith”:

The Synod, and every member of the Synod, believes teaches, and confesses without reservation that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Triune God, alone is the savior of the world, and that only through faith in Him is there forgiveness of sins, eternal life and salvation (John 3:16-18; I John 2:2; Acts 4:12).

OK, on the face of it who could argue with this statement? But it is not the theological truthfulness of the statement which should give us pause. Rather it is 1 that President Kieschnick’s task force felt compelled to summarize the content of the faith into one single sentence and 2) that their summary statement is not the central teaching of the Scriptures and the church.

1. Do we need a sort of summary statement?

 When you think of it there are a lot of sentences which the synod and every member of it believes. We all believe, for example, in the two nature doctrine of Jesus. He is true God begotten by the Father from eternity and also true man born of the Virgin Mary and he is my Lord. Why not include some assertion of the true humanity of Jesus in our “confession of faith?”

 The new “confession of faith” also does not say anything about the Holy Spirit. Why not say that we believe that we cannot by our own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ our Lord or come to Him, but that the Holy Spirit has called us by the gospel?

 For that matter this confession of faith says nothing about the Father. Couldn’t we at least assert that we believe that God has made us and all creatures and still preserves us?

 You get the point. And you may respond that the “confession of faith” is not intended to include everything we believe. Ok, but then what is its intent?

Is it supposed to be the one unassailable statement of the faith upon which we all agree? It can’t be because there are dozen’s of unassailable articles like that.

Is it supposed to capture in a nutshell the essence of the faith? But why not choose the Apostle’s Creed to do that or the explanation of the second article, or article four of the Augsburg confession?

In fact, what is needed in Article II of our Constitution is not a pithy little statement which attempts to summarize the faith, but a statement which tells you exactly where you can find those documents upon which the faith is based. For you theologians – it is not the material principles which is needed here but the formal principle. President Kieschnick’s task force doesn’t seem to understand this and inserts the material principle into a discussion of the formal. What we need is a statement that says where we find the truth. And that is precisely what we have already in Article II of the Constitution. No change is needed.

But, the problem is even worse than that.

2. Is the statement adequate?

Let’s grant for the sake of discussion that we should summarize the entire content of the faith into one easily understood statement upon which we can all agree. What should that one short sentence say?      

Is it intended to assert that one thing that an unbelieving world must know in order to be saved? Isn’t the doctrine of the necessity of faith paramount? Well actually, not exactly.

According to Luther, we can talk about the forgiveness of sins in three ways: How it is earned by Christ on the cross, how it is bestowed by Christ through the gospel and Sacraments and how it received – through faith. Of these three our new “Confession of Faith” mentions only the third. There is no mention of the life and death of Christ as a sacrifice for sins. There is no mention of the necessity of the preaching of the gospel and administration of the sacraments. In our “post modern” age, where historical truly is bunk, wouldn’t it be better to ground our faith in history? The creed does it. “Born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate.” And in an age where the mission and ministry of the church are attacked and misunderstood wouldn’t it be a good idea to assert that forgiveness comes through precisely word and Sacrament. The Augsburg Confession says so, “That we may obtain this faith God has provided….the Gospel and the sacraments”

What our new “confession of faith” does, inadvertently I am sure, is to talk of faith without its true object. Faith in “Jesus as savior” is not adequate. What is needed is a precise statement of what Jesus did for us and what He gives to us that we might trust in Him.

How’s this?

The Synod, and every member of the Synod, believes teaches, and confesses without reservation that we receive forgiveness of sins and become righteous before God by grace, for Christ’s sake, through faith, when we believe that Christ suffered for us and that for his sake our sin is forgiven and righteousness and eternal life are given to us. Romans 3:21-26 and 4:5

Yes, as I think of it, I like this “confession of faith” more than the one suggested by President Kieschnick’s men..

Or maybe we could add just one more sentence to our new “confession of faith.”

The Synod, and every member of the Synod, believes teaches, and confesses without reservation that we receive forgiveness of sins and become righteous before God by grace, for Christ’s sake, through faith, when we believe that Christ suffered for us and that for his sake our sin is forgiven and righteousness and eternal life are given to us. Romans 3:21-26 and 4:5. That we may obtain this faith God provided the Gospel and sacraments.

I think you get it. If we want a summary let’s use one we already have. In case you didn’t catch it, the last statement of faith is articles four and five of the Augsburg Confession abbreviated a bit.

Our confession of faith is not broken. Let’s not tinker with it.


Comments

Let’s Not Tinker with Article II of the Constitution, by Klemet Preus — 36 Comments

  1. Pr. Preus,

    The only change I would make to your much improved, and far more Lutheran, “confession of faith,” is to replace “become righteous before God” with “are declared righteous by God” or “counted righteous before God.” Of course, like you, I’d much rather just not tinker with Article II of our Constitution, and I think the tinkering proposed is indicative of the fact that this task force was put together by a synodical president who is, by self admission, no theologian, but rather who, also by self admission, shares personal kinship with self-proclaimed “church growth enthusiasts.” Just sayin’.

  2. The suggested “confession of faith” is Christ-centered, in a manner, but not cross-focused. It seems so basic and leaves out so much that it could describe the faith of any number of denominations.

  3. If we needed a new set of tires and a completely new engine to carry us forward, then we would be well advised to purchase them. After all, we don’t want to break down in the middle of the 21st century. However, the ones we have will not wear out until Christ returns and He has already purchased everything we need to get us safely home. Article II clearly emphasizes this. I’m with you brother Preus. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  4. I think that the reason behind the change is obvious. It is reductionism. Currently, we declare in our constitution that we believe in and are bound by all of Scripture. By boiling it down to only that we believe that Jesus is the only savior (which of course is true) we can begin the process of jettisoning those parts of scripture that we don’t like anymore – like the prohibitions on female clergy, etc. This fits in perfectly with the over all push to make the LCMS just another store brand of generic, methobapticostal pop-American Christianity.

  5. I can’t tell you how thankful I am this was written. I’ve been watching this done, in every denom, for months, & that is just a few months (10) worth of research! No one has mentioned the most fearful part of what Pastor Preuss wrote! WHY? Erasing the Holy Spirit? Writing HIM…out? In word now, not just in deed? Guys, how could you miss such a vital part of who we are & what we are & why we are what we are?!

    What grave danger are those in, who have even thought of this, utter such vitrol?! To think, they seek to teach those under to do the same, by a re written constitution?! Pastor Preuss, thank you so very much for writing this & saying what you have. I haven’t seen a comment on it yet, I just don’t understand, why?

    This is what apostasy & heresy bring. Elevate men, man, humans, and as you do so, render the Holy Spirit, PART OF THE TRINITY, THE PART THAT DWELLS IN A BELIEVER,THAT BLESSED PART OF HIM WHO IS WORTHY OF OUR PRAISE….non exisitant & ineffectual.

    Render Him useless, turn him into Casper the warm & fuzzy ghost, worthy of a fleeting feeling, ineffectual Casper. Oh for pete’s sake, He is the HOLY GHOST, the Holy Spirit of the Almighty God!!!! Do we, or rather THEY no longer FEAR Him? I know I still do, I heed the warnings given regarding HIM & the ones He gives to us! The only unforgivable sin, do not grieve? Remember?

    Do they? no, they do not. Does it matter to them they grieve Him greatly now? No, it most certainly does not. They rest & count on their numbers, in persons & moneys, & in becoming relevant to the world, which one should we be in?! Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also, EXACTLY WHERE IS THEIR HEART NOW?????? This borders on humanism, “spiritual humanism”. Where is our condemnation?!

    What vile ground does one stand on, when we even THINK of grieving Him. Let alone erasing Him!!!!! Caps are so totally intended. If the Holy Spirit, being wronged, isn’t worth of a few caps, nothing in this world is!!!! How dare they do such a thing, for shame on them, for shame!!!!! How dare they expect those under them to embrace such defaming, vitrol and heresy against That which dwells in every Believer!!!!

    I spent lots of months, equating myself with terms, agendas, and the like. Here are some charts, which I found so very helpful. It helped me understand the “new & improved” church and what was once my church, let alone those who came before me.

    http://www.crossroads.to/charts/transformation-church.htm

    http://www.crossroads.to/glossary/church/na_terms.htm

    I won’t say I agree w/all written, how could we? But many, are doing a better job in defing this deadly virus, than we here, have done so far. They call things by the right name: heresy & departing. I can thank them for one thing, in learning this all, it lead me to BJS. God preserve that which belongs to Him!

  6. Doesn’t this new supposed “confession of faith” seperate the members of the trinity based on their works? Doesn’t that lead to a denial of the trinity and/or true diety of Christ?

    Smells like nestorianism dressed up like a sheep.

  7. Wow, Klemet, you have a profound and excellent point!

    Your blog post here captures the worst feature of the Blue Ribbon Plan, and I think you are the first to notice it. That feature, under “Blue Ribbon Plan, Final Report,” Recommendation One, is that the Task Force proposes that the LCMS change its confession in Constitution Article II.

    Notice that the new confession of the LCMS will be, according to the Blue Ribbon Plan, only the one sentence you quoted above. This will be, under the Blue Ribbon Plan, the one thing necessary for LCMS members to confess, and that will be the only thing that they actually CONFESS together.

    Under the Blue Ribbon Plan, the Bible and the Book of Concord, although requiring subscription, will only be subscribed as a “Confessional Basis.” In other words, the Bible and the Book of Concord would be affirmed as the official sources out of which we take our theology and confession, but they would not BE that confession itself.

    Why does the Blue Ribbon Plan make a distinction between “Confession” and “Confessional Basis”? The only reason I can see is that the professional theologians on that committee don’t believe that the Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, etc. ARE their confessions of faith. Their only confession of faith is the reductionist statement you quote above. Without further explanation in the constitutional amendment itself, this is the only conclusion I can reach.

    Richard John Neuhaus once expressed the feeling of that generation of LCMS professional theologians when he wrote: “A theologian worth his stipend can hardly be constrained, either in methodology or conclusions by the statements of theologians of the 16th century” (see LUTHERAN FORUM, April 1969, page 15). The professional theologians on the Blue Ribbon Task Force are of the generation of Neuhaus, and apparently feel the same way that he did. Why else would they demote the Bible and Book of Concord to “a confessional basis”? This is Gospel reductionism all over again. I don’t know what else to think of this, except that perhaps it is just committee incompetence.

    This is very serious stuff. This is at the heart of what it has meant to be LCMS for 160 years and was at the heart of the 19th century Lutheran confessional revival before that. See C.F.W. Walther, “Why Should Our Pastors, Teachers, and Professors Subscribe Unconditionally to the Symbolical Writings of Our Church” in CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY 18 #4 (April 1947), pp. 241-253; reprinted numerous times, and available at both seminary bookstores.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  8. Okay, so we talk all the time here at BJS about what is going on. We were all raised to take great care in the company we keep, (choose “friends” not “fiends”, which ever applies). Now, we all know, our universties (Concordia’s, & youth conferences, have engaged the following to speak :

    ROB BELL

    LEONARD SWEET

    DAN KIMBALL

    Is mine & your well loved Synod, worth a bit of your time? Go to Amazon.com, click on Books, and type in each name, one at a time. Read the titles & summaries. For good measure, look up their own sites.

    And we sit here & wonder: how, why, when, who, what, how come? Don’t lay blame on the men listed. THEY WERE ASKED TO COME TO OUR EVENTS. THEY WERE PAID WITH OUR FUNDS, AND THEY WERE EMBRACED BY US, OR THOSE WHO HAVE AUTHORITY. After doing that, look at the TF reccomendations & BRTFSG reports, surveys, and reccomendations again. Look at what is coming & being said from Synod…one more time, AFTER you look at these men. It is no longer called CGM folks, church growth movement, that is so 80’s & 90’s. They now prefer to be called the Emergent Church. Unless we are now willing to call things by the terms THEY CHOOSE TO USE, we will not truly understand what has invaded the LCMS.

    I look forward to what everyone finds in this. Think the BPP principle. Bible, Prayer, and Pepcid. And for good measure, make sure you have a box of kleenex, you’ll need them all.
    You will only find a slap-shod sugary Christ, no Holy Spirit, let alone Heavenly Father. Just a celophane Jesus, human, and inept w/o our intervention. Be prepared, your going to see & read things you never thought your eyes would ever see.

  9. ACHTUNG!!

    Let’s be clear about one thing. Many of the restructuring proposals are tantamount to forming a new synod. But changing article II IS FORMING A NEW SYNOD AND PULLING THE RUG OUT FROM UNDER ALREADY STATED VOWS AND CONSTITUTION SIGNINGS!!

  10. The change to having a reductionist confession of faith and a separate confessional basis will certainly also effect fellowship. According to the proposed change, only faith in the Triune God and in Jesus as the only way to salvation would be sufficient for fellowship. It would not matter if another church body had a different confessional basis, as long as they came to the same confession of faith as stated in the constitution.

    This proposal will enshrine what has already been happening in practice, most often in the practice of not-so-close(d) communion. Now it will be enabled on a synodical level.

  11. One other HUGE difference is that the original Article II says, the Synod and every member accepts without reservation the Scriptures and the Confessions, while the new proposal throws the word “THAT” in there which drastically changes the meaning of confessional subscription from a believe FROM the Scriptures and the Confessions to a belief ABOUT the documents. In other words we go from confessing the content to making a statement about ourselves in our attitude about the documents. Think that through.

  12. So how do we proceed? How do we get Pr. Preus’s review out to the delegates and the member congregations?

  13. This is what happened also with the Bible. One became orthodox by merely saying the Bible was inspired and inerrant without confessing faithfully the CONTENT of the Scriptures. So we have a lot of people who were called ‘CONSERVATIVE” in the old days of the Seminex debate, who are not really confessional in content or practice.

  14. We don’t just get a “get out of jail free” card by confessing w/o evidence of our Faith! I can say anything I like, but if my actions NEGATE what I speak, what of that then? We know full well, what is really being chosen, followed, and departed from in this & much more.

    Those of & in the world, should KNOW, whether be out in the world, or sit in a pew, or in a chair of high position, they should REASON AND ACT, on what they confess. Words are cheap, & the Trinity, our God Three in One, knows the heart. We can only see what it choses to follow. I see what is being done, followed, and to ask this of me or mine is to ask me to depart from His Truth, which is the Word, which is Christ. What virtol is this?!

    Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. I know where mine is, I can wager a guess, where the hearts of those who write & post here are, but….where are the hearts of those at Synod & it’s other offices? Where is the condemnation of these acts? Is it being cried in St Louis? From the Districts? From the Congregations? From those nominated for authority? Silence can sometimes be rather deafening. I am apparently, becoming deaf, I here next to nothing from these.

  15. Pastor Frahm,
    OOOOOO…thank you, thank you, thank you again! Words & grammar are vital, to confessions, creeds, and statements of Faith! Thank you for saying that! And…per my own mind (knowing how I post) CAPS ARE MOST WARRANTED IN THIS!

  16. It puts orthodoxy into the realm of what you say you believe ABOUT the Scriptures and the Confessions rather than what is confessed daily and practiced daily in the Church.

  17. PREXACTLY PASTOR FRAHM! Our Faith, who we are (collectively & individually) & all we are, is built on: Sola Chistos, Sola Scriptura, Sola Gracia & Sola Fide. The Truth is the Word, the Word is Christ, who is God, Three is One. You take away anything from One, you deny all. That, is what this does!!!! If we loose, or give willing away, the Sola’s, our Faith is nothing. Luther, and all he built in Faith, through those, means nothing.

    And their false call & now command, is I accept this “new & added & adapted” Truth…with a smile on my face?! To do so, in my mind & heart, is to deny everything I know, everything I love, everything I am, as I am nothing apart from Christ, & that means everything He is, His Truth, His Word, the confessions, the creeds, and the Lutheran Faith. My Faith is built on nothing less, w/o it, how can I hope to remain in Faith? Or teach others the Way, Truth, or Life? That, I for one, cannot and will never do. Fie, fie, again I say nay!

    Our Father said He is slow to anger and mighty to save. That, in no way, means He does not get angry. May He be merciful to those who would see Him, Three in One, defamed or derided.

  18. Great link Pastor’s Nolan & Frahm. Thing to remember though:

    1). They only use Walther to misquote him, to support their false teachings & heterodoxical thesis.

    2) Walther preceeds my grandpa, and this is no longer our Grandfather’s church. I believe that to be a direct quote, but, I could be wrong.

    3). They read Warren, Bell, Sweet, Kimball, etc. etc. etc., they no longer read, let alone know Walther or Luther.

    It is better to be divided over Truth, than to be united in error.

    They are re writting truth, Walther’s, Luther’s, and most dangerously & perilously, the Lord’s. We care, we know, they don’t care, & they don’t want to hear it anymore, from us, nor Luther, Walther, or Christ. They’re happier w/ Warren.

  19. Frieden, wenn moglich, Wahrheit um jeden Preis!
    In English…
    Peace if possible, truth at all costs.

    Martin Luther

  20. I was looking at this article yesterday, preparing for questions and feedback from other pastors and laity in the circuit. I have about 3 1/2 pages on the changes to Article 2, but here are the first three paragraphs:

    The proposed addition to the confessional article of our Synodical Constitution (Section A, above) is based on the faulty presupposition that ‘There hasn‘t been any place in our governing documents through the years that tells us and the world how we are saved.’ This assertion is just simply false.

    Article II as it currently stands is a confession of faith. Granted, you must be familiar with the contents of these documents to understand what that confession is, but the article is a confession of faith. The proposed changes to the wording of this article (proposed Section B) make it no longer a confession OF these documents articulating the faith, but a confession ABOUT these documents articulating the faith. If this proposal goes through, we are no longer confessing XYZ, but we are confessing ABC because XYZ say so. For the utter faithlessness of this type of confession, cf. Luke 4:41 and James 2:19b. This is a substantive change that should be rejected.

    Again, the ignorance of culture (both within and without the confines of the visible Church) might make it prudent to include a more explicit confession of the substance of our faith. But the confession contained in proposed Section A, while more explicit in content than our current confessional article, makes many of the same presuppositional errors. Referring to Jesus Christ simply as ‘the second person of the Triune God’ phrases this confession in a way that many of those adhering to many of the Christological heresies of the past/present could confess this article with us, even though they are in error. This article presupposes that by addressing Jesus Christ as ‘the second person of the Triune God,’ you are confessing Him to be divine. But the Arians (and his modern descendents) would confess Jesus to be the second person of the Trinity, a man made divine by his own righteousness before God. This confession lacks these essential sentiments about the person and work of Jesus Christ for our salvation: the eternal divinity of Christ, the humanity of Christ, and the vicarious satisfaction of Christ on the Cross. Herein lies the danger of making such a confession in a constitutional document such as this: to make it succinct risks being insufficiently and ineffectively vague.

  21. “Again, the ignorance of culture (both within and without the confines of the visible Church) might make it prudent to include a more explicit confession of the substance of our faith.”

    Right. Cause all those unchurched are reading mainline denominational constitutions in their spare time, and we wouldn’t want them to not get saved because we forgot to do mission inside our legal documentese.

    Seriously, the only ones who read constitutions are pastors and the laity who care because they are already converted. Once more, boomeritis hits the fan.

    “Hey Bob, we’re not doing enough mission.”

    “Well, John, lets put the word mission in the constitution. That should do it.”

    “Great idea Bob.”

    <..>

  22. I don’t like where this restructuring is heading. How much longer before the LCMS has a Lutheran CORE of its own?

  23. Already David asked (Ps. 11:3): “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

    I agree with Dr. Noland’s analysis: this is first-rate gospel reductionism, and it equals a de-facto admission that the LCMS is a doctrinally divided church. Since we apparently don’t agree on the breadth of teachings set forth in the confessions of our church (let alone all the bible’s teachings), let’s instead focus on the gospel narrowly defined. That’s what Mark Hanson over at the ELCA has been telling the folks over there that are upset about homosexual ministers and such: let’s not get too worked up about what divides us there; let’s focus on our common confession of the gospel instead and seek our unity here.

    For the Blue Ribbon group, doctrinal unity is not a given basis for our walking together as a Synod, but chiefly a work in progress (so, we are our own “ecumenical movement,” it seems, as if that had ever produced a godly fellowship in the truth of the word of God …). Therefore, as the title of the report suggests, we instead “walk together in mission,” that is, our activity, just like the builders of the tower of Babel (Gen. 11:4: “… lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”).

    Here’s what think the prefacing of the “confessional basis” by the “gospel-only” confession of faith does: the “confession” relativizes the “basis.” It can be used to say: yes, we hold to the bible and such, but only insofar as they confess the “gospel” articulated in the “confession.” Because this is not only the core (I would agree) but also the summary (I would disagree: the gospel can’t be a summary of the law, e.g.) of our confession.

    This is practically confirmed in the proposed Art. III A, 2 (see the Report, Appendix 1, p. 1.2-1.3), where we’re now all about promoting etc. the unity of the true faith in Jesus Christ, not just the unity of the true faith. John 17 is added to Eph. 4, as if this accumulation of bible texts could be used as a cloak for this obvious change in meaning: agreeing in the gospel only is not the same as agreeing in “the faith.” Besides, John 17, esp. v. 21 is, of course, a favorite text of the above-cited modern ecumenical movement and of Pope John Paul II (see his 1995 encyclical Ut Unum Sint. Yet, significantly, John 17:6-23 also speaks about being sanctified by the truth of God’s word (not just the gospel); it also speaks about the world’s hatred of God’s apostolic word (not about phenomenal missionary success in the world).

    So, John 17, Jesus Christ is far, far ahead of these crafty layers of new foundations. It is much more in line with Eph. 4 than the framers of this new constitution would have liked.

    To close with David again: “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

  24. A quick addition: the “mission and purpose” section of the proposed new constitution (Art. III) mirrors what the “confession” and “confessional basis” distinction does in Art. II. In art. III A. 2 and 3 you have the same sequence of “(faith in Christ) Jesus” First, “confessional unity” second. The old constitution did not make this distinction by focusing on the all-inclusive “the faith.”

    “Jesus First” is more important than “Confessionals.” Hmmm. How revealing. Is that a political program enshrined in the constitution, or what?

  25. @Holger Sonntag #30

    @Holger Sonntag #29

    I remember Dr. Marquart addressing the topic of unity in a course at the seminary and how there are some in the LCMS who like to make a distinction between the “unitas” of the AC and the “concord” of the FC as if they referred to different things. Unitas = unity in the Gospel (the “generic” unity of all Christians). Concord = unity in the Gospel and all its articles. Two men on the BRTFSSG served on the CTCR with Dr. Marquart were the main proponents of this distinction, which I believe, was used in a CTCR report on Fellowship to justify so-called “levels of fellowship.” I wonder if some of the old lions are trying to settle some doctrinal scores here.

  26. I just noticed that Walther’s essay on “Why Our Pastors Should Subscribe Unconditionally to the Lutheran Confessions . . ” is in Rev. Matthew Harrison’s new book “At Home in the House of My Fathers.” That essay is a classic, and certainly deserves to be in a collection of Walther’s essays. The essay was also published back in the 1970s in a collection of edited by Theodore Tappert.

    To order a copy of Harrison’s new book, you can go to the Logia.org bookstore. Here is the current web-address of the relevant page:

    http://www.shop.logia.org/category.sc;jsessionid=4AF9EC7B5FBC7D90F05135AC94B3E62D.qscstrfrnt03?categoryId=19

    Harrison’s book costs only $19.95, plus $5 shipping and handling. I can’t believe that a hardback book is being published today, at 826 pages, for only $20. I don’t usually “plug” books or anything for sale, but this is a great deal and refreshing theology. It would make a good Christmas gift for any LCMS pastor today, and a good read for our congregational elders too.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  27. @Alex #2

    Exactly, Alex! In fact that “new” confession (aka Article II) could be subscribed to without a qualm by an elca “lutheran” (especially those at the top who have specialized in ‘doublespeak’ since elca was invented.)
    “It doesn’t matter whether we believe it; it has to sound pious to the ignorant.” Ignorant because they haven’t been taught the basics of the Lutheran Christian faith… and that intentionally. It’s easier to drive dumb sheep!

    Our leaders are, too many of them, pre-seminex or mentored by pre-seminex men; they were taught to tell the pewsitters what would cause the least trouble, while reserving their belief (or disbelief) for their private group.
    I keep saying that’s where we’re headed; if we aren’t the biggest we’ll join those who are.
    “BIG” is what matters!

  28. My first reaction to reading the above explanation is where are God the Father ad the Holy Spirit as in post #7. I suspect that even a Mormon to agree to the statement as written, as well as many denominations of Christianity.

    Secondly, if as someone postulated, the LCMS is inviting their own emergent and missional movement, why reinvent the wheel? Wouldn’t it be easier to go join them and learn from these experts? It takes much more energy and money to try to reform or change the LCMS and it woudl probably turn out to be half baked. Besides that money saved could be used to fund all sorts of missional activities.

  29. @Luvable Lutheran #34
    Our money is being used to fund all sorts of “missional” activities… and some probably that are non Christian. We fund Baptist speakers (all shades), UCC consultants, Fuller seminary, elca projects (our money; their credit in the media), Peter Drucker (Jewish?), [lately] JOY, et al., ad nauseam!

  30. Yes indeed. Several partner Mission Societies now have become RSOs (Registered Service Organizations) of the LCMS. Furthermore, some of these RSOs or Mission Partners are either not Lutheran as was pointed out in #35 or are in partnership with other Non Lutheran “mission” groups. One such example from my experience nationally with an official LCMS board was that the lay leader suggested that said Mission Society/group/RSO attend Urbana, (http://www.urbana09.org) a national mission conference often held in St. Louis and sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. That year Rick Warren, was one of the national speakers. If LCMS mission groups want to be like this, then just go join the experts and let those who wish to be faithful to Gods Word and their Lutheran Heritage do just that. It would allow all to show their true colors and be honest with themselves and God, instead of beating around the bush and doing a half baked job of it all.

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