President Pfotenhauer has Some Critique for President Kieschnick Concerning His Emphases

In 1936 LCMS President Friedrech Pfotehauer delivered an address in River Forest, Illinois in which he says that neither missions nor more synodical power will revitalize the synod. The only thing that will do that is the word of God. Of course missions (Ablaze) and more synodical authority (Blue Ribbon Proposals) is exactly what President Kieschnick is telling us will revitalize the synod. We prefer the wisdom of Grandfather Pfotenhauer. Not only that, it is undeniable that the only thing that will get the LCMS on course is the Word of God.

Pfotenhauer’s essay is included in Matt Harrison’s recent book and can be found by clicking here and going to the bottom of the page; the PDF is available here.

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.


President Pfotenhauer has Some Critique for President Kieschnick Concerning His Emphases — 9 Comments

  1. “The chief requirement of a capable district president and visitor is not that he be great with finances and a capable administrator, but much more that he be a profound theologian and experienced student of the Scriptures.” – Pfotenhauer

    “I am no theologian.” – Kieschnick

    That says it all.

  2. The upper management is not so good with business either.
    Somebody in upper management forgot that the LCMS is in the truth business, specifically the excellent delivery of Divine Truth.

    In order to maintain the integrity of the product, management is required to administer quality controls enforcing standards (denominational) on the product. An error in accounting has occurred and management is required to go back to the source document (Scripture) to correct the error. It would be derelict not to do so.

    The CEO is failing to lead because he does not have the requisite skills (theologian status) for the position. He has shown he does not know his loyal customer base and his product. In a depressed market he has mistakenly introduced an inferior product detrimental to the organization in order to increase market share.

    Failing to apply quality control standards and confusing the loyal customer base is producing only spotty excellence in the finished goods. This is not a sustainable business model over the long term. LCMS has been reputed to value quality and excellence over quantity, such is not the case in recent times. There is need to return to the successful original business model.

    Shareholders: You need a change in executive management.

  3. Very businesslike diagnosis, “rogueLutheran”!

    Anyone who can run an organization from $7 million in the black to $7 (?) million in the red, is “no businessman” either.
    As the latest caper proves.

    That’s the “best construction” I can find. Sorry!

  4. I posted this elsewhere on BJS also:

    “The recipient of an honorary doctorate may use the degree in the same manner as a substantive degree, except under certain circumstances where the formal academic background is required. The recipient typically will not begin using the prenominal title of doctor, though there is no rule against it. Honorary doctorate recipients Benjamin Franklin, Maya Angelou, and Billy Graham, amongst others, have used the title pre- or postnominally. Many universities that award honorary degrees will refer to their recipients as “doctor.” Whether the title is used prenominally or postnominally, honaris causa or h.c. should be parenthetically added after the degree title.” (source:

  5. revfisk

    I guess in all fairness one must first ask, “Why do you ask?”

    Here’s your answer…
    Professor Marquart info….”Concordia University Wisconsin awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 2001.”

    That information can be found here…

    This is the website founded for the “Kurt Marquardt for Theological Education in Haiti fund.” as established by the CTSFW class of 2007.

    I think most of his students “called” him professor, but anyone who sat at his feet knew that he exhibited the knowledge of a class “A” scholar and the pastoral care of a true seelsorger. And the Rev. Dr. Kurt Marquart is a “saint of God who from his labors rest.”

    Rev. Larry D. Wright
    CTSFW 2007

  6. I was baptized by President Poftenhauer’s son at Holy Cross in Chicago -1947. “Granfather” Pfotenhauer had long since gone to be with the Lord, but my parents were there in school, and have told me he was so very highly respected. After reading his essay, I can see why. I pity our Synod if we do not look back at our fathers and take their advice. I can’t wait to get Pastor Harrison’s book!

    Allan Kloess
    Cross of Christ Lutheran Church
    De Soto, Texas

  7. Pfotenhauer: “Church history teaches that the generations that have inherited the benefits from previous generations don’t treasure them as highly as their fathers, who fought and worked for them.”

    That’s quite a profound observation, I think. What do we do with the fact that there seem to be always downs in church history by human negligence and complacency and ups in church history by God’s free grace (kind of like the book of Judges)?

    I think: it teaches us humility. Even diligence in the preaching of the word — even when preached by prophets, apostles, or God’s Son — is no guarantee for a spiritual renewal in the church. Church growth, both qualitatively and quantitatively, is never “automatic” (so long as the “right means” are applied). God’s word can be resisted. God must grant his blessing. And he grants it in his time and place, “when and where it pleases him” (AC V).

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