Pastor Harrison’s Definition of Talking, by Jim Pierce

(Editor’s Note: On a previous post on beer and talking I began to re-introduce Pr. Harrison’s “It’s Time.” Frequent BJS commenter Jim Pierce added the following insightful comment that helps to define what Rev. Harrison means by “talking.”)

Excellent points Pr. Rossow. I would also like to quote form “It’s Time” which indicates what Pr. Harrison means with “talking,”

“There, I believe, is the Center: A theological enterprise centered in the Scriptures of Christ. Such a Center is manifest in congregations walking together because we talk together about our shared confession of the doctrines of the Gospel. There are very few reasons left to perpetuate the Synod except that we want to bind ourselves together around these doctrines and voluntarily hold ourselves accountable to one another for the theology we preach and teach. . . . We need each other, not so much for structured work as for nurture and growth in the full Word that leads to salvation. . . . Theology can’t just “underlie”; it has to be our Center.9? (p. 7)

It is refreshing to know that Pr. Harrison does not mean with “talking” that we are going to engage in a conversation about doctrine in order to arrive at a compromise on key issues, instead, and as he states, “We must first repent, listen to the Word of God, and then begin listening to each other” (p. 14). If we can’t listen to God’s word and our own Lutheran symbols, then we can’t listen to each other; so as Pr. Harrison points out “we must first repent” and listen to the Word of God.

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.


Pastor Harrison’s Definition of Talking, by Jim Pierce — 4 Comments

  1. Anyone that has participated in the CTCR Theological Convocations know what a joke that has been. We “hear” each other…but never come close to agreeing and confessing the truth.


  2. Dan,

    That is a very good point. A lot of people have done a lot of talking through the years. The convocations have been a joke. This is the first time that a beauracrat has actually outlined a process whereby there will be discussion and then theses. We may be saying in another two years that this was just another round of mindless listening but I am hopeful that will not be the case. Harrison ran on the basis of his Its Time document and so I am hopeful he will keep that word and actually develop theses to say yea or nea to.


  3. A couple of things that Pastor Harrison has in his favor are an expansive, engaging manner, and a tremendous memorized and semi-memorized knowledge of the Scriptures and Lutheran writings. He is also a great story teller and can think on his feet, as well as having both pastoral and executive skills.

    Someone like him is more likely than most to be able to drive convocations to conclusions without being overbearing about it–more enthusiastically than sternly. I believe that he will be effective. May God grant this!

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