Great Stuff Found on the Web — – Progress in Synodical Harmony

The three year work of the LCMS Task Force on Synodical Harmony is now completed and available at the LCMS blog “Witness, Mercy, Life Together” here.


Read these documents and tell us what you think. This work dovetails with the work of the LCMS President’s office known as the “Koinonia Project.” The most recent information about the Koinonia Project is posted here and here.


We can thank the LCMS Board of Directors, the Council of Presidents, President Harrison, and First Vice-President Herb Mueller for their careful preliminary labors that lay the foundation for synod-wide discussions on these matters of vital importance to our church.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at


Great Stuff Found on the Web — – Progress in Synodical Harmony — 10 Comments

  1. Having read through these documents I can say I am excited about the Koinonia Project. I have been eager to hear more about it ever since I first heard about it. I hope and pray that it is well communicated and implemented.

  2. Just finished reading the papers. I will be taking same to winkel next week to share with the circuit!!

  3. I know that Rob Bell is very popular among Church Growth Movement promoters within the LCMS. Therefore, I thought appropriate to post Bell’ latest work.

    Rob Bell has embraced Universalism:

    Ablaze! Indeed!

  4. @boaz #4

    Yes. The congregation I just left is like that. A new pastor who really is a closet Baptist preacher, pushing for seeking the lost, in cahoots with a CoWo supporting couple. He was an elder for a few years, and she just got a doctorate and converted a traditional service to a contemporary. They have a consulting business or something, but whatever, they do have money. Rumor is, and I totally believe it form snippits I’ve seen and heard, they a personally fooitng th ebill for the pastor to attend PLI.

    Now add in thte youth director. I do not like youth leaders, DCE’s or teachers that want tot get into the profession because they want to have fun with kids. While that is good, they must also model, teach, and BE THE ADULT in the setting. Not so sure if this guy can step up. One year I did lead small group for confirmation (horrendous joke that was) and my wife and I have subbed in for youth activites at times, whether Bible class or what not. So we have seen the NOOMA videos that Rob Bell does, and yeah, they are crap. James knows what he’s talking about.

    Put this together. The pastor misses enough Sundays from PLI and other vacations. Often the retired pastor comes back to fill in, but one time the youth director did. For the sermon/message, he play a NOOMA video and then discussed it. We were visiting friends or my inlaws (don’t remember) and I am SO greatful to have been in a different congregation that Sunday. And the pastor and/or “his” elders thought this was a good idea.

    One of many on the long laundry list of reasons why I transferred.

  5. The most encouraging words in the entire document set: The “Koinonia Project” cannot be a political process, but must be a spiritual process centered in the Word of God, repentance and prayer, forgiveness and charity.

    What? Not centered on pettiness, pointing out the failures of others, legalism or personal tastes? Color me astonished.


  6. Ah yes. I really do like being a part of small groups. I (sincerely) applaud the Church Growth Movement within the LCMS for encouraging small groups. Without them, my wife and I would still feel like strangers in our local LCMS church. Anything that encourages fellowship is sorely needed within the LCMS. Outreach ideas are needed.

    My LCMS church is a member of the Willow Creek Association. Books and dvds by generic protestant evangelists such as Rob Bell are encouraged. Are CPH materials? Nope. We have many NOOMA dvds in the church library, and they are used by small groups such as in my LCMS congregation. I enjoy the small group fellowship, but not the theology.

    Generic protestants are very careful not to take a strong stand on any doctrinal issue. They want to be “politically correct” and do not want to offend anyone. Who knows, a stranger might wander through the doors of an LCMS church and be offended by the liturgy, the big cross and other Christan symbols, and the strong Lutheran doctrine. The answer: Sing contemporary, watered-down songs written by and for generic evangelicals every Sunday morning in a large, bland auditorium, and study generic protestants such as Rob Bell.

    I am grateful that Rob Bell finally clearly articulated what he has always believed. How many other generic protestants will soon muster the courage to step forward and stop being so evasive. How many other Church Growth Movement theologians share Bell’s beliefs.

    Understood: Koinonia does not mean “let’s throw the baby out with the bathwater.” I would like to think that ABLAZE! has some good ideas. I hope that Church Growth theology will be discarded – and soon. I wonder how long it will take LCMS churches to abandon Rob Bell……………or will they.

    Pettiness, legalism, or personal tastes? Hardly.

  7. @boaz #4
    My large LCMS Congregation has the NOOMA videos in the church book store. They use them in the youth group and some adults use them in bible studies as teaching tools to emphasize some particular topic.
    Our senior pastor showed the first NOOMA , Rain, in our Capital Campaign kickoff dinner about 5or 6 years ago.

    Let’s see, one associate pastor went to one of Rob Bell’s Seminar’s several years ago on the Bride of Christ.
    Several members, me included, asked the pastors to remove the NOOMA videos from the bookstore and were told that there was enough good teaching in the videos that they would continue selling them.
    It is more difficult to get CPH materials in the bookstore than it is to get materials published by Willow Creek, Rob Bell and Evangelical’s.
    So yes, Rob Bell is accepted in the LCMS large Contemporar Churches.

  8. I’m shocked LCMS trained pastors are using that Rob Bell garbage. They are clearly heterodox.

  9. Yes, Lutheran churches that are geared towards contemporary services ARE using Rob Bell videos. Our last pastor used them in Bible class – I had never heard of Rob Bell before. This same pastor also quoted extensively from Beth Moore videos. REALLY??? I have a problem with this. These people do not share our doctrine, so WHY are we studying them? Our poor church has been so abused by pastors who come in tear down literal walls in the building, making new offices, caring nothing for the ministry of the school, stay 4 or 5 years and then move on to another place. Where is the integrity, the perseverance to build a church which really takes many years. Most pastors I have known seem to have adopted the worldly view of advancement which is in the business world. Sorry, but I question the “divine call” when it seems to follow what the world does–stay awhile and then “advance” on to a bigger and better church somewhere else. A beautiful, empty building with Lutheran High School inscribed in stone sits empty next to our church because of sloppy accounting by the pastor/principal’s administration. You want to know why the Lutheran Church/Mo. Synod is weak in the South? It’s really not that hard to figure out!

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