What Price do You Put on the Gospel? Minnesota South District Treasurer Encourages Board to Sell the ULC Property, by Pr. Rossow

What price do you put on the Gospel? Apparently the price is three million dollars. We have just learned that the Minnesota South District Treasurer has recommended to the district board of directors that the University Lutheran Chapel (ULC) property be sold for three million dollars to the Doran Construction and Development Company for private purposes.

This is an odd recommendation. The ULC is a thriving parish and campus ministry on the University of Minnesota campus. Why would you eliminate an effective parish in the midst of one of the largest concentrations of Lutheran college students in the country? What price do you put on the Gospel?

The district’s plan to replace the campus ministry is untried and experimental at best. You can read about the haphazard plan on the ULC website where the ULC members have catalogued the endless and experimental efforts to replace the campus pulpit through the years.

This also seems like an odd recommendation since ULC parish and alumni have started a campaign to raise funds to purchase the property from the district. Officials from the District are aware of this plan and have encouraged it. It seems odd that the parish would have to purchase the property from the district since it was Lutherans from Minnesota who raised the funds to purchase the property in the first place, some sixty years ago, and build the beautiful and reverent chapel and adjoining kitchen, hall and Sunday School rooms. At the very least this ought to be a decision for the district convention voters and not the board of directors.

Again this seems like an odd recommendation since the Chapel has been self-sufficient for the last several years. This is not a ministry of the district. This is a parish that the Lutherans of Minnesota created so that there would be an altar and pulpit on the Minnesota campus. It is not subsidized by the District but the District is now stepping in and saying that they want the money that could be generated by selling the altar, the pulpit and the earth that they have sat on for the last couple of generations, where countless people have come to the faith, been edified in the faith and many of whom have gone on to our seminaries and are now passing that same faith on to folks all around the country. What price do you put on the Gospel?

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.

Comments

What Price do You Put on the Gospel? Minnesota South District Treasurer Encourages Board to Sell the ULC Property, by Pr. Rossow — 162 Comments

  1. @mbw #149

    (shrug)

    Pastor Curtis writes:

    “If you refuse to preach the Gospel from this day out—God’s purpose in election will stand. If you attack and persecute the Church, not one of the elect shall be lost. If you horde your money and refuse to pray for missionaries on their dangerous way, Christ’s little lambs will still be in his fold. He has lost none and he will lose none of those his Father has given him.

    Do nothing —and the number of souls in God kingdom on the last day will be just the same as if you had given all you had to missions and dedicated your every waking moment to preaching. Start a praise band and stroll the aisle while preaching in your polo shirt and shorts—and the number of souls in God’s kingdom on the last day will be just the same as if you chanted TLH p. 15 week in and week out rather poorly in an ill-fitting cassock and alb and mismatched socks.”

    Am I really misreading this? Is my statement really a reductionist lie?

  2. @Mark Louderback #147

    We also know to break out the Tiger Balm for the joints in our fingers, because epic sized essays are the result of conversing with you. 🙂

    @Mark Louderback #151

    I am under the impression that Pr. Curtis’ essay is a reaction to the functional Arminianism which has stricken a number of people in our synod who are pushing Church Growth initiatives with little to no thought regarding the theological foundation of their practices. So, yes, Pr. Curtis’ words are going to come across extreme if we lift his arguments out of their context.

  3. @mbw #142
    ” I think this site would be more useful if some of the more longwinded arguers were cut back to some degree. “

    The easiest way to stop some of us windbags from arguing is to ignore us. As I wrote to John not that long ago… it takes two to tango.

  4. @mbw #152

    I will answer your question when you answer mine. That seems fair.

    @Jim Pierce #153

    (chuckle) Yes, I can’t help but try and be thorough….

    I am under the impression that Pr. Curtis’ essay is a reaction to the functional Arminianism which has stricken a number of people in our synod who are pushing Church Growth initiatives with little to no thought regarding the theological foundation of their practices. So, yes, Pr. Curtis’ words are going to come across extreme if we lift his arguments out of their context.

    (shrug) Or they are extreme because they are extreme. Or at least wrong…

    Have you read my response to his article? It is, of course, longer than the original…

    http://tinyurl.com/3opzrdv

  5. Mark Louderback :@mbw #140
    What for exactly?

    For arguing unconstructively and unseriously, and for trashing discussions with your many many words.

    But you know, I have changed my mind. I don’t think you should be banned. But I wish you’d be more pithy as that great theologian Bill O’Reilly might say.

  6. @Mark Louderback #151

    > Am I really misreading this? Is my statement really a reductionist lie?

    Let’s agree that Curtis is not a Calvinist, and that you are not an Arminian.

    So why do you have to put that nasty Calvinist spin on him?

  7. mbw :

    Mark Louderback :@mbw #140
    What for exactly?

    For arguing unconstructively and unseriously, and for trashing discussions with your many many words.
    But you know, I have changed my mind. I don’t think you should be banned. But I wish you’d be more pithy as that great theologian Bill O’Reilly might say.

    Well, I am glad you have changed your mind. But understand this: I am long because I’m not bright. If I were smarted and sharper, I could be pithy and short. I’m not.

    In addition, where I do try to be short, people rip phrases out of context and accuse me (for example) of preaching another Gospel.

    So, I’m danged if I write long and try to explain and I’m danged if I write short (and get twisted).

    Let’s agree that Curtis is not a Calvinist, and that you are not an Arminian.

    Sure. His argument is that I am a Functional Arminian. My argument is that he is a Functional Calvinist.

    Read his paper. Look how he deals with (doesn’t deal with) Scripture passages. His position uses the doctrine of election beyond how the Confessions say it ought to be used.

  8. @Mark Louderback #161

    > In addition, where I do try to be short, people rip phrases out of context

    You know, I thought of that after I made the request about being ‘pithy.’

    But I’m still frustrated by wanting to read everything here and not having time to do that.

    People who came out of an Arminian environment (like me) who now are very grateful for and love the Lutheran confessions can be very sensitive to anything that reminds them of the former days and places.

    Maybe we don’t think enough about people coming out of genuine Calvinist practices. I simply have not encountered many (any?) vociferous Calvinists. The Arminians seem to much more dominant.

    The funny thing is that I do not feel any real fear or aversion about the areas of traditional Lutheran practice that are genuinely Evangelical. So, why would any Lutheran having come out of Calvinism have any aversion to the true doctrine of election?

    I hope I am communicating clearly, but am not so sure.

    Let me close with this. The people who threw me into the worst confusion ever, long ago, were, God bless them, the Southern Baptists, who are what I can only describe as quasi-Calvinist-Arminians. What a concept! That stuff can lead to insanity if you try to take it seriously. Thank God for our clear doctrine.

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