To Amend Bylaw 3.10.4.6 and 3.10.5.5 on Seminary Presidents and Colleges and University Presidents

Here are two last-minute overtures that were submitted by Pastor Martin Noland at the request of some of his friends. There isn’t much time left to get these passed by your church or circuit, but we wanted to get them out there just in case. They have been submitted in the forum where they were passed.

 

Whereas, Article II of the Synod’s Constitution sets forth the objectives of the Synod; and

Whereas, Included in said article are Sections 3 and 5 respectively reading:

“Recruit and train pastors, teachers, and other professional church workers and provide opportunity for their continuing growth.”

“Aid congregations to develop processes of thorough Christian education and nurture and to establish agencies of Christian education such as elementary and secondary schools and to support synodical colleges, universities, and seminaries”; and

Whereas, The Synod for over a century and a half has maintained seminaries and institutions of higher learning; and

Whereas, The Synod’s bylaws provide with respect to presidents of seminaries, colleges and universities that the president “shall serve as the spiritual, academic, and administrative head of the institution” as well as “be responsible for the spiritual care and nurture for every student”; and

Whereas, It is clear that “unity of the of the true faith” (Constitution, Article III, 1.) cannot be effectively nurtured and maintained unless the presidents of the institutions training pastors and professional workers are one in the True Faith with us and committed without reservation to the Confession of the Synod set out in Article II of the Constitution of the Synod; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Synod amend bylaws 3.10.4.6.3 and 3.10.5.5 to require that the President of any seminary of the Synod and the president of any institution of the Synod must be a rostered, ordained clergyman of the Synod in good standing both to be eligible to be placed on a presidential call list of the institution as well as to hold office as president of the institution. In the event the good standing of a president of an institution as an ordained clergyman of the Synod ceases, such person shall not be eligible to hold the office of president and shall be removed.

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, LCMSsermons.com, 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 KNFA.net.

Comments

To Amend Bylaw 3.10.4.6 and 3.10.5.5 on Seminary Presidents and Colleges and University Presidents — 28 Comments

  1. This amendment may solve Concordia Portland’s problem. Their president is not a clergyman:

    http://www.cu-portland.edu/giving/annual/pres_lead.cfm

    http://locator.lcms.org/nworkers_frm/w_detail.asp?W18658

    He currently allows the existence of a pro-homosexual club on Portland’s campus that has been covered before at BJS. Here is the latest news I can find about this club: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/04/gay_concordia_university_stude.html

  2. So that would be three vacancies in the Concordia University System. And having the President be a rostered ordained clergy didn’t seem to make much difference for Concordia-Chicago in hosting a LGBT advocacy group.

  3. @Carl Vehse #3

    Unless we can use the “good Standing” clause. But the way NOBODY wants to deal with heretics, and our disadstorous DRP, the Chicago Pres (Johnson?) will be safe…

  4. @Carl Vehse #3

    I just checked the website for Concordia Chicago. They have “Gay and Lesbian Studies” classes:

    http://www.cuchicago.edu/academics/library/library-contacts/collection-development-liasons/

    http://www.cuchicago.edu/Documents/Admission%20Financial%20Aid/UGA/Transfer%20Guides/ccc_equivalency.pdf?source=search-result

    It seems they have gone completely apostate. Even I didn’t expect this from a school currently affiliated with LCMS. The Synod should let this school go, and not give them any more of our money.

  5. @ #3 “having the President be a rostered ordained clergy didn’t seem to make much difference for Concordia-Chicago in hosting a LGBT advocacy group.”

    John F. Johson, M.A., Ph.D., Th.D.
    Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas (B.A. 1970); Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Nashville, Tennessee (M.Div. 1973); Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas (M.A. 1974); Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri (Th.D. 1978); St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri (Ph.D. 1982); assistant to the pastor, Grace (Lutheran Church in America), Fort Worth, Texas (1973-74); associate pastor, St. John, Ellisville, Missouri (1974-77); president, Concordia College, St. Paul, Minnesota (1989-90); president, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri (1990-2004); president, Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Illinois (2004- ).

    Concordia, St. Louis and Concordia Chicago academic catalogs

  6. Why was Dr. John F Johnson “let go” as president of Concordia Seminay? That seemed to be a much better postion than going to Concordia RF esecpally after George Heider wrecked the place.

  7. @ #8

    When the Concordia Theological Quarterly of the Ft. Wayne seminary published an essay it attributed to Dr. John Johnson, now president of Concordia University Chicago, it refused to publish a retraction and apology when Professor Nathan Jastram, chairman of the theology department of Concordia Wisconsin, in great detail documented the fact that almost the entire essay was plagiarized. Jastram’s honesty and courage killed any chances of him getting elected president of the Ft. Wayne seminary.

    “GREATEST LUTHERAN FACULTY ON EARTH”
    Christian News
    June 6, 2011

  8. You know, some of the pastors I have meet or have seen online that graduated from the late 90′ to early 2000’s form CSL have not impressed me at all. A certain softness (finding better a better “home” at ALPB), a little ecumenical, CGM and PLI… It is just my anecdotal observations. So reading that CU-Chicago has been acting strange of late…. In science, when test results consistantly turn up a certain way, it lends support to a theory. This has been my struggle with the 8th Commandment. How long to you keep putting a best construction on things? When do you have to start to mark and avoid heterodoxy and heresy?

  9. What was the name of the articlle that Dr. Johnson “wrote” and what vol of CTQ was it in?

  10. A respect for our past and a continued emphasis on innovation, excellence and creativity in all aspects of what we do, contribute significantly to our growth, our fiscal health and for our reputation as an educational leader.

    Together, we have built a community rich in tradition and strong in purpose. We look forward to another wonderful year in 2013. Rejoice in God’s blessings and also in your role as part of the University’s success.

    Sincerely,
    John F. Johnson
    President

    President’s Column
    Forester
    Winter 2013

  11. @Jason #11

    When one of our Concordia colleges, in this case Chicago, has “gay, lesbian, and transgendered studies” classes, as shown in the links given above, it is time to let that school go. Expel them from the LCMS, send them no more money, mark and avoid. Do not except transfer credits or pastors from that school, and do not send our children there.

  12. JOKE: When did Concordia University-Chicago become Lutheran School of Theology-Chicgao? Are they planning on a merger?

  13. Quoted from Christian News, Nov. 1, 2010, quoting Dr. Nathan Jastram:
    “Hermeneutics in Thomas Aquinas: An Appraisal and Appreciation,” Concordia Theological Quarterly 45 (July 1981): 223-232. Six of its nine pages were verbatim quotations, without quotation marks or citations, plagiarized from an article by T. F. Torrance, “Scientific Hermeneutics according to St. Thomas Aquinas,” Journal of Theological Studies 13 (1962): 259289.

    Not long afterwards, he published “Biblical Authority and Scholastic Theology,” in John D. Hannah, ed., Inerrancy and the Church (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984), which exhibits various sorts of academic misconduct, including quoting without using quotation marks, altering the wording within quotation marks, and appropriating footnotes and citations from secondary sources as if they were his own.”

  14. Dr. John F. Johnson, current president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, expressed the seminary’s sympathy and said, “While Dr. Tietjen’s years at Concordia Seminary were turbulent, we join in giving thanks to God for calling him to faith in Jesus Christ and for the eternal assurance this brings.”

    “Tietjen dies; sem president during controversy”
    Reporter
    Feb. 25, 2004

  15. One can see Johnson’s plagiarism starting at the bottom of p. 224 of his article, “Hermeneutics in Thomas Aquinas: An Appraisal and Appreciation” (Concordia Theological Quarterly, 45, July 1981, 223-232):

    In addition to this medieval “evangelical movement,” a second development helped shape biblical study — the introduction of Aristotelianism into the theology of the Church through the medium of Arabian and Jewish scholars. The significance of this phenomenon for hermeneutics in the Middle Ages is not to be seen in the use of new methods so much as in the close integration of language and thought that it produced. Interpretation, it was realized, cannot be isolated from the rules of thought which govern all areas of knowledge; it must be conducted scientifically, with adequate reasons given for the significance established. The impact of this Aristotelian thought on medieval hermeneutics was basically felt in two connections. The impact of this Aristotelian thought on medieval hermeneutics was basically felt in two connections.

    First, it challenged the sharp distinction between sense and thought. According to the Platonic philosophical orientation, there was a world of ordered forms above and apart from the world of sense-experience; they are reflected in it to be sure. but knowledge of them is reached only through transcending sense experience. That made it possible for the late patristic and early medieval ages to develop an entire world of allegory and spiritual meaning in detachment from history and event. According to the Aristotelian view, however, the universal ideas exist only as expressed in the individual objects of the sensible world, and we know them apart from, but only through, sense-experience. All of this had a very sobering effect on exegesis. It disparaged the cultivation of a world of meaning which could be correlated on its own without scientific reference to the historical sense of Scripture and careful examination of its words and concepts.

    with T. F. Torrance’s original statements in the last half of the displayed page 259, in his article, “Scientific Hermeneutics according to St. Thomas Aquinas” (Journal of Theological Studies, 13, 1962, 259-289):

    However it was only with the introduction of Aristotelianism into the theology of the Church through the medium of Arabian and Jewish scholars that its main impact was felt. The importance of this for hermeneutics in the high Middle Age is not to be looked for in the use of new methods so much as in the close integration of language and thought it produced. Interpretation, it was realized, cannot be isolated from the rules of though that govern all areas of knowledge; it must be conducted scientifically, wit hadequate reasons given for the significations established. A fresh consideratioin of this may not be out of place in view of the threat to biblical theology by a new nominalism that appears to question very radically the relation of language to thought.

    We may speak of the impact of Aristotelian though upon medieval hermeneutics in several ways.

    (a) It challenged the sharp distinction between sense and though. According to the Platonic philosophy there was a world of ordered forms above and apart from the world of sense-experience; they are reflected in it but knowledge of them is reached only through transcending sense-experience. That made it possible for the late patristic and early medieval ages to develop a whole world of allegory and spiritual meaning in detachment from history and vent and to regard that as a realm of intercorrelated meanings on its own, as it were, above and beyond the material and the earthly. On the Aristotelian view, however, the universal ideas exist only as expressed in the individual objects of the sensible world and we know them not apart from but only through sense-experience. This had a sobering effect on exegesis for it disparaged the cultivation of a world of meanings that could be correlated on its own without scientific reference to the historical sense of scripture and careful examination of its words and concepts;…

    Johnson never refers to Torrance or lists Torrance’s article in his Footnotes.

  16. In John Johnson’s preceding paragraph (p. 224), he writes:

    In addition to this medieval “evangelical movement,” a second development helped shape biblical study — the introduction of Aristotelianism into the theology of the Church through the medium of Arabian and Jewish scholars. The significance of this phenomenon for hermeneutics in the Middle Ages is not to be seen in the use of new methods so much as in the close integration of language and thought that it produced. Interpretation, it was realized, cannot be isolated from the rules of thought which govern all areas of knowledge; it must be conducted scientifically, with adequate reasons given for the significance established.

    compared to Torrance’s statements:

    However it was only with the introduction of Aristotelianism into the theology of the Church through the medium of Arabian and Jewish scholars that its main impact was felt. The importance of this for hermeneutics in the high Middle Age is not to be looked for in the use of new methods so much as in the close integration of language and thought it produced. Interpretation, it was realized, cannot be isolated from the rules of though that govern all areas of knowledge; it must be conducted scientifically, with adequate reasons given for the significations established.

    Torrance also closes that paragraph with :

    A fresh consideration of this may not be out of place in view of the threat to biblical theology by a new nominalism that appears to question very radically the relation of language to thought.

    and refers to James Barr’s The Semantics of Biblical Language. Johnson provides the same reference to James Barr’s book in his Footnote 6, and states:

    It would be well, incidentally, for evangelical Lutherans to explore this Aristotelian motif in view of the threat to modern biblical theology by a new nominalism that appears to question very radically the relation of language to thought.

  17. I completely undersand why Johnson was “let go” by Concordia Seminary but why was he alllowed to become president of River Forest? The same concerns for acedemic integrity hold for a college/unicersity as they do for a seminary.

  18. Here are some FY2009 salary+health care+pension (additional forms of compensation and benefits are not included) of the various Concordia presidents from Jojakim Dettman on the Luther Quest thread, “Executive Pay at Concordias,” May 1, 2012:

    Viji George $269,392, Concordia-Bronxville
    Patrick T. Ferry $253,898, Concordia-Wisconsin
    Brian Friedrich $242,346, Concordia-Seward
    Jacob Preus $229,244, Concordia-Irvine (now at Bethesda Lutheran Foundation, WI, $275,863)
    John F. Johnson $213,946, Concordia-Chicago
    Thomas Cedel, $200,642, Concordia-Texas
    Charles Schlimpert $175,000 Concordia-Portland
    Tilahun Mendedo $60,094, Concordia-Selma

    There are others executives in the Concordia University System who also draw six-figure salaries, such as Executive Dean Curt Gielow $214,491, Concordia-Wisconsin (also mayor of Mequon).

  19. @Nicholas Leone #5
    It would be good to investigate the links presented.
    The first link takes one to the library collection, where Gay and Lesbian Studies is a standard Library of Congress heading.

    The second link takes one to the transfer guide for students from City of Chicago courses. The transfer guides for the City of Chicago College courses lists one of their courses, HUM 146, “Gay Lesbian, Bi and Transgender”. That is not a Concordia Chicago course but a City of Chicago course.

    Concordia Chicago does not list a gay and lesbian studies program.

  20. @Nicholas Leone #15
    You do not have all the facts and are slinging around accusations that are unfounded.

    First of all, you do not even should that you can interpret a transfer guide correctly. the Transgender course is the City College of CHicago’s, not CUCs.

  21. As mentioned earlier by KathyS in Post #17, here is a link to Concordia University-Wisconsin Prof. Nathan Jastram’s marked copy of Concordia University-Chicago President John F. Johnson’s “Hermeneutics in Thomas Aquinas: An Appraisal and Appreciation” (Concordia Theological Quarterly, 45, July 1981, 223-232). The marked sections are comparable to those sections indicated by handwritten page numbers from an article by T. F. Torrance, “Scientific Hermeneutics according to St. Thomas Aquinas,” (Journal of Theological Studies, 13, 1962, 259-289).

    Previously, in Posts #20 and #21 above, a couple of paragraphs from Johnson’s 1981 CTQ paper had been compared to unattributed, but essentially identical paragraphs taken from the first page of Torrance’s 1962 paper.

    Here is a link to Prof. Jastram’s marked copy of President Johnson’s chapter, “Biblical Authority and Scholastic Theology” (in John D. Hannah, ed., Inerrancy and the Church, Chicago: Moody Press, 1984, 67-97). The marked sections and adjacent handwritten notes, refer to sections from the designated authors and the page numbers of reference articles and books presented in the footnotes. Johnson’s use of sections from his 1981 CTQ paper are also noted. In some places the handwritten notes refer to a “creative quotation” or to quotations that had been changed without indication from the reference source.

    The questions for the Board of Regents of both CSL and CUChicago, as well as the editor of CTQ and Dallas Theological Seminary Prof. John D. Hannah, are: “What did you know, and when did you know it?”

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