Yes Virginia, there is a BJS, by Pastor Rossow

This blog is read by thousands of people but not all of those readers will admit to it. Once again we have proof of the BJS impact.

A few weeks ago we posted information about the Concordia University Irvine Great Commission Summit and how Catholics, Evangelicals, and Methodists were identified as “ministry partners” and how that was unhealthy ecumenism.

I just got an email blast from Concordia and they now identify only LCMS groups as partners and the Catholics, Evangelicals and Methodists are now simply identified as our friends.

Do I know that without a doubt this is a result of BJS? No I do not. Do I suspect it? Yes I do because we have seen this before in other situations.

Yes Virginia, there is a BJS.

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.


Yes Virginia, there is a BJS, by Pastor Rossow — 5 Comments

  1. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    I don’t doubt, even a little bit, that the BJS article/post on the CU-Irvine Great Commission Summit resulted in changes to their publicity, and even how they will frame the conference to participants.

    One of the great advantages the BJS website has had over “unofficial” print media in the LCMS(like Affirm, Lutheran Clarion, and Christian News) is that it can get “inside the time-cycle of influence” in synodical institutions. In other words, problems can be identified, responsible persons notified, and something done about them, before significant or real damage is done.

    The time-cycle of print media means that by the time people are alerted to synodical-institution problems, and realize that others think the same way, it is already too late to prevent damage. Since its introduction with the “Confessional Lutheran” by the Rev. Paul Burgdorf, the unofficial print media often came across as a “bunch of complainers,” not as “constructive critics,” even though almost everyone in the unofficial print media was trying to be constructive.

    How could they be constructive, unless the time-cycle was prolonged, like the build-up to district or synod conventions? So the unofficial print media was most effective in preparing delegates for conventions.

    BJS has made synodical institutions MORE accountable, because 1) everyone can know about something AS SOON AS IT IS ANNOUNCED (i.e., that very day); 2) people can chime in and debate whether the issue is worth fussing about–this is the significant function of an open comment section on a web-blog like this; 3) if enough folks care about it, and are concerned, someone can and will call, email, or write the responsible persons; and 4) smart synodical staff people will monitor BJS to correct things BEFORE they get the first letter of complaint. 🙂 🙂 🙂 All this can happen within a few days!

    Will the “unofficial print media” of the LCMS become obsolete? No. For one, many people are not avid fans of e-books or electronic text. Surveys have proved this. The real problem with electronic and online media is trying to find what you need after its immediate use has passed—this is its research and archive problem.

    Print media is physically durable, indexable, and is better suited for longer treatments that are not time-sensitive(like Jack Kilcrease’s book review of Matthew Becker’s “Fundamental Theology”). Theological, exegetical, and historical treatments are often lengthy, footnoted, and thus are best in print.

    The lack of time sensitivity means that print media can be edited by multiple persons (like Lutheran Clarion) or even peer-reviewed (like LOGIA). Print media can be thrown into a file and pulled out again when you head to convention, or when you are working on a sermon, Bible class, topic study, lecture, or article. Of course, you can always print-out online articles and comments, but that is not the default use for them.

    The reduction of the “time-cycle of influence” is the real contribution that BJS website and its leadership has made to the LCMS in the last seven years. For this we have especially Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow to thank, but also his associate editor, the Rev. Joshua Scheer (now editor-in-chief), their web-master Norm Fisher, as well as all the contributing authors. This function of BJS will not cease having significance, so we expect a long and useful life to this “online journal.”

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  2. This takes nothing away from BJS and its impact on synod matters, especially as well noted by Dr. Noland … however, as far as this matter of unhealthy ecumenism at Concordia, Irvine … it sounds like no more than a slight change in semantics.

    What has really changed in the concerns raised about giving equal platform and voice to errorists and their ways?

    In the less than theological “missional” circles a slight change in semantics from “partners” to “friends” has far less significance since they could not see the inherent issues to begin with than it does for those more discernibly inclined, and often is made simply to appease those to whom it means far more.

    In other words, are we left to assume that anything truly substantive has changed? I hope this change in nomenclature truly “signifies” a sincere and honest recognition of the error and harm of such unhealthy ecumenism and has resulted in a venue change to assure that all erroneous content is eliminated or perhaps constructively refuted and corrected for the good of all.

  3. Pastor Rossow… What do you think of my idea or suggestion on the SteadfastLutherans 2016 conference theme? … which I sent to you via email, from Denmark?

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