Concordia Seminary, St. Louis Board of Regents Minutes from March 2018

In response to the ongoing problems related to the Summer 2017 Concordia Journal I have asked for the official minutes from the March 2018 Board of Regents meeting (approved in May 2018).  Some of the issues were already resolved in a Christian fashion.  There are remaining issues however.  These issues include the South Wisconsin and Wyoming District’s resolutions against the teachings found in the summer 2017 CJ (which have been proven accurate by the author involved), and the unanimous CSL faculty open-letter rebuke of every pastor in those districts (which still stands), and my own District President Rev. John Hill responding which helped him receive the Sabre of Boldness from Gottesdienst this year.

The minutes are public record and as such I have scanned them and placed them on our site.  They reveal a number of things.

CSL BOR March 2018 Minutes

The official minutes are 8 pages long (there are additional handout pages).  The things related to the CJ article start on page 4.  The main related motions are on page 7, including some calling for action before the May meeting.  Since one of those actions would have involved pastors in my district receiving a CSL faculty apology, I can say that the action commanded by the Board of Regents did not happen according the deadline set by the Regents.

Page 4 also includes the motion to include some different handouts into the minutes.

CSL BOR March 2018 Handouts entered into minutes


About Pastor Joshua Scheer

Pastor Joshua Scheer is the Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Brothers of John the Steadfast. He oversees all of the work done by Steadfast Lutherans. He is a regular host of Concord Matters on KFUO. Pastor Scheer and his lovely wife Holly (who writes and manages the Katie Luther Sisters) have four children and enjoy living in Wyoming.


Concordia Seminary, St. Louis Board of Regents Minutes from March 2018 — 9 Comments

  1. I believe that many LCMS ordained ministers have never read the Bible through from cover to cover even one time. I believe even more strongly that they have never read the Bible through from cover to cover using the chronological method. Finally, I believe that many LCMS ordained ministers do not believe the Bible.

    We don’t need another revised CHRISTIAN DOGMATICS or an updated SMALL CATECHISM. We need ordained ministers who believe the Bible, study it, and can explain it.

    This isn’t rocket science. This is about faith, reading the Bible and believing it.

  2. @Fred Dissen #1

    Reading the Bible cover to cover is one thing, and is certainly necessary; but another issue is the number of LCMS pastors who have never read the Book of Concord cover to cover. My guess is that most LCMS pastors haven’t done that. Those that have need to do it repeatedly.

  3. “#1 from Fred Dissen on June 7, 2018 at 6:58 am
    I believe that many LCMS ordained ministers have never read the Bible through from cover to cover even one time. I believe even more strongly that they have never read the Bible through from cover to cover using the chronological method. Finally, I believe that many LCMS ordained ministers do not believe the Bible.”

    Is this in line with the Brothers’ comment policy? Helen is right – where is the evidence?

  4. Paraphrased: “Motion carried unanimously: The Board directs the publisher to review the editorial process, and recommend procedures to strengthen peer review in order to prevent future controversies and maintain pure doctrine.”

    This is very good, a no-brainer, and the solution to the crisis du jour. But it is only a partial solution to a much bigger problem. i.e., “there are OECs who teach at Lutheran high schools”. Sure, and there are OECs, TheEvos, who teach at Lutheran day schools, CU and SEM, too. This pretty well answers the statement that “what is needed is not merely a retraction of this article, but a condemnation of it”, and my question as to why has there not been one.

  5. Thanks for posting the minutes and the attachment.

    As Pastor Scheer has said, the March 8-9, 2018, minutes show that the Regents passed a unanimous motion to have the seminary faculty write a letter to two districts (Wyoming and South Wisconsin) expressing regret for their [CSL’s] Open Letters to these two districts. This was to be done before the following meeting, which according to the CSL internet calendar, was May 17-18, 2018.

    A related unanimous motion directs the Seminary President to address social media remarks made by a CSL professor with that professor. A third unanimous motion directs that the Seminary President take steps to strengthen peer review of articles published in Concordia Journal.

    The Regents passed a fourth unanimous motion to have the CSL administration implement policies “so that social media are monitored as the Seminary’s presence (faculty, staff, students) is well known on social media platforms…”

    Thanks to the Board of Regents for these unanimous actions. There is more to do.

    The attachment to the minutes, (“Sadly, yet respectfully submitted”) by the South Wisconsin District (SWD) President, sheds light on events since the Summer 2017 Concordia Journal.

    Regarding the South Wisconsin District (SWD) Resolution (“To Confess and Reaffirm Six-Day Creation & the Official Position of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod”) [included in the attachment to the minutes], which did not mention any seminary or university by name: in the days after the resolution passed, several professors contacted SWD pastors taking exception to the resolution and seeking more information about the Resolution. President Wille encouraged his pastors to have the professors contact him. None did.

    The SWD resolution had been brought forward by a SWD pastor; it was his right to do so; pastors have an obligation and responsibility to confront public sin publicly. Because of his role as a CSL regent, SWD President Wille spoke neither for nor against the Resolution.

    “For [passing a Resolution] the SWD Pastors Conference was publicly admonished by the CLS faculty…” “It appears that the CSL faculty was reacting to a resolution they had not formally received. Why?”

    CSL continued their activities by collaborating with Concordia University Wisconsin on a Creation Conference. With CSL hosting a special break-out for the SWD pastors. No one contacted President Wille about this. Or asked the SWD pastors for their input.

    President Wille writes,“In accord with our LCMS bylaws the Jurchen article…ought to be discussed within the parameters of the CSL regents who are given express authority in such matters, not in the court of public opinion like a Creation Conference.” “As a result of [President Wille’s] objection, President Ferry and President Meyer ceased planning the event.”

    President Wille continues:
    – CSL misapplied LCMS bylaws;
    – a CSL seminary professor’s “rather public, disparaging remarks about the ‘SWD president’ on FaceBook;”
    – no apology for either the Wyoming District or the South Wisconsin District;
    – two districts “were chastised for passing a resolution endorsing our belief and confession that God created the world during the span of six, 24-hour days of creation.”

    Have we seen enough? Will there be some strong overtures sent to the 2019 convention to get CSL back to their mission ( “…serves church and world by providing theological education and leadership centered in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…”

    Blessings in Christ Jesus,
    Ginny Valleau

  6. @John Rixe #4

    Re. “Where is the evidence?” The evidence can be in only one place: YOUR OWN HEAD. That assumes that you understand St. Luke @ Acts 17:11 “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched, [ ἀνακρίνω anakrínō, an-ak-ree’-no from G303 and G2919; properly, to scrutinize, i.e. (by implication) investigate, interrogate, determine:—ask, question, discern, examine, judge, search.] the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    Lutheran laity have been schooled since day one to be the theological equivalent of entry-level government clerks; give me a “go by” so I don’t have to study or think. I could write you a “go by.” I won’t. I used to have to do that for government clerks.

  7. @Fred Dissen #7

    Sorry – I don’t understand. Do you have any substantiation that many LCMS pastors have never read the Bible through and many LCMS pastors don’t believe the Bible? This is news to me. Thanks.

  8. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Thanks to Pastor Scheer for bringing the actions of the Board of Regents to our attention. The Regents have done their job here, done it well, and should be commended for it. South Wisconsin District President John Wille should especially be thanked for his handling of this difficult task in a forthright and evangelical manner.

    As to whether LC-MS clergy have read the Bible by one method of study or another, that is beside the point. All of our church-workers who have attended one of our Concordia Universities or seminaries have read the Bible in class, for homework, and have done additional reading for personal devotions or edification. Bible reading is part of our curriculum, and our schools take that responsibility seriously.

    Many of our LC-MS clergy have read the entire Bible PRIOR to attending a CUS class or the seminary. I know, because conversations with first-year students at CUS or seminaries often reveal this. In this sense, we are typical for conservative Protestant denominations that are Bible-believing.

    We do have a few clergy still on our roster who were trained by the 1950-74 Saint Louis seminary faculty, which employed the methods of “higher criticism.” Many of these were sympathetic to the Seminex walkout, but failed to leave the synod with the AELC. John Tietjen in his memoirs estimated, based on his records, that there were 950 LC-MS congregations in the late 1970s who were Seminex supporters, but which never left the synod. Only about 250 congregations left the synod to form the AELC.

    There were also a number of Seminex students that came back into the LC-MS by colloquy, when they found that there were not churches available for them in the AELC.

    This period in LC-MS history is almost past. If a freshman at the Saint Louis seminary had matriculated in 1973, coming straight out of college, he would be 67 years old today. He would have been in the last class at Saint Louis still under the influence of faculty whose theology was either neo-Lutheran or a Lutheran form of Liberal Protestantism. A 67 year old LC-MS clergyman who attended Saint Louis seminary MIGHT hold to that theology, but maybe not. Some have seen the errors of their teachers, and returned to our original theology and the Lutheran Confessions. Others have found congregations, or other positions, where they can be in the synod without affirming its theology, but there are not many left who are still in a non-retired capacity.

    Any LC-MS clergyman 66 years or younger is very unlikely to hold to the neo-Lutheran theology of Seminex. The most outspoken of these, Dr. Matthew Becker, was a protégé of a neo-Lutheran faculty member at CU-Portland, but Becker is no longer on the LC-MS roster.

    It is therefore very unfair, not true, and akin to slander, to state in a general way that LCMS clergy under the age of 67 are not Bible believers. Some may have differences on any number of issues, but in principle we agree on the “Scripture principle.” Anyone who says otherwise just doesn’t know our pastors or our recent history.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.