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Highlighting the Walkout

Started by PrTim15, February 19, 2024, 10:58:51 AM

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RF

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 20, 2024, 11:30:39 AM
Quote from: Fletch1 on February 20, 2024, 11:23:27 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 20, 2024, 09:51:05 AM
Quote from: Fletch1 on February 20, 2024, 08:13:43 AMAlleged?  I thought it was definite that the historical critical method was being taught, which if accepted brings the Holy Scriptures into question. Does that not then result in picking and choosing and a magisterial rather than a ministerial approach to the Word? 
The historical critical method is a "method." Yes, it asks questions about the history/histories of biblical texts. (When "critical" methods were talked about at seminary, it was defined as "asking questions.") How does asking, "What was the historical situation when Isaiah or Matthew was written bring the Holy Scriptures into question? While I was at seminary, one professor was on a panel with LCMS folks to discuss the critical methods. He argued that they are absolutely necessary for properly understanding scriptures. He's right.

I've used the illustration of driving a car. Driving a car is not necessarily good or bad. It can be used to run over people. It isn't the car's fault that it was used for that purpose - well maybe, if it had faulty breaks. For the most part it is used to transport people safely from one place to another. It is how the driver makes use of the car that makes the difference whether it is helpful or harmful device.

For exegetes who believe that the Bible is the Word of God, using the critical tools does not change that fact. In my opinion, those who use the critical tools take the words of scripture even more seriously than those who oppose those tools. It would be like trying to dig a deep hole without a shovel. The tool helps exegetes dig deeper into the meaning of the words God has given us in Holy Scriptures.

"Did God really say?"  Look what that resulted in. 
Yes, but God said it through human writers. Who wrote that question, "Did God really say?" Conservatives say, Moses wrote it down. Liberals attribute it to the J source. It was not something written by God's hand on stone tablets. In addition, it is translators that we usually read from. We are reading what translators believe the serpent might have said.

I am saddened that you apparently do not believe that Holy Scripture (all of it) is God's inspired Word and recorded as He wanted it to be recorded. 

RDPreus

Quote from: John Mundinger on February 20, 2024, 09:22:15 AM
Quote from: RDPreus on February 20, 2024, 09:07:23 AMHistorical criticism presupposed the errancy of the Bible, but since the Bible is inspired by God, it is inerrant.

That statement is not true.

Historical criticism is the effort to try to understand the original meaning of the text, the literal sense of the text in its historic context and as the first hearers of the text would have understood the text.

IMO, the controversy resulting from historical criticism resulted because several generations of Christians were very comfortable with a literal KJV as the original meaning of the text.


You are misinformed, Mr. Mundinger. Read the following: https://christforus.org/NewSite/index.php/1973/02/26/how-is-the-lutheran-church-to-interpret-and-use-the-old-and-new-testaments/

Scroll down to page 16 where he addresses the historical critical method.  As you describe it, there could be no objection to it.  But you miss the point of controversy.  This wasn't a battle between those with a KJV literalistic understanding versus those who wanted to understand the Bible in its historical context.  It was a battle between proponents of biblical errancy and proponents of biblical inerrancy. 

Charles Austin

I'll say it again, for the hundredth time.
The Bible has some history in it, but it is not a history book.
The Bible has precious little science in it, and it's certainly not a science book.
The Bible has absolutely nothing "real" to say about the cosmology of the universe, except to say that God created it.
The Bible has very little to say about biology. Whether for humans or animals.
Iowa-born. Long-time in NY/New Jersey, former LWF staff in Geneva.
ELCA PASTOR, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. Often critical of the ELCA, but more often a defender of its mission. Ignoring the not-so-subtle rude insults which often appear here.

John Mundinger

Quote from: RDPreus on February 20, 2024, 12:12:25 PM
Quote from: John Mundinger on February 20, 2024, 09:22:15 AM
Quote from: RDPreus on February 20, 2024, 09:07:23 AMHistorical criticism presupposed the errancy of the Bible, but since the Bible is inspired by God, it is inerrant.

That statement is not true.

Historical criticism is the effort to try to understand the original meaning of the text, the literal sense of the text in its historic context and as the first hearers of the text would have understood the text.

IMO, the controversy resulting from historical criticism resulted because several generations of Christians were very comfortable with a literal KJV as the original meaning of the text.


You are misinformed, Mr. Mundinger. Read the following: https://christforus.org/NewSite/index.php/1973/02/26/how-is-the-lutheran-church-to-interpret-and-use-the-old-and-new-testaments/

Scroll down to page 16 where he addresses the historical critical method.  As you describe it, there could be no objection to it.  But you miss the point of controversy.  This wasn't a battle between those with a KJV literalistic understanding versus those who wanted to understand the Bible in its historical context.  It was a battle between proponents of biblical errancy and proponents of biblical inerrancy. 

I'd suggest that your relative's (Father??) assumptions that he articulates on p. 16 are debatable.  Moreover, I'd suggest that it is not sufficient to equate historical criticism with heresy.  If that is the claim, it should have been demonstrated how historical criticism resulted in heresy.  Heresy was charged but specific heresy was not articulated.  It was inferred that biblical errancy was the heresy.  But, the evidence did not demonstrate errors in Scripture, just possible errors in traditional interpretations of certain passages in Scripture.  And, to the extent that people rely on traditional interpretation, it could well be that the problem is not the authority of Scripture but the authority of interpretation.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

MaddogLutheran

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 20, 2024, 09:58:24 AMAgain, I ask, which Bible on your shelf has no errors? [snip]

Yawn.

I'll say it again, for the hundred time.  If you know what those errors are, please share them so that we can be disabused of the notion.  What errors are there that are material to our faith?

Because I for one have no interest in having faith in a God that, having revealed to us mortals that we are disobedient to Him, would mislead us in his revelation to us.  Deception does not grow faith.

Focusing on the possibility that the Bible might have errors is just a license to discard anything inconvenient to contemporary human desire.
Sterling Spatz
ELCA pew-sitter

MaddogLutheran

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 20, 2024, 11:13:21 AMOutside of Tietjen, I don't believe that there were actual heresy charges against any other professors. Well, there is the Matt Becker saga, but that was in Oregon.

Much like, but I think even worse, is stating that "professors are teaching heresy," without naming the professors nor the heresies they are being charged with.

Here's an analogy that might help you understand, as it's something else you (and some of your fellow travelers) strongly believe:  many characterize that the events at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 were an insurrection, yet not a single individual has been charged with the crime of insurrection.
Sterling Spatz
ELCA pew-sitter

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Quote from: MaddogLutheran on February 20, 2024, 01:39:13 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 20, 2024, 09:58:24 AMAgain, I ask, which Bible on your shelf has no errors? [snip]

Yawn.

I'll say it again, for the hundred time.  If you know what those errors are, please share them so that we can be disabused of the notion.  What errors are there that are material to our faith?

Because I for one have no interest in having faith in a God that, having revealed to us mortals that we are disobedient to Him, would mislead us in his revelation to us.  Deception does not grow faith.

Focusing on the possibility that the Bible might have errors is just a license to discard anything inconvenient to contemporary human desire.


Sterling, I addressed this matter with him earlier only to find him blanketly accussing those who did not see things he did as liars, which he knows to be false. I've given up on interacting with him.

Jim Butler

Quote from: John Mundinger on February 20, 2024, 01:26:12 PM
Quote from: RDPreus on February 20, 2024, 12:12:25 PM
Quote from: John Mundinger on February 20, 2024, 09:22:15 AM
Quote from: RDPreus on February 20, 2024, 09:07:23 AMHistorical criticism presupposed the errancy of the Bible, but since the Bible is inspired by God, it is inerrant.

That statement is not true.

Historical criticism is the effort to try to understand the original meaning of the text, the literal sense of the text in its historic context and as the first hearers of the text would have understood the text.

IMO, the controversy resulting from historical criticism resulted because several generations of Christians were very comfortable with a literal KJV as the original meaning of the text.


You are misinformed, Mr. Mundinger. Read the following: https://christforus.org/NewSite/index.php/1973/02/26/how-is-the-lutheran-church-to-interpret-and-use-the-old-and-new-testaments/

Scroll down to page 16 where he addresses the historical critical method.  As you describe it, there could be no objection to it.  But you miss the point of controversy.  This wasn't a battle between those with a KJV literalistic understanding versus those who wanted to understand the Bible in its historical context.  It was a battle between proponents of biblical errancy and proponents of biblical inerrancy. 

I'd suggest that your relative's (Father??) assumptions that he articulates on p. 16 are debatable.  Moreover, I'd suggest that it is not sufficient to equate historical criticism with heresy.  If that is the claim, it should have been demonstrated how historical criticism resulted in heresy.  Heresy was charged but specific heresy was not articulated.  It was inferred that biblical errancy was the heresy.  But, the evidence did not demonstrate errors in Scripture, just possible errors in traditional interpretations of certain passages in Scripture.  And, to the extent that people rely on traditional interpretation, it could well be that the problem is not the authority of Scripture but the authority of interpretation.

Have you ever taken the time to read John Tietjen's Memoirs in Exile? On pages 55-56, he has an interesting quote from his brother-in-law Andrew Weyerman. At first Weyerman upholds the position that I see espoused by you and Brian: "When people want to throttle you with facticity and innerancy, you have to insist not the gospel meaning in the facts as more important than the facts themselves. Only the gospel saves, not the historical facts."

Then he goes on, "But, John, the other side does have a point. How much Gospel do you have left if you don't have a historical event in which to ground it? Can we proclaim Jesus as the divine physician if the miracles of healing didn't happen? ... There has to be an event in which the gospel is grounded or our gospel is our own illusion."

He points out the heresy that historical criticism almost always leads to: the gospel is an illusion. I remember meeting an ALC pastor when I was in Rockford who told me that he did not believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus and had no idea why anyone would think it important. I met a UCC pastor in Springfield, MA (one of your "ministry partners") who denied the Trinity (I remember he told me that the congregation he served was Trinitarian, but he was Unitarian. "Jesus should be admired, but not worshiped.")
"Pastor Butler... [is] deaf to the cries of people like me, dismissing our concerns as Satanic scenarios, denouncing our faith and our very existence."--Charles Austin

Dan Fienen

#38
Quote from: Charles Austin on February 20, 2024, 07:33:55 AMThe alleged false teaching was dealt with politically rather than theologically. Students asked what errors were being promulgated. Professors said, "heresy? So charge me."
Instead Synod resolutions took precedence. And the side with the most money and loudest voice in convention halls prevailed.
Hard-line personalities - Preus and Tietjen, for example - didn't help either.
This one of the perennial memes of the Missouri Schism, that the faculty was never charged with false doctrine, the whole thing was a political war.

In 1970 and 1971 the faculty majority were interviewed concerning their doctrine and teaching. That process received much pushback, obstruction, and obfuscation. Nevertheless, the interviews did take place and report was prepared on the results and presented at New Orleans. There was at least an attempt to deal with matters on a theological basis, as flawed as those attempts might have been. The reaction at the time, as I recall, was variations on "How dare you question me?!?" There did not seem to be a great deal of enthusiasm on the part of the faculty majority to deal with this theologically.

What might have happened had the walkout not happened, or even given the walkout, the faculty returned and resumed teaching? The whole matter would have needed to be dealt with on a more theological basis, but the faculty majority, and student majority, short circuited the whole process and provided an opportunity for a quick and dirty resolution that did not involve long and protracted heresy trials. By defaulting on their contracts, they handed the Board of Control an opportunity to legally fire them and then be able to move on to reconstructing the seminary operations.

I was in no way privy to the deliberations of either the faculty or student majorities, nor the Seminary or Synodical administrations. I can only guess at what they might have been thinking, planning, hoping, or fearing. As I recall, I heard speculations after the walkout that the expectations was that the walkout and subsequent PR blitzes would put the Seminary and Synodical administrations in an untenable position. Either they would come to terms with the faculty, on their terms, or they would have rendered the Seminary inoperable and close it down. They would also, with the continuing functioning of the Seminary at stake, and the ill will towards the administrations at their injustices lead a general uprising in the Synod that they could surf back to controlling the Seminary and ultimately the Synod. That did not happen. Whether this was all planned out or just a hopeful guess, I have no idea.

On the administrative side. It was vital that the Seminary be brought back into operation quickly. The faculty majority defaulting on the contracts must have seemed a golden opportunity to resolve issue of the faculty that they did not trust in any case, and who had made a very serious bid to make themselves in complete control of the operation of the Seminary with the Board of Control reduced to meekly paying the bills, paying the salaries, and maintaining the physical plant. It was not just the Board of Control or the Synod administration that was playing hardball politics. The faculty majority and under their tutelage, the student majority was playing politics just as hard and for keeps.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: Fletch1 on February 20, 2024, 11:33:57 AMI am saddened that you apparently do not believe that Holy Scripture (all of it) is God's inspired Word and recorded as He wanted it to be recorded. 
I am saddened that you have ignored the many, many times that I have stated that the Bible is God's inspired Word - that it is God speaking to us through those words. It is a powerful word that can change people's lives.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: MaddogLutheran on February 20, 2024, 01:39:13 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 20, 2024, 09:58:24 AMAgain, I ask, which Bible on your shelf has no errors? [snip]

Yawn.

I'll say it again, for the hundred time.  If you know what those errors are, please share them so that we can be disabused of the notion.  What errors are there that are material to our faith?

Because I for one have no interest in having faith in a God that, having revealed to us mortals that we are disobedient to Him, would mislead us in his revelation to us.  Deception does not grow faith.

Focusing on the possibility that the Bible might have errors is just a license to discard anything inconvenient to contemporary human desire.

I've stated for at least 101 times, read the footnotes in your Bible. They indicate errors in ancient manuscripts. They indicate possible errors in translations. 

I've asked for perhaps 99 times for you to tell me which Bible on your shelf has no errors in translation or choice of variant readings.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: MaddogLutheran on February 20, 2024, 01:42:16 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 20, 2024, 11:13:21 AMOutside of Tietjen, I don't believe that there were actual heresy charges against any other professors. Well, there is the Matt Becker saga, but that was in Oregon.

Much like, but I think even worse, is stating that "professors are teaching heresy," without naming the professors nor the heresies they are being charged with.

Here's an analogy that might help you understand, as it's something else you (and some of your fellow travelers) strongly believe:  many characterize that the events at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 were an insurrection, yet not a single individual has been charged with the crime of insurrection.
So, we shouldn't call that event an "insurrection," which by implication, we shouldn't consider those professors to be teaching heresy, since none were actually charged with teaching heresy.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

John Mundinger

Quote from: Jim Butler on February 20, 2024, 03:15:34 PMHe points out the heresy that historical criticism almost always leads to: the gospel is an illusion.

I have not read Tietjen's memoir.  I have read "No Room in the Brotherhood".  In my opinion, it does a pretty job of articulating bad behavior on both sides and, especially, the behavior that resulted in Tietjen's removal.  The ends did no justify the means.

I have also read enough of Bart Ehrman's material to lead me to the conclusion that historical criticism does not almost always lead to the Gospel is an illusion.  I think he does a pretty good job of articulating the central message of the New Testament.  Well enough, in fact, that I do not understand why he remains agnostic.  But, then, I'm not convinced that question things like whether Paul actually authored all of the letters that are attributed to him is a prerequisite to believing that the Gospel is more than an illusion.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

Dan Fienen

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 20, 2024, 03:55:44 PM
Quote from: MaddogLutheran on February 20, 2024, 01:39:13 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 20, 2024, 09:58:24 AMAgain, I ask, which Bible on your shelf has no errors? [snip]

Yawn.

I'll say it again, for the hundred time.  If you know what those errors are, please share them so that we can be disabused of the notion.  What errors are there that are material to our faith?

Because I for one have no interest in having faith in a God that, having revealed to us mortals that we are disobedient to Him, would mislead us in his revelation to us.  Deception does not grow faith.

Focusing on the possibility that the Bible might have errors is just a license to discard anything inconvenient to contemporary human desire.

I've stated for at least 101 times, read the footnotes in your Bible. They indicate errors in ancient manuscripts. They indicate possible errors in translations.

I've asked for perhaps 99 times for you to tell me which Bible on your shelf has no errors in translation or choice of variant readings.
This whole discussion has become little more than an exercise of willfully talking past each other and refusing to directly address the concerns of each other.

The usual response on the part of those who support Biblical inerrancy is that we do not claim that any existing version of the Bible, translation, or manuscript is itself inerrant, they are all copies and translations. What is claimed is inerrancy in the original autographs. The usual response to this is that we do not have those autographs only fallible copies, so there. Inerrancy in the autographs is meaningless without having the autographs.

But I find that quibble at least in part disingenuous. The autographs of the books of the Bible are not mythical as though they never really existed. They must have or where would the copies of those manuscripts that we have today come from? At some point in time and in specific places, certain men first applied ink to writing surface and produced the autographs of the books that now constitute the Bible. That should be beyond question. Whether Peter's assertion,
Quote2Pe 1:19-21 "And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
is the true origin of what was written, or they were simply religious men who, reflecting on their religious experiences and insights, wrote words that others later found exceptionally insightful and meaningful and then gathered them together and considered them in some way authoritative, is a matter more of faith than historical research. Even if we had those original autographs, there are forensic tests to discover the ink used, what exactly served as the paper, possibly even DNA residue from drops of sweat, tears, or blood, to give clues as to the writer or scribe; but there is no forensic test for direct divine inspiration.
But we no longer have those autographs, although they did at one time exist! So is talking about the inspiration and infallibility of the autographs meaningless, as some seem to assert? That depends in large part on how reliable are the copies that we have. If they are generally unreliable so that we have only a vague idea of what the original might have been, like a blurry out of focus copy of an original photograph, then whether or not the original was absolutely inspired and inerrant really wouldn't mean much. But is that the case?
No, not really. Here we have to take into account the work of textual criticism. For most of the corpus of ancient literature we have at best a handful of really ancient copies. Do they really reflect the autographs that stood behind them, fresh from the author's pen? We assume so, but really don't know.

In contrast, for the Bible we have thousands of really old copies and partial copies of the Bible to compare. There is plenty of material for the textual critics to work with. While we do not have the autographs, we can come quite close to reconstructing them. And while there are hundreds, thousands of variations they do not amount to much significance. Considering the technology of copying available in that day, the variations between manuscripts are remarkably small, and relatively speaking, insignificant. On the basis of the manuscript evidence that Brian so confidently trots as absolutely killing any possibility that we can consider the Bible in any meaningful way inerrant, we can confidently assert that while we do not have the autographs we have come pretty close and the remaining variations have no significant bearing on the meaning of the text. Look at the work of Bruce Metzger and his successors.

So, should we let the critics point to these variations to cast doubt on the Bibles that we have, so that we do not trust the Bibles that we have and treat them like a fuzzy copy of a photograph and unreliable? I have found it risible that we are assured that we cannot trust the Bible for which we have these thousands of ancient witnesses and from which we can come to a clear picture of what the original was, but we can absolutely trust the critical scholars reconstruction, on the basis of no textual evidence, of theoretical documents that stand behind our current texts and reconstructions of how they developed over decades or centuries and were redacted together, for which again we have no actual textual evidence.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

If I see dents and scratches on my neighbor's car, do I conclude that it rolled of the production line with those dents and scratches? Of course not. I understand the dents and scratches came later.

In the same way, the textual notes in Bibles don't show me that the divinely inspired Scripture is errant. On the contrary, they tell me much more about the problem of sin since sinners have subsequently made mistakes in copying them.

The variants argument does not alter the divine inspiration of the original texts. One should hold to what Scripture says about itself in Psalm 19:7--11 as traditional Jews and Christians do. (And when Jews hold to that, no one should try to trace the thought to "The Fundamentals" or call them fundamentalists. It's silly. It's clearly age-old teaching. )

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