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Messages - MRoot

Hope you can make it.  The line-up is exceptional.  Morerod isn't that well known in the US, but is an excellent and incisive scholar.
Michael Root
Your Turn / "Remembering the Reformation Together"
March 02, 2015, 11:26:02 AM
The 2015 Pro Ecclesia conference will be on the topic "Remembering the Reformation Together: Commemorate? Celebrate? Repent?", in Washington, DC, June 15-17.  Speakers will include Lutheran Forum's own Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, along with Stanley Hauerwas, Timothy George, Charles Morerod OP (Catholic bishop of Lausanne, Switzerland, who did his doctoral work on Cajetan's encounter with Luther), and others.  Full details and registration at  I hope some of you can attend!
Michael Root
The blog of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology is going to be keeping up with ecumenical events in relation to 2017 - Most recently, there is an analysis of the controversy in Germany over the statement "Justification and Freedom," produced by the Evangelical Church in Germany as a "foundational text" for its commemoration.
A blog on the topic "Heaven, Hell, . . . and Purgatory?" has been set up by the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology in connection with the Pro Ecclesia conference on that theme June 10-12 in Baltimore.  Comments, bibiographies, etc., will appear between now and the conference.  The blog is open to all, whether or not you are attending the conference!
The blog is at
More on the conference at:
Quote from: readselerttoo on October 25, 2012, 09:39:12 AM
Quote from: Charles_Austin on October 25, 2012, 06:49:23 AM
And the Joint Document on Justification, quoted just upstream, shows that today's Vatican does not have the same view of the doctrine of justification as did the Vatican of Luther's time.

Note these words (emphasis added):
"The teaching of the Lutheran churches presented in this Declaration does not fall under the condemnations from the Council of Trent. The condemnations in the Lutheran Confessions do not apply to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church presented in this Declaration."

And remember that the current bishop of Rome was the one who "rescued" that joint declaration when it was being criticized by other key people in Rome.

I do note the words above.  However, they can be read that the condemnations at Trent were not discussed surrounding JDDJ
and therefore the issue is still open for discussion.  In other words not all of what was a bone of contention between the confessors and those who responded with the confutation was discussed leading up to JDDJ.  The wording of the section quoted above simply does not make a full agreement possible between Lutherans and Roman Catholics regarding the fullness of justification by faith.

Just for information: The condemnations of Trent on justification were discussed in detail in the drafting of the JDDJ.  Chapter 4 of the JDDJ in particular is shaped to address implicitly issues raised by condemnations on both sides.  A compilation was also made of whatever in the Book of Concord might be considered a condemnation of Roman teaching on justification.
Your Turn / Re: Is The Doctor of Ministry a Legit Degree?
September 19, 2012, 11:52:35 AM
As I remember from my days as a dean, the accreditation rule is that teachers of masters-level courses must normally have a terminal degree (what a phrase!).  For the Association of Theological Schools, which accredits most seminaries, a DMin can be an appropriate degree for someone teaching in 'professional' areas, such as preaching, parish administration. evangelization, etc. (which is only to say that a school would not get in accreditation trouble for hiring such a person for such a slot).  A school would risk trouble with accreditors if it hired someone to teach in a more academic area - systematic theology, bible, church history - with a DMin and not a PhD or ThD.  The school would need to be ready to argue that in this particular case the person is qualified to teach at this level.
There is a fairly extensive discussion of Catholic-Lutheran agreements and differences on purgatory in the recent US Lutheran-Catholic dialogue statement on "The Hope of Eternal Life," pp. 40-55.  It is online at:
M. Root
Your Turn / Re: Sin: A History
September 28, 2011, 07:19:54 AM
There is an excellent discussion of Anderson's book by Bruce Marshall in First Things here:
Michael Root
The only damage being shown on local news is some finials on the spire of the Episcopal National Cathedral that fell off.  Older buildings (such as where my office is) evacuated to check for structural damage.  Massive traffic jams, since many government and other offices suddenly let out for the day early.
There is no Orthodox ecumenical representative?
Michael Root
You will be glad to know that even in my post-deanship years, I still have my daily cigar.  In the interests of greater propriety, I have, however, quit chewing cigars in class.
On smaller seminaries: the problem is that in the years since I began seminary teaching in 1980, the overhead costs of any seminary have significantly increased.  A seminary, no matter how small, cannot survive without an IT person, without multiple library staff to deal with the variety of resources one must be able to offer. without someone to handle federal loans, without much greater staff attention to documenting compliance with accreditation standards, and so forth.  These are not optional.  This places a significant squeeze on the finances of all small, stand-alone seminaries, unless they have sizable endowments.
Information and registration for the annual conference of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology is now available at the Center's website – and at  After addressing the significance of ethical controversies in the churches last year, this year we are turning to what is always fundamental, Jesus.  The theme is "Who Do You Say That I Am? Proclaiming and Following Jesus Today."  Among the speakers are Carl Braaten, Daniel Bell, Fleming Rutledge, Joseph Bottum, and Kathryn Greene-McCreight.  As before, the conference will be held at Loyola University Maryland, in Baltimore.  It will begin at 7 PM on Tuesday, June 14, and end at noon on Thursday, June 16.  If you have any questions, feel free to write me at  Note in particular the steeply discounted student price.
I hope to see some of you there.
Michael Root
Your Turn / Re: Feast of the Holy Innocents
December 28, 2010, 02:15:43 PM
Quote from: Michael Slusser on December 28, 2010, 01:55:14 PM
For an excellent sermon on this feast (by Pastor Scott Yakimow):

That the Holy Innocents are redeemed, despite the absence of baptism or anything that might plausibly be called a desire for baptism, plays a role in the text from the Catholic "International Theological Commission" on the possible salvation of unbaptized infants (well worth reading; it can be found here:  As Fr Slusser notes (hi, Mike!), an analogy is particularly drawn with the fate of aborted infants.
The text states:
86. b) Some of the infants who suffer and die do so as victims of violence. In their case, we may readily refer to the example of the Holy Innocents and discern an analogy in the case of these infants to the baptism of blood which brings salvation. Albeit unknowingly, the Holy Innocents suffered and died on account of Christ; their murderers were seeking to kill the infant Jesus. Just as those who took the lives of the Holy Innocents were motivated by fear and selfishness, so the lives particularly of unborn babies today are often endangered by the fear or selfishness of others. In that sense, they are in solidarity with the Holy Innocents. Moreover, they are in solidarity with the Christ who said: "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (Mt 25:40). How vital it is for the Church to proclaim the hope and generosity that are intrinsic to the Gospel and essential for the protection of life.
Your Turn / Re: WHo said it? Why? And what do you think?
December 15, 2010, 08:30:28 PM
Unfortunately, I was genuinely asking a question, to which I don't have a clear answer.  Some of an explanation certainly has to do with dynamics within the Missouri Synod in the 50s and 60s, when those who appropriated Elert came of age.  But I would guess that the problem is deeper.  There is significant work to be done on the history of Lutheran theology in the first half of the twentieth century, when subtle, but far reaching changes occurred. 
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