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Topics - R. T. Fouts

Your Turn / Theses Toward Lutheran Unity
January 17, 2013, 04:02:30 PM

Hello friends -- these are some theses I wrote for a circuit Winkel about a year ago.  I was to present some conversation topics that could be constructive toward Lutheran unity.  I presented these theses -- I am not making these statements my own "doctrine" per se, only setting up some challenging questions that I think, if discussed, would contribute toward Lutheran unity.   I have 46 of them... so take your time.   I welcome ANY feedback.  I have had an audience with 1st VP Mueller on these theses, so they are aware of them... but... the more conversation that can be evoked, the better!
Your Turn / The "Unit Principle" and LCMS Divisions
January 15, 2013, 10:34:37 PM
This recent article by Dr. Timothy Dost from Concordia Seminary - St. Louis in the November edition of Missio Apostolica confirms a lot of what I've suspected is behind many of our differences within the LC-MS.  I've seen this on many occasions.  Once I begin to suggest that context should be taken into account when evaluating theological statements, expressions, rites, etc., there are some who believe that contextualized language leads down the road of "postmodern relativism," while others insist that because context shifts, language and symbols must shift precisely in order to adequately reflect the same theology as one would express with different language elsewhere.   Because context "shifts," uniformity in language and symbol actually guarantees that different substance, and theologies, are being taught even though they appear (outwardly) the same.

The essay unpacks the tension between those who believe that "once doctrinal formulae are derived, their language is completely adequate in every situation and should not be altered" AND the alternative position that "the impact of the original teaching may be weakened by maintaining fixed terminology, because usage, context, and even thought patters change." This essay provides a fascinating treatment of the topic, it's history in Synod, and gives insight to many of the theological debates that have "derailed" us in recent years.  I thought this would be a helpful place to engage this topic as it deals with some of the presuppositions that lurk BEHIND our disagreements that need to be uncovered before actually making any progress on the issues themselves  – download the entire journal at 

It is the first article in the journal.   


What is the news on Committee 8?  Is the convention going to address all these resolutions?  It seems as though time is drawing near a close, and a large portion of these resolutions simply haven't been addressed.  This seems like a HUGE mismanagement of the convention time considering the fact that these matters have consumed the time of SO many people, boards, commissions, over the last 6 years (being discussed over the last 2 conventions).   

I'm sorry -- but with all the money and effort that has been put into this, if these matters are not at least addressed, I find that to be rather outragous!  I'm not in favor of most of them, but if our church is going to pour that much time and resource into these matters, we should at least bring these matters to the floor.   It is, frankly, outrageous.   
I'm passing on the information that was forwarded to me...

Apparently (for reasons unspoken in the message I received) President Kieschnick recommended against calling a special convention for restructuring in 2009, and the COP subsequently voted unanimously to support his decision.   The issues being addressed by the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Structure will be addressed, instead, at the next regular Convention in 2010. 

Hopefully -- our resident D.P. Benke can fill us in on more details.   
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