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Topics - TERJr

Your Turn / Trinity Sunday
June 07, 2020, 12:28:40 PM
Below is the benediction from today's worship at a local ELCA congregation. It smells like Sundays and Seasons but half of me hopes I'm wrong and the other half would be relieved that it wasn't produced by the new pastor.

"God, the creator, Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the comforter, bless you and keep you in eternal love."

To this all were supposed to say "Amen" but I cannot.
LBW 464
You are the way; through you alone
Can we the Father find;
In you, O Christ, has God revealed
His heart, his will, his mind.

ELW 758
You are the way; to you alone from sin and death we flee;
All those who search for God, you find and by your grace set free.

How could these be considered equivalent?
I came across R. David Nelson's new post on the LF online today and found it interesting.
I appreciated how he stood his ground in the face criticism and his more optimistic and concrete proposals. Some questions that might be good fodder for discussion:
Does his definition of evangelical and catholic hold up?
Is his assessment of a possible opportunity of attracting those disaffected by "evangelicalism" realistic?
How does his four-fold proposal reflect what some of us are already doing? If these things are not happening in other places, what then?
Your Turn / The February Forum Letter
February 05, 2020, 03:20:56 PM
I received the February Forum Letter yesterday and found it very helpful.  RJO's contribution to Let's Talk mentioned in Omnium gatherum on "Holy Living" was uncomfortably apt and gave me much to ponder.

The opening piece from John Henry Newman's "Tolerance of Religious Error" from his Parochial Sermons (during his C of E days) seems to me to be very apt in light of many of the discussion trends here.

The section from the FL is as follows (I am using the text from which is a different edition from the citation given by RJO):

QuoteLiberality is always popular, whatever be the subject of it, and excites a glow of pleasure and self-approbation in the giver, even though it involves no sacrifice, nay, is exercised upon the property of others. Thus in the sacred province of religion, men are led on,—without any bad principle, without that utter dislike or ignorance of the Truth, or that self-conceit, which are chief instruments of Satan at this day, nor again from mere cowardice or worldliness, but from thoughtlessness, a sanguine temper, the excitement of the moment, the love of making others happy, susceptibility of flattery, and the habit of looking only one way,—led on to give up Gospel Truths, to consent to open the Church to the various denominations of error which abound among us, or to alter our Services so as to please the scoffer, the lukewarm, or the vicious. To be kind is their one principle of action; and, when they find offence taken at the Church's creed, they begin to think how they may modify or curtail it, under the same sort of feeling as would lead them to be generous in a money transaction, or to accommodate another at the price of personal inconvenience. Not understanding that their religious privileges are a trust to be handed on to posterity, a sacred property entailed upon the Christian family, and their own in enjoyment rather than in possession, they act the spendthrift, and are lavish of the goods of others.
Newman's argument seems to me to have been surprisingly a matter of Law and Gospel as well as a warning against a surrender to a rhetoric of "we are nice people and don't want to be mean" in which everything can be allowed if it is "loving." I do wish that RJO had used the last sentence of the above paragraph.
QuoteThus, for instance, they speak against the Anathemas of the Athanasian Creed, or of the Commination Service, or of certain of the Psalms, and wish to rid themselves of them.

I am still pondering the whole of the sermon (for the Feast of St. Barnabas) but a portion just before the above selection seems important to consider.

Quote. . . [D]oes not our kindness too often degenerate into weakness, and thus become not Christian Charity, but lack of Charity, as regards the objects of it? Are we sufficiently careful to do what is right and just, rather than what is pleasant? do we clearly understand our professed principles, and do we keep to them under temptation?
. . . I fear it must be confessed, that our kindness, instead of being directed and braced by principle, too often becomes languid and unmeaning; that it is exerted on improper objects, and out of season, and thereby is uncharitable in two ways, indulging those who should be chastised, and preferring their comfort to those who are really deserving. We are over-tender in dealing with sin and sinners. We are deficient in jealous custody of the revealed Truths which Christ has left us. We allow men to speak against the Church, its ordinances, or its teaching, without remonstrating with them. We do not separate from heretics, nay, we object to the word as if uncharitable; and when such texts are brought against us as St. John's command, not to show hospitality towards them, we are not slow to answer that they do not apply to us. Now I scarcely can suppose any one really means to say for certain, that these commands are superseded in the present day, and is quite satisfied upon the point; it will rather be found that men who so speak, merely wish to put the subject from them. For a long while they have forgotten that there were any such commands in Scripture; they have lived as though there were not, and not being in circumstances which immediately called for the consideration of them, they have familiarized their minds to a contrary view of the matter, and built their opinions upon it. When reminded of the fact, they are sorry to have to consider it, as they perhaps avow. They perceive that it interferes with the line of conduct to which they are accustomed. They are vexed, not as if allowing themselves to be wrong, but as feeling conscious that a plausible argument (to say the least) may be maintained against them. And instead of daring to give this argument fair play, as in honesty they ought, they hastily satisfy themselves that objections may be taken against it, use some vague terms of disapprobation against those who use it, recur to, and dwell upon, their own habitual view of the benevolent and indulgent spirit of the Gospel, and then dismiss the subject altogether, as if it had never been brought before them.

i wonder if perhaps discussing something like this might be productive and a way out of the "y tu mama tambien" dead ends?

"The problem is: I was wrong. Or, to be a bit more accurate, I got things partly right. But then, for the rest, I basically just made it up (Christopher Dummitt, Trent Univerisity)."

It seems to me that this could/should be an awkward development given the uncritical acceptance of gender theory that formed the basis for the recently adopted ELCA social statement.  I doubt it will be, however, but there is always hope.  I just hope that tenure in Canada means more than it does in ELCA seminaries. . .

"There's nothing so certain as a graduate student armed with precious little life experience and a big idea (C. Dummitt)."
In the ELCA news release on the PB's report Thursday morning to the CWA, the report gives the following:
Recalling what the ELCA constitution says about how this church participates in God's mission in the world, Eaton said, "This church shall respond to God's love 'to meet human needs, caring for the sick and the aged, advocating dignity and justice for all people, working for peace and reconciliation among the nations, and standing with the poor and powerless and committing itself to their needs.' Luther put it this way, 'The church that preaches the gospel in all its fullness, except as it applies to the great social ills of the day, is failing to preach the gospel.'"
Does anyone have a citation from Luther for this?  I may be stupid and just missed something but I cannot find one.  It does show up on the internet in quote memes and has been used without citation by a few others but since it's the internet so caveat lector.
The coverage of the CWA was excellent but I am posting this here in hopes of drawing on the broadest possible pool for answers.
Your Turn / Some Good News please?
July 15, 2018, 02:07:01 PM
Amidst all the fussing, I have a small request. Does anyone have a sermon on today's texts they would be willing to share either publicly or privately? I'm not looking to stir up a controversy or a preach off. After yet another week of getting my teeth kicked in by therapeutic cultural Marxist legalism with no mention of the Cross or the means of grace, I just need some Good News.
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