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Messages - John_Hannah

#1
Your Turn / Re: Concordia - Ann Arbor and Wisconsin
June 18, 2024, 09:22:30 PM
Quote from: Dave Benke on June 18, 2024, 09:11:46 PM
Quote from: Mark Brown on June 18, 2024, 08:24:12 PM
Quote from: Jeremy_Loesch on June 18, 2024, 02:13:21 PM...

3. Is it the goal of some within the synod to create a Lutheran Hillsdale? That's not necessarily a bad goal, but nothing is built in a day. If that is a goal, is it to make an existing Concordia the Lutheran Hillsdale? Is it the goal to make Luther Classical College in Wyoming the Lutheran Hillsdale? Cutting loose another Concordia and getting whatever assets from it would go a long way toward funding any Hillsdale-like pursuit.

...

Jeremy

If someone is actually trying to make one Lutheran Hillsdale from a bunch of non-distinct Concordias, it's late in the game, but the first smart move in a long time. Which means I can't believe it.  Nobody that has enough juice in the synod is smart enough to do something like that. Occam's razor is just that Ferry was a great fundraiser.  The new guy had no chance at meeting that, so they have to change something.

The key concept is not to accept Federal/Government money.  The sale of enough of Ann Arbor plus the current endowment might make that possible for a reduced student body at Wisconsin.  Regardless, Lutheran Classical will not be taking governmental money. 

Something happened recently with the ability of colleges to use social media the way they used to, so there's a lot more email traffic.  And I am on the Hillsdale mailing list.  They're pretty relentlessly Republican/Federalist Society in the mailings.  I see a Lutheran version of that tackling Germans - 19th century German philosophers and 20th century German theologians as ways to address our issue of great importance - wokeism. 

Personally I see the stars aligning on these projects for those who want anti-wokeism to be our denominational North Star.  The accompanying curricula designed for church work prep students ends up being along the same lines as Hillsdale with the addition of theology somewhat in place of civics.

Dave Benke

Will there be any difference between civics and theology?

Peace, JOHN
#2
The waters here on the issue of admission by former Synodical Conference members are quite muddy.

The 1943 Explanation of the SC has a long series of predecessors beginning with the Latin version by Johann Konrad Dietrich (1575-1639). That was translated into German by the American F.W.A. Notz and then into English by H.C. Schwan, who also served as Missouri's president.

In 1943 the former Synodical Conference published an edition which taught all of us from several generations (including John Mundinger). On the issue of admission the committee introduced two significant innovations:

1.  The term "close communion" was added, borrowed from Baptists as R.D. observes.

2.  While all predecessors editions addressed the issue with the question, "Who should come?" the 1943 edition asks, "Who should not be admitted?"

A major shift in perspective from invitation to policing! From "Who should" to "who should not."(Intensified by changing from "close" to "closed.")

Carry on.  Peace, JOHN
#3
Your Turn / Re: A Hermeneutic for the Symbols
June 13, 2024, 11:31:30 AM
Quote from: Matthew Borrasso on June 13, 2024, 11:23:38 AMI was reading something that referenced this quote by Arthur Carl Piepkorn and thought it was worth sharing as a helpful place from which to begin a discussion about a hermeneutic of the symbols.

"It is a sound principle of interpretation that a document should be understood in the sense that the words conveyed to the people by and for whom it was originally written. To this principle the Formula of Concord (Ep Summary Concept 8) clearly commits us when it declares that the Creeds and the Fathers are witnesses of the manner in which those who were living at the time understood the Sacred Scriptures concerning the controverted issues. We are to understand and confess the Symbols in their original historic sense-that is, in the sense which the words and terms had when the documents in question were formulated, and not in the sense which some of the words and terms may subsequently have acquired through the dialectic of controversy. Thus we must not read into the Catholic Creeds as pre-Reformation documents the sense with which the Reformers may have invested certain of their terms; similarly we must not read into the particular creeds of the sixteenth century the sense with which subsequent systematizers of Lutheran doctrinal insights invested certain terms. It is worth keeping in mind that the Symbols were all written before 1580 and that the categories of the authors are not necessarily those of the evangelical Scholastics of the next century."

Arthur Carl Piepkorn, "What the Symbols Have to Say about the Church" Concordia Theological Monthly 26, no. 10 (October 1955): 721–2.



His commitment to the Lutheran Symbols expressed here is not only reasonable but also the best judgement for applying their teaching today.

It is the hermeneutic I have employed my entire ministry.

Peace, JOHN
#4
Your Turn / Re: Concordia - Ann Arbor and Wisconsin
June 12, 2024, 07:34:37 PM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on June 12, 2024, 06:36:14 PMToo bad that self-imposed "pause mode regarding all things South Wisconsin" did not start before you spread a negative rumor about CUW.  Which you did this morning.  Two days after Dr. Wille died.

Not a rumor. Dave provided strong first hand evidence based on conversations with actual people associated with CUW.

"My info on this comes through channels connected to the way the school was operated all the way through the interim in presidential succession until the big public anti-woke campaign.  And after that, even before the selection of leadership, that departure took place, among the non-rostered staff, also including the admissions office.  And there was a specific office of outreach to the Milwaukee Black community, which is underserved and which is also connected to Christian churches.  The people doing that were well-known in Milwaukee and at CUW.  It was a good thing.

So - actually, it would be interesting to see the enrollment stats and where the drop off has occurred.  A consideration is the $ involved in dorms and residential students.  My understanding is that this is a "profit center" for schools.  So maybe a concomitant outreach to students who don't go home at night has been an emphasis."

Peace, JOHN 
#5
Your Turn / Re: Concordia - Ann Arbor and Wisconsin
June 12, 2024, 04:06:02 PM
Quote from: Dave Benke on June 12, 2024, 02:47:29 PM
Quote from: Jim Butler on June 12, 2024, 01:20:08 PM
Quote from: Dave Benke on June 12, 2024, 10:10:47 AM
Quote from: revjagow on June 11, 2024, 12:49:47 PMJust catching up on the news and giving my $.02. Feedback is welcome.

Bottom line: this seems like a panicky decision and bad stewardship.

CUAA is growing, but the investments that got it there will take a while to pay off. CUW is not growing and cannot support the overall deficit. I get  the concern, but not the panic. It seems to me that when the decisions were made, the deficit spending was taken into account and there was a plan for this investment to pay off in the future. One fact that got my attention: The US Dept. of Education gave CUAA their highest score for financial health. That says to me that there was a big picture plan that "seemed good to us and the Holy Spirit" and even some outside, objective government muckity mucks too. But instead of being patient, a panic button was hit in February. I think the damage already done by that misstep plus the current second guessing is moving this in exactly the wrong direction for both the school and the Synod.

It should be noted that even if (with my very limited knowledge and view of the situation) I disagree with the decisions, my disappointment is only that. Those that are looking at the situation and entrusted with these decisions are in my constant prayers. This affects a lot of people I see around me in my Circuit and beyond. I also think these are matters that people in the church can disagree on - strongly - and still share a common mission and ministry in Christ. But I hope that someone is looking at the overall situation of the Concordia University system and thinking about the influence and legacy the LCMS leaves for the future. Maybe if we as a Synod cast a larger vision for the Concordias that would help generate more unity and forward mission momentum. 

Great post, Andy, in all regards.

The Department of Education analysis was either not considered or considered faulty, and that's a shame.

As to this:  CUW is not growing and cannot support the overall deficit.  One of my concerns with the tumult at the time of the presidential selection and the "anti-woke" posturing taken over and against the board and really the whole process at the time was lingering effects.  The largest market for recruiting for CUW would have to be southern Wisconsin, ie Milwaukee County.  It's a great campus just north of Milwaukee.  By making anti-wokeness the litmus test, a great many of the black staff and professors left, and took with them the natural relationship with that large demographic in the area.  I have zero stats to go with this, but that may be a lingering effect from the anti-wokeness campaign in terms of enrollment.

Dave Benke

Dave, I really have problems with the statement, "By making anti-wokeness the litmus test, a great many of the black staff and professors left, and took with them the natural relationship with that large demographic in the area.  I have zero stats to go with this but that may be a lingering effect from the anti-wokeness campaign in terms of enrollment."

1) How many "black staff and professors" left? How many did CUW have prior to the presidential search? How many left following it?

2) How do you know there was a "natural relationship" between the black staff and professors and the "large demographic" of blacks in Milwaukee? Just based on the color of their skin? What percentage black students went to CUW because of those staff and professors? (I know some black and Hispanic students who went to CUW because of encouragement of teachers at Martin Luther High School, not any relationship with any ethnic profs or staff at CUW.)

3) While there may be a "lingering effect from the anti-wokeness campaign in terms of enrollment" in terms of enrollment, shouldn't you have some sort of statistical information to support that? Couldn't that enrollment downturn also be explained by things like the demographic cliff and the turn towards trade schools, which is being felt by all colleges?

While I think CUW handled this situation in about the worst way possible, that doesn't mean that the challenges they face are not real. Another college here in the Boston area has announced that it's closing and merging with another school at the end of this year. Two other colleges are on the watch list and may close next year. The higher education market is tough right now and it's not going to get any easier. I don't think it is helpful to simply talk about what "may" have an effect on enrollment with "zero stats" to back it up. Because while X "may" have an effect, it also may not.

Thanks for your comment, Jim.

My info on this comes through channels connected to the way the school was operated all the way through the interim in presidential succession until the big public anti-woke campaign.  And after that, even before the selection of leadership, that departure took place, among the non-rostered staff, also including the admissions office.  And there was a specific office of outreach to the Milwaukee Black community, which is underserved and which is also connected to Christian churches.  The people doing that were well-known in Milwaukee and at CUW.  It was a good thing.

So - actually, it would be interesting to see the enrollment stats and where the drop off has occurred.  A consideration is the $ involved in dorms and residential students.  My understanding is that this is a "profit center" for schools.  So maybe a concomitant outreach to students who don't go home at night has been an emphasis. 

I was impressed with the Diversity, Unity, Civility emphasis at Concordia Chicago.  May it spread through the entire CUS system.

Dave Benke



Dave, do you know if CUW is working to:

1.  Restore trust with the Black Evangelical community of Milwaukee?

2.  Replace the admissions staff that was lost?

It will take time, especially to regain trust with the community. It is possible that they can recover. I hope so.

Peace, JOHN
#6
Your Turn / Re: Seminex Remembered
June 09, 2024, 03:35:18 PM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on June 09, 2024, 11:45:49 AMSo, it was nothing but an unsubstantiated rumor.  Which, it appears, the Seminex crowd continues to spread.  Hey, Someone Writes, is that slander?

It's clear that the synodical administration would have cancelled pensions if they could have. That's hardly as harsh as declaring the erring pastors not to be tolerated in the Church of God and wishing for them to go to hell. Only liberal universalists would disagree.

Peace, JOHN
#7
Your Turn / Re: Seminex Remembered
June 09, 2024, 08:43:33 AM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on June 08, 2024, 10:37:47 PMI wonder if some of the pension confusion arose from military and police pensions. Watching mitary and police dramas, when someone military buys the Big Chicken Dinner (BCD Bad Conduct Discharge) or otherwise is discharged for cause they loose pension and benefits. Perhaps it was assumed that when the faculty were fired they'd lose pension.

I was in the Army then and did not hear any thing comparing Concordia's pension to military, et. al. As I said earlier the fear held for only a brief time so it is not universally reported.
#8
Quote from: Mbecker on June 08, 2024, 03:18:39 PM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 08, 2024, 06:16:35 AMTo Matt's comment I would add Psalm 19:7, "The Torah of Yahweh is perfect," a passage that would call for reflection.

Below are some further passages from the Confessions which speak of God's reliability, especially as expressed through His Word.

Edward,
One can rightly understand the statements you cited from the Confessions to support the teaching that the Scriptures are completely reliable in their prophetic and apostolic witness to the truth of the gospel for the sake of creating faith in the one true and living God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I certainly affirm and teach that the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures are the only infallible rule of Christian faith and life, the sole norm, because they teach faithfully and with clarity the truth of the gospel that God wanted recorded for the sake of creating and sustaining such faith. While the Bible is not without errors (at least with respect to non-theological matters, e.g., history, science, geography, etc.), and contains many inconsistencies and contradictions, the Scriptures, if properly interpreted in accord with venerable Christian hermeneutical principles, will not mislead a person about God and the central teachings of the faith. The Scriptures can be trusted to impart the truth of the gospel in a reliable manner.

The Hebrew adjective TaMiyM, which appears in Ps. 19.7, means "sound," "wholesome," "unimpaired," "innocent," i.e., "having integrity." God's way is TaMiyM (Ps. 18.30 = 2 Sam. 22.31), God's promise demonstrates itself to be true. That's precisely the point that Elert and Bayer (and Luther) have made: the authority of the Scriptures is self-authenticating. God is a shield for all who take refuge in him. God's work is TaMiyM, in contrast to human sinners.

Noah is also described with the same adjective (Gen. 6.9). Was Noah "inerrant"? Was he "perfect" in every way? Did he never make a mistake? God commanded Abram to be TaMiyM (Gen. 17.1). It was an unfulfilled summons, save that Abram trusted the Lord and it was accounted to him as righteousness. TaMiyM was a gift.

It is clear that the stress in each of these contexts is on "having integrity," "being morally upright," "wholesome," "sound," "blameless," "righteous." Cf. Deut. 18.13; Ps. 18.24; et passim (BDB, 1071, provides a fuller list of such passages that use this adjective).

The Greek term "amomos," which is used to render the Heb. term into the Grk. of the LXX, has the meaning of "without defect," "unblemished" (e.g., a sacrificial animal; Christ the lamb of God [1 Pet. 1.19]), but more to the point in Ps. 18.7 (LXX): "morally blameless." The antonym "momos" = "full of blame."

The Scriptures are "complete," they have "integrity," they accord with the truth and facts that God seeks to convey to us for the sake of creating faith and accounting us as righteous, blameless, people of integrity.

The Scriptures are not free of "errors." To assert otherwise is itself an error. Thankfully none of the errors in the Scriptures is of any serious consequence.

I agree with Origen, who insisted that God purposely put literal errors in the Scriptures so that we would slow down in our reading of the Scriptures, recognize that God's intended truth may lie at a level that is different from the literal word-level, and apply our minds and hearts to that deeper truth that lies beneath the apparent errors. The regula fidei plays a role here, too, as do Augustine's two basic hermeneutical-theological principles having to do with faith and love.

Matt Becker

God did not give us a "divine-only, docetic" Son but a Son who is both human and divine. Neither did God give us a Bible that is "divine- only, docetic" but a Bible that is both human and divine.

Peace, JOHN
#9
Your Turn / Re: Seminex Remembered
June 08, 2024, 04:07:47 PM
The treat to cancel pensions was thought to be real for awhile. I believe that it was Tom Spitz of ELIM who finally worked with Concordia Plans and dispelled it. There would have not been a legal possibility of doing that but the Synod did not say so immediately so there was that fear for a brief period.

If you really believe that the seminary faculty and sympathizers should not be tolerated in the Church of God, why worry about about any nastiness toward them since they are going to hell?

#10
The issue I believe is "How to define inerrancy?" The Brief Statement offers a precise definition. Did Luther ever offer such a definition? I  don't know but you Luther scholars here can find one, I'm sure.

Peace,JOHN
#11
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on June 06, 2024, 07:45:09 AMI read through the recommended Piepkorn article, which I believe I had read at some time in the past. On this reading, however, the following statement leaped off the page for me:

"The term 'inerrancy' does not correspond to any vocable of the Sacred Scriptures. It does not correspond to any vocable in the Lutheran symbols. The Catholic Church has never defined it dogmatically. None of the formulations of the 'ancient rule of faith' or 'canon of truth' affirms it. It is not a tenant of the patristic consensus." ("What Does Inerrancy mean?" CTM, 1965, p. 577.)

I suppose the accuracy of Piepkorn's statement might depend on precisely how one defines the items he's listed above. But I find it striking that he seems unaware of passages in the Fathers and even Luther and the Confessions that speak in the vein of innerrancy.

Then I read his methodology for exploring the topic on p. 579, which cleared up some of the mystery. Piepkorn explored the topic by looking specifically for the term "inerrancy" without exploring the broader semantic field. This method, begun in and driven by lexicons, limited his results. It did not allow him to discover the passages shared on TLSB p. 1646 from Clement, Augustine, Gratian, Thomas Aquinas, Luther, and Luther's pattern of speech on the topic.

Piepkorn is correct that "inerrancy" as a specific dogmatic term is modern.  But the doctrine that the Scriptures do not err is ancient. Piepkorn's article, while helpful for reviewing modern citations about inerrancy, is incomplete. As a teacher of the Confessions, he might have at least explored Luther's statement in the Large Catechism, "God does not lie. My neighbor and I---in short, all men---may err and deceive, but God's Word cannot err" (IV 57; Tappert ed.).

Arthur Carl Piepkorn was completely competent and familiar with the pre-Reformation fathers, the Reformation fathers and the 17th century orthodox fathers. No one who knew him in that time would begin to question his comprehensive grasp on all of them.

If you wish to defend the faith of the creeds/Symbols by means of "inerrancy, go ahead. Be my guest. Good luck.

Peace, JOHN
#12
Your Turn / Re: Please Don't Outbid Me!
June 05, 2024, 06:02:16 PM
Once upon a time at one of his marvelous evening gatherings Richard John Neuhaus, while smoking his pipe, pointed out that Bach had composed a musical piece to pipe smoking.  😀

Peace, JOHN
#13
Quote from: RDPreus on June 05, 2024, 10:32:42 AM
Quote from: John Mundinger on June 05, 2024, 10:13:57 AM
Quote from: RDPreus on June 05, 2024, 09:54:51 AMThe reason I recommended my father's book, Mr. Mundinger, is not because he is my father, but because the book presents the teaching of the Lutheran fathers.  The 16th and 17th century Lutheran dogmaticians attempted to systematize the Lutheran teaching.  Their view of biblical inspiration is the view the Missouri Synod has held since its founding and the view of most LCMS pastors.  I can assure you that Arthur Carl Piepkorn read it.  (He and my father had offices next to each other in Sieck Hall at the seminary in St. Louis.)  Piepkorn's unfortunate essay, published in the CTM in 1965 if memory serves, while arguing against the use of the word inerrancy and advising we neither affirm nor deny it, was in fact an attack on it. I can't help but think, though, that had he lived long enough to read the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy that his friend and colleague Robert Preus helped to produce, he would have been disabused of certain misconceptions about the use of that term.

Mr. Mundinger, your bigotry against those you dismiss as fundamentalists colors your understanding.  I was the youngest participant at the Chicago Meeting of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy in 1978.  I was a fourth-year student at CTS in Ft. Wayne.  Present at that conference, in addition to my father, Robert Preus, and several other LCMS pastors, were some of the most prominent, well respected conservative Protestant theologians in America.  To dismiss them as fundamentalists while trying to discredit my father with your guilt by association tactics is typical of how you argue.  You really should take my advise and read Robert Preus's book, The Inspiration of Scripture, just so that you can familiarize yourself with the historic Lutheran teaching on this subject.  Then you will be able to speak from knowledge and not have to parrot liberal truisms that aren't true.

You dismiss Piepkorn's article as "unfortunate".  Yet, you don't provide an explanation why your father's understanding of 16th and 17th Century dogmaticians is superior to Piepkorn's.

You object to the term "fundamentalists".  Yet, the "Battle for the Bible" is, essentially, a fundamentalist understanding of Scripture that worked its way into the LCMS.  The composition of the participants in the council that produced the statement on inerrancy would be consistent with that conclusion.

And, as a footnote, I'd suggest that parroting fundamentalist truisms that aren't true is hardly a compelling reason for me to reject liberal truisms that may or may not be true.

Mr. Mundinger, my father's book on inspiration and Piepkorn's article on inerrancy do not belong to the same category.  You are comparing apples and oranges here.  It appears to me that you would rather remain confident in your ignorance than to risk being corrected by doing a bit of honest study.  When you say that a fundamentalist understanding of Scripture worked its way into the LCMS, you prove me correct in encouraging you to read a book that will address specifically that assertion.  Or, if you don't want to read something written by Robert Preus, maybe you'd consider reading Milton Rudnick's, Fundamentalism and the Missouri Synod.  You persist in repeating the same falsehood and appear to be unteachable on the subject.  Simply put, we Lutherans were teaching biblical inerrancy and infallibility (with or without the use of those terms) centuries before fundamentalism came into being.

ROLF,

I am certain that the 16th-17th century understanding of inspiration (accurately presented by your father as well as by Pieper) was the "best case apology" for evangelical catholic Christianity at that time. That expression of theology kept millions in the faith and inspired them to faithful service. As with many features of Lutheranism that view was "borrowed" by American Evangelicals (fundamentalists, some).

That does not mean it remains the best argument for what we confess in the creeds and confessions. As with Arthur Carl Piepkorn, I find no need to "knock it down" but at the same time I do not employ it in defending what I believe, confess, and teach.

Peace, JOHN
#14
Your Turn / Re: White Privilege and Caitlin Clark
June 03, 2024, 02:59:24 PM
Quote from: John Mundinger on June 03, 2024, 02:22:58 PM
Quote from: RDPreus on June 03, 2024, 01:06:25 PMWhat disparity?  That the men can play better than the women?


$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

It might change as women's BB gets more popular. Thank you Caitlin from Iowa!

Peace, JOHN
#15
Quote from: Charles Austin on May 31, 2024, 04:03:11 PMI have explained before that at the LCA seminary in Maywood 1964-1967, Dr. Hummel, then in the ALC, taught us about J, E, D, and P. I kept notes from his classes for years.

And before he taught at Maywood, he taught at Concordia, St. Louis. From there he was "pushed out" for holding such positions as authorship by J, E, P ,D. He was also avidly advancing liturgical renewal as it was understood in the 1950s-60s. Two strikes only but he had no tenure.

Peace, JOHN
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