Theses Toward Lutheran Unity

Started by R. T. Fouts, January 17, 2013, 04:02:30 PM

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R. T. Fouts

http://ryanfouts.com/theses-lutheran-unity

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! 

http://ryanfouts.com/theses-lutheran-unity
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Dr. R.T. Fouts, M.Div, Ph.D.

Norman Teigen

Thanks, Ryan.  I will print what you have written.  I will be attending a lecture on the subject next Wednesday at St. Thomas University in St. Paul MN.  I have the pope's 1964 statement on ecumenism UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO and so I have happy to have something from a Lutheran as a supplementary reading.   Ryan Fouts and a Pope.  You should be flattered.
Norman Teigen

George Erdner

Is there some reason why you posted these as a separate, new discussion topic and not as part of the thread Maybe God wants division among us - maybe not so much, where they would have been welcome, on-topic contributions to that existing discussion?

R. T. Fouts

Just didn't see the topic :)  Feel free to delete this discussion and repost.
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Dr. R.T. Fouts, M.Div, Ph.D.

John_Hannah

A more accurate title would be "Theses Toward Missouri Synod Unity."


Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Dave Benke

I appreciated the direction of the theses in terms of apologetic emanating from a positive framework and not an "errorist/heterodox" throwdown starting point.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

R. T. Fouts

Quote from: John_Hannah on January 18, 2013, 09:05:59 AM
A more accurate title would be "Theses Toward Missouri Synod Unity."


Peace, JOHN

True.  Thanks!
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Dr. R.T. Fouts, M.Div, Ph.D.

R. T. Fouts

Quote from: Dave Benke on January 18, 2013, 09:22:25 AM
I appreciated the direction of the theses in terms of apologetic emanating from a positive framework and not an "errorist/heterodox" throwdown starting point.

Dave Benke

My hope was to begin changing the conversation.  It is clear that the conversations we have been having aren't working, in fact they may be making things worse.
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Dr. R.T. Fouts, M.Div, Ph.D.

Johan Bergfest

Quote from: Ryan Fouts on January 18, 2013, 10:01:35 AM
Quote from: Dave Benke on January 18, 2013, 09:22:25 AM
I appreciated the direction of the theses in terms of apologetic emanating from a positive framework and not an "errorist/heterodox" throwdown starting point.

Dave Benke

My hope was to begin changing the conversation.  It is clear that the conversations we have been having aren't working, in fact they may be making things worse.

I agree with Pr. Benke and, Pr. Fouts, I think your theses are an excellent invitation to engage the difficult conversation from a fresh perspective.  At the same time, it is only an invitation.  You have to respect the fact that some folks may choose to not engage in the new conversation.

Team Hesse

Quote from: Ryan Fouts on January 18, 2013, 09:57:48 AM
Quote from: John_Hannah on January 18, 2013, 09:05:59 AM
A more accurate title would be "Theses Toward Missouri Synod Unity."


Peace, JOHN

True.  Thanks!


I am not so sure.....I am not rostered LCMS, but I believe the theses offered here would be an acceptable offering among  our Pastors and people for conversation and contemplation.


I was personally struck by thesis 5 which speaks of the fear of error demonstrating a lack of confidence in the Holy Spirit. I have a pair of families who have moved 50 miles away who are wrestling with where to affiliate as new members. One of the wives is more afraid of losing what she has come to appreciate, the other wife is daring both couples to carry what they confess into a different context in a winsome manner and see what the Spirit might be up to...


Lou

John_Hannah

Quote from: Team Hesse on January 18, 2013, 10:17:49 AM
Quote from: Ryan Fouts on January 18, 2013, 09:57:48 AM
Quote from: John_Hannah on January 18, 2013, 09:05:59 AM
A more accurate title would be "Theses Toward Missouri Synod Unity."


Peace, JOHN

True.  Thanks!


I am not so sure.....I am not rostered LCMS, but I believe the theses offered here would be an acceptable offering among  our Pastors and people for conversation and contemplation.


I was personally struck by thesis 5 which speaks of the fear of error demonstrating a lack of confidence in the Holy Spirit. I have a pair of families who have moved 50 miles away who are wrestling with where to affiliate as new members. One of the wives is more afraid of losing what she has come to appreciate, the other wife is daring both couples to carry what they confess into a different context in a winsome manner and see what the Spirit might be up to...


Lou

Certainly, many of them are useful more broadly as you point out. The intent is directed at Missouri and the specific "Koinonia" proposal.

Would that Missouri once again become interested in Lutheran Unity!!!    ;D


Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Jay Michael

Quote from: Dave Benke on January 18, 2013, 09:22:25 AM
I appreciated the direction of the theses in terms of apologetic emanating from a positive framework and not an "errorist/heterodox" throwdown starting point.

Dave Benke
Could you provide examples of what you consider an "errorist/heterodox" throwdown starting point?

scott8

Quote
30. The confession of Christian doctrine has been embodied in the form of confessional documents formulated against errors that have occasioned such articulations in distinction to errors that have arisen throughout history.

I was reading some of the theses at random as I am about to dash out to teach a class and came across this one.  What is the difference between an error that has occasioned an articulation in doctrine and an error that has arisen throughout history?  Wouldn't the former have arisen in history as well?

Michael Slusser

Quote from: Scott Yakimow on January 18, 2013, 11:22:17 AM
Quote
30. The confession of Christian doctrine has been embodied in the form of confessional documents formulated against errors that have occasioned such articulations in distinction to errors that have arisen throughout history.

I was reading some of the theses at random as I am about to dash out to teach a class and came across this one.  What is the difference between an error that has occasioned an articulation in doctrine and an error that has arisen throughout history?  Wouldn't the former have arisen in history as well?

I wonder if the point is related to a couple things I say in my Theses on Infallibility:

5. is a gift of discernment among alternatives, not a new kind of revelation which would make up for the shortcomings of the Church's understanding of the Gospel.

7. These statements are no truer than any other true statements, and remain part of the real historical world; therefore they
a. are no less in need of interpretation than Scripture (especially as their original context becomes more remote);
b. must be understood in order to be authoritative in a way which helps the church's faith;
c. regard the actual alternatives at the time, without prejudice to other alternatives available at any other time, either before or after.


Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

peter_speckhard

Ryan, I like your approach, but I think in a way your approach itself contradicts the gist or spirit of some of your theses. The form of 46 assertions or statements lends credence to the idea that what we're all about is saying, "This is true, that is false." If your proposal became the basis for the koinonia project, you would probably object if someone added a few false theses such as "Wherever there is any error whatsoever in proclamation of the Gospel, the Holy Spirit refuses to work," or "Where there is no error in proclamation, all of the hearers will inevitably be brought to repentance and faith; if a hearer is not converted, the proclamation contained errors." In fact, my guess is that we would all work to erase any such ideas from the theses because they are false and therefore inherently pernicious. Eliminating those false statements would simply be part of the task of assembling a list of true statements for consideration.

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