Beliefs of Fundamentalists Christians

Started by Dave Likeness, April 21, 2013, 09:44:24 PM

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David Garner

Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 10:40:31 AMReader Garner - I think we are debating semantics and not principle.

That may be the case.

As an aside, please feel free to just call me "David."  I certainly appreciate the respect given to the minor office I hold, but I am a layman like you, so I consider us to be peers.  If you prefer to maintain the honorific, the correct delineation would be "Reader John."  That might be confusing to those who may come here who do not know my patronal communion name, which is why I suggest "David."  Either way, please don't take this as an admonition -- I prefer to be respectful of offices in the Church as well, and I appreciate the gesture and the effort whichever way you decide to go.

Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 10:40:31 AMI DO NOT advocate paring away the central teachings of Christianity.  And, I understand those central teachings from a decidedly Lutheran bias and, thus, I do not advocate paring away any of those central teachings as they are understood in the context of justification by grace, through faith; the revelation of God's Incarnate Word through God's Inspired Word, correctly understood as Law and Gospel; Baptism as a daily washing and regeneration; and, the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament.

I do advocate for making a clear distinction between core doctrine and matters adiophora and a willingness to let go of those things adiophora that could be stumbling blocks to unbelievers.

I agree that the Church should be transformative.  But, the Church cannot be transformative for those who think it is irrelevant or, worse, a negative influence in our society.

Understood.  I do think we ought be careful considering adiaphora to be "stumbling blocks" when the flipside may also be true (changing what we consider to be "adiaphora" may end up offending or shaking the faith of those currently in the flock).  This is why I told a former pastor once "you think you are reaching the lost, but I am concerned you are losing the reached in the process."  Further, I have personally found (anecdotal, to be sure) that newcomers to the Church expect a certain amount of "oddness" when they arrive.  Even the most traditional, liturgical Lutheran will be put off somewhat by an Orthodox Vespers or Liturgy.  I know I was.  But I also saw past the cultural differences to the beauty of the liturgical forms. 

Also, because liturgy informs belief, we cannot simply change things, referring to them as "adiaphora," and expect the faith to remain intact.  I'll give you an example.  I was in a Lutheran Bible study a few years back, and we were discussing Philemon.  The question arose "who are the saints mentioned in verses 5 and 7?"  I argued it could be either the members of the parish or the departed saints.  Someone spoke up and said "well, it couldn't be the departed saints, they don't even know what we are doing down here!"

Now, granting that contextually, verse 7 seems to refer to the members of the parish, the argument wasn't over context. This same parish used a modified liturgy that changed frequently, but notably never included the preface.  So my response was a little discombobulated -- I said "well, why then do we confess every Sunday that we gather 'with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven' -- well, WE don't say that, but does that mean we no longer believe it?

The answer, I regret to report, is "yes it does."  Even the little things are important.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

John Mundinger

Quote from: Pastor Ted Crandall on April 24, 2013, 11:33:53 AMWhat if what you teach and believe is not mentioned directly in the Catechism, but contradicts another part of our Confessions?  Would you consider that an open question?

My personal confession is the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as I learned it from the Small Catechism.

The history of the Church through the centuries is very sordid and, in that history, Lutherans have not been exempt from participation in the sordid.  In sorting through that history, it is a challenge to know the catholic truth distinct from the corrupting influences of the clay vessels who have passed on the truth from one generation to the next.  I believe that the doctrine contained in the Small Catechism comes about as close as we can get to knowing spiritual truth, i.e. the questions for which the Catechism has answers are closed.  I say that acknowledging my Lutheran bias and acknowledging that there is not universal agreement in the Church regarding what Lutherans believe regarding the Sacraments, regarding the place of good works and regarding predestination.

So, I guess the best answer I can give you is that it depends.  What specifically are the questions/answers in the Confessions that are not directly mentioned in the Catechism?  How do those answers related to the answers provided by the Catechism?  How do those answers relate to Scripture - not just the passages used to support those answers but also passages that might lead to a different answer?
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

John Mundinger

Quote from: David Garner on April 24, 2013, 01:38:25 PMUnderstood.  I do think we ought be careful considering adiaphora to be "stumbling blocks" when the flipside may also be true (changing what we consider to be "adiaphora" may end up offending or shaking the faith of those currently in the flock)....Also, because liturgy informs belief, we cannot simply change things, referring to them as "adiaphora," and expect the faith to remain intact.

I think we basically agree on these points, too.  I would not advocate being cavalier about dispensing with all of the adiophora for the sake of getting rid of adiophora.  I consider liturgical style to be adiophora.  I do not consider liturgical form/function to be be adiophora - it is very much the way that the Church has practiced and taught the faith through the centuries; it is very much the way the Church worships today across denominational boundaries.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

Jay Michael

Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 11:18:06 AM
if it is in the catechism (including corresponding sections from the Confessions) it is doctrine.  If not, it is open to question.
So now the Catechism and Confessions are elevated to the position of determining the doctrines of Holy Scripture? ::) ???

John Mundinger

Quote from: Jay. on April 24, 2013, 02:20:59 PM
Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 11:18:06 AM
if it is in the catechism (including corresponding sections from the Confessions) it is doctrine.  If not, it is open to question.
So now the Catechism and Confessions are elevated to the position of determining the doctrines of Holy Scripture? ::) ???

Hardly, Jay.  But, I will give you high marks for your ability to craft strawmen from nothing.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

Charles_Austin

#80
Jay. (who might be "Jayson," a number-cruncher layman in the midwest, can't be sure) writes:
So now the Catechism and Confessions are elevated to the position of determining the doctrines of Holy Scripture?

I comment:
In a way, yes, but not by those considered "revisionists" or "moderates". Do we not hear people in the LCMS saying the confessions are indeed the only valid interpretation of scripture and that we subscribe to the confessions because they are such? That doesn't quite call the Confessions "scripture," but says if you want to know what Scripture really means you gotta get it there.

Jay Michael

Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 02:46:00 PM
Quote from: Jay. on April 24, 2013, 02:20:59 PM
Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 11:18:06 AM
if it is in the catechism (including corresponding sections from the Confessions) it is doctrine.  If not, it is open to question.
So now the Catechism and Confessions are elevated to the position of determining the doctrines of Holy Scripture? ::) ???
Hardly, Jay.  But, I will give you high marks for your ability to craft strawmen from nothing.
Strawman ??? You are the one claiming doctrine originates with the catechism and confessions. YOUR words "if it is in the catechism (including corresponding sections from the Confessions) it is doctrine." Following your criteria, doctrine does not originate in Holy Scripture ... but in the writings of sinful man.

George Erdner

Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 02:46:00 PM
Quote from: Jay. on April 24, 2013, 02:20:59 PM
Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 11:18:06 AM
if it is in the catechism (including corresponding sections from the Confessions) it is doctrine.  If not, it is open to question.
So now the Catechism and Confessions are elevated to the position of determining the doctrines of Holy Scripture? ::) ???

Hardly, Jay.  But, I will give you high marks for your ability to craft strawmen from nothing.


Good point. The Scriptures are the starting point and source and norm of all our understandings. But, the Scriptures need to be interpreted and understood, which is why we have the Confessions (including the catechisms) to summarize and codify our understandings of Scripture. Doctrine, therefore, seems to me to be the shared, common understandings and interpretations of Scripture that make a specific Christian faith tradition a unique and distinctive body.


I suppose the "fundamentalists" (whoever they really are!) might reject the idea that church doctrines are found anywhere other than the Bible. If doctrines are only what's in the Bible, then the doctrine that since Jesus was baptized by immersion in the Jordan River, all Christians must be baptized by full immersion when they are adults. After all, that's what it says in Scripture if you interpret it that way. Maybe people should make the decision for as adults Jesus so that they can become born again. If only Scripture matters, and not the interpretations found in the Confessions, how can anyone dispute those who hold such beliefs?

Jay Michael

Quote from: George Erdner on April 24, 2013, 06:01:45 PM
Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 02:46:00 PM
Quote from: Jay. on April 24, 2013, 02:20:59 PM
Quote from: John Mundinger on April 24, 2013, 11:18:06 AM
if it is in the catechism (including corresponding sections from the Confessions) it is doctrine.  If not, it is open to question.
So now the Catechism and Confessions are elevated to the position of determining the doctrines of Holy Scripture? ::) ???
Hardly, Jay.  But, I will give you high marks for your ability to craft strawmen from nothing.
Good point. The Scriptures are the starting point and source and norm of all our understandings. But, the Scriptures need to be interpreted and understood, which is why we have the Confessions (including the catechisms) to summarize and codify our understandings of Scripture. Doctrine, therefore, seems to me to be the shared, common understandings and interpretations of Scripture that make a specific Christian faith tradition a unique and distinctive body.

I suppose the "fundamentalists" (whoever they really are!) might reject the idea that church doctrines are found anywhere other than the Bible. If doctrines are only what's in the Bible, then the doctrine that since Jesus was baptized by immersion in the Jordan River, all Christians must be baptized by full immersion when they are adults. After all, that's what it says in Scripture if you interpret it that way. Maybe people should make the decision for as adults Jesus so that they can become born again. If only Scripture matters, and not the interpretations found in the Confessions, how can anyone dispute those who hold such beliefs?
The point that needs to be made is that the catechism/confessions do NOT address the full content of Holy Writ.  We believe that they are a correct exposition of Scripture ... but not that they are a full and complete exposition of Scripture.

Weedon

Jay,

I think I understand what you are saying, but do you believe that there is any doctrine of the Christian Church that is not addressed adequately and completely in the Lutheran Symbols? Speaking for myself, I can't think of any.

pearson

Quote from: Jay. on April 24, 2013, 06:23:34 PM

The point that needs to be made is that the catechism/confessions do NOT address the full content of Holy Writ.  We believe that they are a correct exposition of Scripture ... but not that they are a full and complete exposition of Scripture.


Just curious: on what basis, then, do we compose "a full and complete exposition of Scripture"?  In those areas not addressed by the catechism/confessions, how do we come to properly identify and understand "the full content of Holy Writ"?

Tom Pearson

Weedon

You, know, let me back off of saying addressed "completely" - because they do not contain the fuller explanations one finds in the theological loci, but I meant that there's no particular doctrine in the matrix of biblical doctrines with which the Symbols do not deal.

Don Whitbeck

Quote from: Jeff-MN on April 23, 2013, 08:38:24 PM
        FUNDAMENTALISM

DENIAL OF THE WORD OF GOD
   when it comes to baptism, 
           the eucharist,
       and holy ordination.

he problem being that many in the Lutheran Church LC, as well as the ELCA, Wels, PC-USA, EC-USA, and Catholic left these churches because they felt they no longer practiced what they said they did; many joined Non-denominational churches that didn't have all of the beliefs that they felt were no longer being practiced, and were thrown out the window with the dish water.  Most just wanted of go to a church that was just the basic Christian Church, that taught Scripture, without all of the Creeds, Confessions, Councils, Assemblies, and Conventions changing and demanding that these new ideas be followed and taught without question, even when many felt that they went against Scripture, and Christian teachings.


Please don't blame the people in the pews, who left, the blame for the change lies elsewhere.  Cultural acceptance, Liberalism, and a list of others that have be discussed here on ALPB as well as other groups.

Respectfully,

The Voice of God will NEVER Contradict the Word of God

Don Whitbeck

Quote from: Jay. on April 23, 2013, 03:48:36 PM
Quote from: Confessional Lutheran on April 23, 2013, 03:46:58 PM
What I miss most in My Parents, and My Grand Fathers, and His Parents, is Version of the Communion Service from the 1944 Version of the Lutheran Hymnal.
1941 Version of The Lutheran Hymnal?

Thanks for the correction!
The Voice of God will NEVER Contradict the Word of God

Jay Michael

Quote from: Weedon on April 24, 2013, 06:35:11 PM
Jay,

I think I understand what you are saying, but do you believe that there is any doctrine of the Christian Church that is not addressed adequately and completely in the Lutheran Symbols? Speaking for myself, I can't think of any.
Does the catechism/confessions address the Biblical account of Creation, the Flood, Jonah to name a few.  Would one have knowledge of these historical facts from the catechism/confessions alone?

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