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New CPH Large Catechism

Started by peter_speckhard, January 25, 2023, 10:29:56 PM

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peter_speckhard

Quote from: Hess on January 31, 2023, 09:56:52 PM
Quote from: peter_speckhard on January 31, 2023, 01:03:11 PM
It also strikes me that contrasting society formed strictly by the Word and society as formed by the vagaries of human culture and history argues strongly against slavery in the American South, not at all for it or neutral toward it. After all, what if a slave asked an orthodox Lutheran pastor, "By what authority does my owner own me?" Would that pastor have a Bible verse showing that black people were rightfully slaves? Or would he instead have a "go-along-with-cultural-drift" answer that went something like, "I don't know how exactly it came about that you were enslaved, but by the authority of the cultural status quo you are owned by your owner just like any other piece of property because he has a receipt showing he bought you."

I can show by what authority parents and children are in that relationship and how it started. I can show by what authority husbands and wives are in that relationship and how it started. I can't show by what authority any specific person owns another specific person as a slave other than a bill of sale that simply begs the question. By authority did anyone put the slave up for sale in the first place? By what authority is anyone else bound to honor the contract? The social strata of Luther's day developed organically and relied on some semblance of the divine right of kings and emperors; if nothing else, serfs were tenants of the noble's land, with ownership going back into the dark ages, so nobody could really question how it is that this family ended up with this estate. The king or duke gave it to them. That isn't the case at all with colonial race-based slavery, which was a re-introduction of slavery into Christendom after it had already been abolished.

Africans weren't initially enslaved because of the color of their skin.  They were enslaved because it was easy to buy slaves in Africa, they needed slaves for sugar and cotton and tobacco plantations, there weren't enough North American Indians and it was too easy for them to escape.  Maybe they could have just used Irish slaves, but as I understand it the Irish didn't work well in the heat in Barbados and Alabama.  That "black" came to equal slave in America was not by forethought, but ex post facto.  Again, this was not unique to black people.  "Slav"-"slave"-"sklave".

I'm also not sure that you can prove the licitness of serfdom so easily either.  My understanding is serfdom arose because people found it expedient to sell themselves into slavery to a local strongman who would just make them work his fields rather than be carried away captive by raiding warlords.  They were essentially forced into slavery, and that slavery didn't end in Christendom by the time African slavery began.  Serfs weren't freed in northeastern Germany, where so many of people in the LCMS' ancestors were from, until after Napoleon tried to take the French Revolution across Europe.  It only ended earlier in other parts of Europe for economic reasons, certainly not because they thought there was a moral problem with it.  And the enslavement of the European peasants lasted about a thousand years, where you were enslaved because of the family into which you were born.  American slavery lasted two and a half-centuries, and American penance for slavery has lasted a century and a half, beginning with the hundreds of thousands who died fighting the civil war.

But even if we knew for certain that nothing shady happened in the enslavement of European peasants, it still doesn't prove anything.  How did Abraham know that his slaves were legitimately gotten, not just taken in raids specifically carried out to capture slaves for profit?  How would he have proven that?  When you buy something second-hand, do you worry about whether you can prove that nobody stole it?  If you know it was stolen, obviously it would be wrong to buy it.  But what if you can't know, and your livelihood depends on purchasing it?  In any other question we wouldn't show this kind of rigor.  The covid vaccines were all tested on aborted fetal cell lines, and we (I believe rightly) didn't bind people's consciences about taking them, even though there are serious moral concerns about taking medicines made in this way.  We didn't rack our souls as a synod about taking them because pressure was on the side of taking them.  We do become moral rigorists about American slavery because it costs us little to do so, but there is great pressure on anyone who pushes back on it.  Try it sometime and see.

When Abraham bought slaves that he couldn't be sure weren't stolen, he could rightly say, "I am going to treat my slaves with the love God commands me to show my neighbor.  They are definitely going to be better off with me than they are likely to be with just about anyone else they will be sold to."  That's true of many Christian slave owners in America.  They weren't harsh with their slaves, cared for them physically, saw to it that they were baptized and taught God's Word.  Those slaves that were treated in that way, whether it is politically correct to say it or not, were better off than just about everyone in Africa, because they heard the announcement of the opening of the prison to those who were bound and the year of the Lord's jubilee, whereas "free" Africans were in spiritual bondage.

Even if the United States had never had slavery, Africans were still sold as slaves in equal or greater numbers to the Islamic world.  According to what I've read, the many Europeans who were kidnapped by Islamic slave traders were often made to row galleys, where they were chained to a boat and never allowed to leave, even to go to the bathroom.  Life expectancy was under ten years.  My understanding is that at the same time as the new world slave trade, equal or greater numbers of Africans were sent to the Islamic world, where in addition to being treated harshly they were taught a false religion that robbed them of their souls.  That's why the seemingly never-ending quest for racial justice in America is disingenuous, and why it will never end until it is addressed biblically, the way Luther and Melanchthon addressed the sometimes-valid grievances of the peasants in their day.
Slavery has not ended. There is still human trafficking going on. From what I understand, human trafficking in the U.S. (at least according to the police around here, since Lake County has apparently been a bit of a regional hub of it) is generally a market of young girls used for sex. And by the perfectly Biblical example of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, there is absolutely nothing wrong with owning concubines and bearing children by them. Correct? Many of the tribes of Israel came from such unions, after all. Is it okay for a Christian to buy a concubine? Not to return an escaped one? If some thirteen year old girl escaped from human traffickers, would you urge her to go back to them and do her duty? You personally can't necessarily determine how she became a slave in the first place-- maybe she was born to slaves, maybe she grew up a regular American suburban girls but was a rebel type who became a runaway, maybe a raiding party sacked her village, who knows? Not your problem. Nor are you responsible for the strange rules that govern these other cultures and subcultures. All you know is that a slave and concubine in 2023 America and has run away from her owner to your church. What do you do, and why? Would the only reason you call the authorities instead of returning her to her owners be that you are too gutless to go by a Biblical worldview instead of a humanist one? Or might it be that the whole idea that she is a concubine is so loathsome and alien to Christianity that it makes no difference what Jacob did, we are not going to participate in such practices?


peter_speckhard

Quote from: pastorg1@aol.com on February 01, 2023, 10:15:28 AM
A neat little lesson-point in our RCIA class was made this week...

If Jesus wanted women priests he would have, of course, first and foremost selected his Blessed Mother.

Peter (Ave Maria!) Garrison
The conclusion is fine, but the method of inquiry is suspect. I'm not keen on doctrines derived by speculation about what God would have done if He wanted x.

Tom Eckstein

#272
Quote from: RDPreus on January 31, 2023, 11:43:48 PM
Tom, this is in response to your last post.

You wrote: For example, we both agree that 1st Tim. 2:12ff forbids women serving in the pastoral office.  But if I understand you correctly, you also insist that 1st Tim. 2:12 is not limited to the Divine Service nor is it limited to forbidding women serving in the pastoral office but also forbidding a woman from teaching Scripture to ANY man in ANY situation.  Correct?

I reply: No, Tom, that's incorrect as I have said repeatedly above, there is nothing wrong with a woman teaching a man privately.

You wrote: If so, then why do you believe it was permissible for Priscilla to teach Apollos?  If I understand you correctly, you would then qualify 1st Tim. 2:12 by saying that it does NOT forbid a woman teaching Scripture to men in a PRIVATE situation but it DOES forbid a woman teaching Scripture to a man in a PUBLIC situation.  Correct?

I reply: No, I would not qualify 1 Timothy 2:12.  It forbids women from publicly teaching God's Word to men.  It not does address what Pricilla did as recorded in Acts 18.

You wrote: If so, then you insist the what Priscilla did with Apollos was a PRIVATE situation but a woman doing the same thing in a seminary classroom would be a PUBLIC situation.  Am I understanding you correctly?

I reply: Yes.

You wrote: If so, then what is it about a seminary classroom filled with non-ordained men that is different from what Priscilla did with Apollos or a deaconess teaching Scripture to men at her home?  Please explain the basis of your distinction to me.

I reply: First of all, I would not liken what Pricilla did to a deaconess teaching Scripture to men in her home.  A deaconess should not be teaching theology to men in her home.  I have already explained to you what the theological professor in the seminary classroom is doing.  He is exercising the authority of his office as a teacher of God's Word.  He is doing so publicly, that is, according to his office as a public teacher.  No woman may hold this office, according to God's Word.

You wrote: Honestly, I don't see a difference between what Priscilla did with Apollos and what a woman with a PhD in theology could do with non-ordained men in a classromm setting.  If you see a difference, please explain it to me.

I reply: I find it hard to believe that you cannot see the difference.  Pricilla, with her husband, explained things to Apollos that needed explaining.  It was an ad hoc meeting.  They took him aside.  Neither Pricilla nor Aquilla wanted to embarrass Apollos.  It would have been unthinkable for Pricilla to have presumed to teach Apollos publicly in the synagogue.  Doing so is comparable to a woman teaching theology to men in a seminary classroom.  It is unseemly.  It vitiates her womanly nature.  I should also point out that a woman with a PhD in theology has been trained to do what God forbids her to do. 

You wrote: Now, with all that said, I agree with you that the ideal situation is that pastors with higher degrees teach our men at the seminary.  This is why I have always argued that it would be best (but not required by God's Word) that professors at our seminaries have at least some experience serving as a pastor in a congregation because there's more to seminary education then simply studying Scriputure in an academic settting but we should also give our seminary students the chance to learn from pastors who have used their knowledge of Scripture in the actual pastoral care of God's people.  I assume you would agree with me on this.

I reply: I agree with you.

You wrote: Nevertheless, I don't think 1st Tim. 2:12 forbids the occasional situation where a lay woman with a PhD in theology would share her insights from Scripture with non-ordained men in a classroom setting because I see this as being similar to what Priscilla did with Apollos and not the same as what a pastor does in the Divine Service.  If you think a seminary classroom is NOT the same as what Priscilla did with Apolls but that it IS the same as what a pastor does in the Divine Service, please explain how.  I want to understand your view.  Thanks.

I reply: I have already explained this to you.  Please reread my posts from yesterday.  I pointed out that the Word of God is the Word of God whether preached from the pulpit or taught in the seminary classroom.  There is no essential difference between the two.  When the Word of God is placed within a liturgical form it is no different than that same Word of God taught in a different forum.  That you cannot see this frankly baffles me. 

Now, go to bed and get a good night's sleep!  :)

Rolf, thanks for your response.  However, you assume that your position is clear when I think it remains a bit "fuzzy."

First, I now understand better your view of 1st Tim. 2:12.  You believe it forbids a woman from all PUBLIC teaching of theology - and that this PUBLIC teaching is not limited (according to you) to the liturgical Divine Service.  Correct?

Second, you assert that it should be obvious to me that what Priscilla did was PRIVATE versus a seminary classroom which is PUBLIC.  You based this on the fact that Priscilla did not teach in the synagogue but taught Apollos privately in her home.  I have two problems with this.  1) You seem to equate a synagogue Service of gathered Christians with a seminary classroom.  I don't think such a comparison is all that obvious.  2)  Even though you're OK with what Priscilla did with Apollos in her home you said you'd have a problem with a deaconess doing the same thing with non-ordained men in her home.  But why?  You say I should know the difference but you fail to show what that difference is.  You just ASSERT there's a difference without explaining WHY those settings are different.  That's what I'm asking you to do (and what you have NOT done yet!):  Please do not merely ASSERT that what Priscilla did in her home with Apollos is different than a deaconess sharing her insights from Scripture with men in her home, but please explain WHY and HOW they are different.  You have not done that yet, in my opinion.

Finally, you say that a woman who has a PhD in theology has been trained to do what a woman should not do.  Why is that?  I know women with PhDs in theology who believe Scripture forbids them to serve as ordained pastors - and yet they share their insights about Scripture as lay women with other lay people (NOT in the Divine Service!) just as Priscilla did with Apollos in her home.  Now, I know what you will say next:  "Tom, isn't it obvious to you that what Priscilla did with Apollos in her home is far different than a deaconess teaching men about God's Word in her home or a seminary classroom?!"  No, it ISN'T obvious to me nor to many others and you have not given much of a reason WHY there's a difference other than simply asserting that there is - and why should we believe your MERE assertions?  You've got to do better than that.
I'm an LCMS Pastor in Jamestown, ND.

Tom Eckstein

#273
Quote from: Rob Morris on February 01, 2023, 10:15:17 AM
Quote from: RDPreus on January 31, 2023, 11:55:41 PM
Quote from: Rob Morris on January 31, 2023, 11:50:05 PM
Quote from: RDPreus on January 31, 2023, 11:43:48 PM
(Snip)

I reply: I have already explained this to you.  Please reread my posts from yesterday.  I pointed out that the Word of God is the Word of God whether preached from the pulpit or taught in the seminary classroom.  There is no essential difference between the two.  When the Word of God is placed within a liturgical form it is no different than that same Word of God taught in a different forum.  That you cannot see this frankly baffles me. 

Now, go to bed and get a good night's sleep!  :)

So what was the Word of God when Priscilla was teaching it to Apollos?

Rob, it's time to go to bed!  Short answer: the Word of God is the Word of God.  It has the same authority, power, and efficacy whether preached by a preacher in the Divine Service or spoken by a mother to her children when she tucks them in bed at night.

Now, go to bed!  :)

I did. It was nice. :)

If I was to comment on the back and forth between yourself and Pr. Eckstein, it would again be this: you agree that Scripture draws lines around ministry and gender/sex. You simply don't agree 100% on where those lines are to be applied.

The one thing I have tried to push back on is the statement that your position is simply what the text says. That's not so.

Your position is based on what the text says... And so is Pastor Eckstein's.

Both seek to faithfully apply what the text says and both land in different places. Women serving as lectors, as devotional authors, as lecturers and professors... these are areas for potential disagreement because the Scriptures simply do not make it clear enough for us to say "Thus sayeth the Lord," on these topics. They are areas where we must humbly, faithfully, seek to apply what Scripture says in the best way for the nurture of the souls God has entrusted to our care.

If people land in slightly different places while faithfully seeking to apply the same Scriptures, a measure of grace in our hearts and restraint in our verbiage is both god-pleasing and salutary.

Rob, thanks for you input on this.  Correct me if you think I'm wrong, but what I see Rolf doing is merely ASSERTING that there's a difference between what Priscilla did with Apollos (PRIVATE instruction, according to Rolf) versus a woman with a PhD in theology sharing her insights about Scripture with men in her home or a seminary classroom (PUBLIC instruction, according to Rolf) - but he never explains the HOW and WHY for his distinctions in these areas.  I'm still waiting for him to do that.

I'm an LCMS Pastor in Jamestown, ND.

Tom Eckstein

#274
Quote from: Rob Morris on January 31, 2023, 11:50:05 PM
Quote from: RDPreus on January 31, 2023, 11:43:48 PM
(Snip)

I reply: I have already explained this to you.  Please reread my posts from yesterday.  I pointed out that the Word of God is the Word of God whether preached from the pulpit or taught in the seminary classroom.  There is no essential difference between the two.  When the Word of God is placed within a liturgical form it is no different than that same Word of God taught in a different forum.  That you cannot see this frankly baffles me. 

Now, go to bed and get a good night's sleep!  :)

So what was the Word of God when Priscilla was teaching it to Apollos?

Rob, very good question!  Rolf hasn't done a very good job explaining the difference between what Priscilla did (which Rolf says is OK!) versus a deaconess teaching men about God's Word in her home or a seminary classroom (which Rolf says God's Word forbids!).  He ASSERTS there's a difference, but doesn't explain HOW or WHY.
I'm an LCMS Pastor in Jamestown, ND.

Steven W Bohler

I take Rev. Preus' point to be that seminary instructors hold an office of the Word and receive a formal call to that office, to publicly instruct on behalf of the Church.  They are "officially" speaking/teaching for the Church.  Not so when a mother teaches her child, or Priscilla teaches Apollos. 

RDPreus

Thanks, Steve.  You said it clearly.

Tom Eckstein

Quote from: Steven W Bohler on February 01, 2023, 11:43:53 AM
I take Rev. Preus' point to be that seminary instructors hold an office of the Word and receive a formal call to that office, to publicly instruct on behalf of the Church.  They are "officially" speaking/teaching for the Church.  Not so when a mother teaches her child, or Priscilla teaches Apollos.

Steve, just so I understand what you believe, would you be OK with a deaconess teaching/talking about God's Word with men in her home?  Unless I misunderstand Rolf, he seems to think that this would be wrong whereas I would see this as the same as what Priscilla did with Apollos.

As for a woman sharing her insights from Scripture with men in a classroom, I just don't see that as much different than what Priscilla did with Apollos.  Preaching from pulpit in the Divine Service is another issue.
I'm an LCMS Pastor in Jamestown, ND.

Hess

Quote from: peter_speckhard on February 01, 2023, 10:45:21 AM

Slavery has not ended. There is still human trafficking going on. From what I understand, human trafficking in the U.S. (at least according to the police around here, since Lake County has apparently been a bit of a regional hub of it) is generally a market of young girls used for sex. And by the perfectly Biblical example of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, there is absolutely nothing wrong with owning concubines and bearing children by them. Correct? Many of the tribes of Israel came from such unions, after all. Is it okay for a Christian to buy a concubine? Not to return an escaped one? If some thirteen year old girl escaped from human traffickers, would you urge her to go back to them and do her duty? You personally can't necessarily determine how she became a slave in the first place-- maybe she was born to slaves, maybe she grew up a regular American suburban girls but was a rebel type who became a runaway, maybe a raiding party sacked her village, who knows? Not your problem. Nor are you responsible for the strange rules that govern these other cultures and subcultures. All you know is that a slave and concubine in 2023 America and has run away from her owner to your church. What do you do, and why? Would the only reason you call the authorities instead of returning her to her owners be that you are too gutless to go by a Biblical worldview instead of a humanist one? Or might it be that the whole idea that she is a concubine is so loathsome and alien to Christianity that it makes no difference what Jacob did, we are not going to participate in such practices?

Yes, women are illegally enslaved in the US and forced into prostitution.  That's bad.  It's bad to take people captive and force them into any kind of slavery.

Meanwhile, the cobalt in your cell phone is mined by slaves or near slaves working in inhuman conditions.  Your coffee is grown by farmers who live like serfs in Colombia.  Your clothes are made by children working in sweatshops in slavery or near slavery.  Yet I'd venture to guess that every time you go to the store or start texting someone you aren't having a crisis of conscience about whether the product you're using or buying was made by someone who was forced into slavery.  But there's a good chance it was.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Reminds me of "the age old right of children to work."

https://youtu.be/-irkxy9zhUY

Steven W Bohler

Quote from: Tom Eckstein on February 01, 2023, 12:09:12 PM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on February 01, 2023, 11:43:53 AM
I take Rev. Preus' point to be that seminary instructors hold an office of the Word and receive a formal call to that office, to publicly instruct on behalf of the Church.  They are "officially" speaking/teaching for the Church.  Not so when a mother teaches her child, or Priscilla teaches Apollos.

Steve, just so I understand what you believe, would you be OK with a deaconess teaching/talking about God's Word with men in her home?  Unless I misunderstand Rolf, he seems to think that this would be wrong whereas I would see this as the same as what Priscilla did with Apollos.

As for a woman sharing her insights from Scripture with men in a classroom, I just don't see that as much different than what Priscilla did with Apollos.  Preaching from pulpit in the Divine Service is another issue.

Your question has way too many variables to give a simple "yes" or "no".  For instance: Is she teaching in an official capacity, as a deaconess under call by the church?  Is she teaching a formal Bible class or is she just sharing with friends who have asked questions?  Are the men members of her congregation or are they prospective members that she is encouraging toward instruction with the pastor?  You see, it is not as simple as question you have posed.

As to your second paragraph, I am surprised that you do not see the difference between authoritative teaching done by someone under a formal call from the Church to do such teaching (on the one hand) and a Christian taking another aside and giving a private correction/instruction.  I guess I would say that I see such formal/authoritative/official (in the sense of holding an office to teach) teaching in the classroom as much more in line with the formal/authoritative/official teaching done from a pulpit -- both are done by those called to do such teaching on behalf of the Church rather than as private individuals.

RDPreus

Quote from: Tom Eckstein on February 01, 2023, 12:09:12 PM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on February 01, 2023, 11:43:53 AM
I take Rev. Preus' point to be that seminary instructors hold an office of the Word and receive a formal call to that office, to publicly instruct on behalf of the Church.  They are "officially" speaking/teaching for the Church.  Not so when a mother teaches her child, or Priscilla teaches Apollos.

Steve, just so I understand what you believe, would you be OK with a deaconess teaching/talking about God's Word with men in her home?  Unless I misunderstand Rolf, he seems to think that this would be wrong whereas I would see this as the same as what Priscilla did with Apollos.

As for a woman sharing her insights from Scripture with men in a classroom, I just don't see that as much different than what Priscilla did with Apollos.  Preaching from pulpit in the Divine Service is another issue.

Again, I encourage you to call a spade a spade.  You use the words "sharing her insights from Scripture with men in a classroom."  Is this how you describe the teaching of a theological professor at a seminary?  Sharing his insights?  Really?  Jesus taught God's Word.  Paul taught God's Word.  Luther taught God's Word.  Were they "sharing their insights from Scripture"?  Are you not deliberately avoiding the use of words that would accurately depict what a theological professor is doing in the classroom?  Are you not doing so to avoid running afoul of St. Paul's words that clearly teach that a woman may not "teach or have authority over a man"?  So, you rephrase it, spin it, and dress it up as something it is not.  Theological professors at seminaries are not there to share their insights from Scripture.  They are there to teach, publicly, officially, on behalf of the church, God's Word to men to prepare them to be pastors in the church.  Let's call a spade a spade.

Rob Morris

So, how about a woman lecturing a class at the seminary? Not a called position, but certainly public teaching. However, the authority over the classroom still remains with the called and installed professor. Not asking as a gotcha, genuinely intending to understand.

RDPreus

When my father was president of CTS, he invited a woman with a PhD in Education to speak to the professors about how to teach.  They all benefited.  There was nothing wrong with that.  Should a woman know something pertinent to a topic covered in the classroom and the professor wanted her to share her knowledge with the class, there would be nothing wrong with that.  There are many things a woman may do that do not entail authoritative public teaching of theology in the church.

GalRevRedux

I still lurk occasionally around here. Nice to see that the forum remains a constant in our ever-shifting world.

8)

Donna
A pastor of the North American Lutheran Church.

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