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LCMS Dystopian Future

Started by Jim Butler, May 16, 2023, 10:53:56 AM

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Charles Austin

Pastor Fienen:
The Hymnal in question is titled in full, This Far By Faith: An African American Resource for Worship. It is not being marketed by Fortress (or Amazon) as a Black Hymnal but African American which accurately describes its worship and hymnic tradition. Its name reflects not a skin color for using it, but a cultural and ethnic background.
Me:
You are technically correct, but far off the mark in contemporary usage and understanding. Egyptians can be African American, as can the descendants of Dutch Boers or English colonists in Southern Africa and Zimbabwe, not to mention the Germans in Tanzania or Namibia.
Common usage says "African American" means black.
And Peter is wrong to say this "categorizes" people, any more than referring accurately to this humble correspondent - a son of an immigrant mother and paternal grandmother born in Sweden -  as Swedish-American puts me in a tiny box. It is descriptive, not a value judgment.
If I an affiliate with the Swedish Institute here in Minneapolis, is that some kind of racism? No.
ELCA PASTOR. Iowa born and raised. And look at this. Here's the old 1960s protestor and critic of our government as virtually the only "love this country" patriot in this forum.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Quote from: Charles Austin on May 20, 2023, 12:00:57 AM
I have always found your use of "Divine Service" idiosyncratically odd. No one else uses the term. The rather common adjectival usage of "divine" as in "a divine meal," also clouds your usage. What is wrong with worship, or service, or Eucharist, or Lord's Supper, or mass or Sunday service?

It's a translation of German Gottesdienst.

Charles Austin

No. that is more like God's Service, or perhaps Service to/for/of God.
And I'm not concerned about the translation or the original; just the fact that I think "divine service" as the word for what you do on Sundays does not communicate very well. I don't know why you reject one of the English alternatives.
Part of me, resents the loss of Latin, but "Lamb of God" communicates better than "Agnus Dei."
ELCA PASTOR. Iowa born and raised. And look at this. Here's the old 1960s protestor and critic of our government as virtually the only "love this country" patriot in this forum.

Weedon

#108
Actually, yes. The genitive may be translated in various ways, but Divine Service for God's Service is certainly the intent of our usage of the term. I have never heard of that stylistic guidance from CPH, and I have always in my writings freely used Eucharist as well as Divine Service or Mass. I think it's a shame, though, that we lost the "Haupt" that used to be attached to Gottesdienst (as in Synod's first Agenda), for that clearly denoted the Eucharist as the chief divine service of the Church, but allowed the characterization of "divine service" to extend to other rites as well. In Holy Baptism, we experience God's service of forgiveness and all that attends it, in other words.

Michael Slusser

My impression is that Divine Service is preferred to Worship in order to avoid any hint that what is done there is done by us, and not exclusively by God. Is that accurate?

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

RF

#110
Quote from: Michael Slusser on May 20, 2023, 11:18:20 AM
My impression is that Divine Service is preferred to Worship in order to avoid any hint that what is done there is done by us, and not exclusively by God. Is that accurate?

Peace,
Michael

That is my understanding. We receive God's gifts, the Gospel (Word and Sacraments).  In response we offer our thanks and praise to the glory of God. The primary direction in the Divine Service is God to us.

Weedon

#111
Not exclusively so, Father. To cite from the Intro to the old Lutheran Worship: "God speaks and we listen; His Word bestows what is said. Faith that is born of what is heard acknowledges the gifts received with eager thankfulness and praise. Music is drawn into this thankfulness and praise enlarging and elevating the adoration of our gracious giver God." The accent is first and foremost on God's service to us as Fletch notes: "I am among you as One who serves." But this in turn ignites a sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise on our part. Divine Service embraces God's gifts and our grateful response together.

By the way, the Tractatus defines divine service in an unexpected way: "The exercises of faith as it wrestles with despair."

Charles Austin

And we not only respond with our offerings and by receiving the sacrament, we accept the benediction commission ) into the world proclaiming the Gospel and serving our neighbors.
Still. In modern parlance, "Divine Service" doesn't communicate.
ELCA PASTOR. Iowa born and raised. And look at this. Here's the old 1960s protestor and critic of our government as virtually the only "love this country" patriot in this forum.

Weedon

#113
I just don't understand what you think would be confusing about it, Charles. I mean, the only confusion is who is serving whom and since it actually is true both ways, it's not confusing at all. I do like to stress that worship is a W not an M. It starts with God and His giving, bounces back to Him, and then back to us and then back to Him. He speaks His Word and commands us to bring bread and wine. We bring and offer them and He takes and transforms them to Body and Blood for the forgiveness of our sin, which we receive with awe and thanks and praise. He to us, us to Him, He to us, us to Him. The M sort of worship would start with our movement toward Him, and that is invariably the signature of idolatry.

James S. Rustad

Quote from: Charles Austin on May 20, 2023, 05:04:17 AM
Common usage says "African American" means black.

You mean like my son?  People just assumed he was "African American", including his best friend in high school (they joked that they were twins from different mothers because they looked so much alike).  One day his friend was shocked to discover that my son was Filipino ("I thought you were African American, like me!").
"Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem." -Thomas Jefferson

Richard Johnson

Quote from: Weedon on May 20, 2023, 12:00:49 PM
I just don't understand what you think would be confusing about it, Charles.

To me, the point isn't that it is confusing, but that it is idiosyncratic.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Weedon

#116
Richard,

I'm Missouri Synod; I'm FINE with idiosyncratic. :) "Divine Service" communicates both the high esteem in which we hold the Eucharist AND it communicates: "Oh, Missouri Synod, eh?"

John_Hannah

Quote from: Weedon on May 20, 2023, 12:10:22 PM
Richard,

I'm Missouri Synod; I'm FINE with idiosyncratic. :) "Divine Service" communicates both the high esteem in which we hold the Eucharist AND it communicates: "Oh, Missouri Synod, eh?"

But the "Divine Service" does not always include the Eucharist. It is not always the Hauptgottesdienst.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Michael Slusser

Quote from: Weedon on May 20, 2023, 12:00:49 PM
I just don't understand what you think would be confusing about it, Charles. I mean, the only confusion is who is serving whom and since it actually is true both ways, it's not confusing at all. I do like to stress that worship is a W not an M. It starts with God and His giving, bounces back to Him, and then back to us and then back to Him. He speaks His Word and commands us to bring bread and wine. We bring and offer them and He takes and transforms them to Body and Blood for the forgiveness of our sin, which we receive with awe and thanks and praise. He to us, us to Him, He to us, us to Him. The M sort of worship would start with our movement toward Him, and that is invariably the signature of idolatry.
Remembering the message by Fletch1 above, I wonder how widely your reading of the term is accepted in the LCMS.

I like your reading, though, as it resembles the RC understanding that it is Jesus Christ, in his whole mystical body made up of the baptized, who offers the Eucharist and bestows upon his members the communion with God and with each other that he came to bring. That might be a bridge too far for the LCMS, however.

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

RF

#119
Also, our congregation prefers to call the location (the rail surrounding the altar) where we receive the body and blood of Christ "The Lord's Table" as that better reflects what is happening in the Divine Service and shows who is serving whom.  We also typically use the term "Lord's Supper" and "Communion" instead Eucharist.  Those terms seem to better reinforce what the body and blood is and that we are communing with Jesus and our fellow believers (saints visible and invisible) at the rail.  YMMV

Edit to correct a capitalization error.

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