atpakaļ uz mājaslapu
E-pasts:  Parole: atcerēties mani reģistrētiesaizmirsu parolimeklēt
Diskusijas Par Baznīcu Draudzes attīstība
vilks
Iesūtīts: 2012.03.17 12:01:21
Kas jūsu pieredzē ir lietas, kas veicina draudzes attīstību? Un no kā noteikti jāizvairās?

Lūdzu konkrētākas atbildes par "lasi Bībelē" (nu vismaz iecitējiet konkrētas Rakstu vietas )
<< 1 ... 27 . 28 . 29 . 30 . 31 . 32 . 33 . 34 . 35 . 36 . 37 ... 49 . 50 . >>
AutorsZiņas teksts
Mārtiņš
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.14 15:14:18
Uldis
lūdzu, vienu piemēru, lai neizklausītos pēc demagoģijas.

Vispirms pats mani nosauc par demagogu, tagad prasi, lai pierādu, ka tāds neesmu. Kā sauc šādu paņēmienu?

Luteru pieminēju tamdēļ, ka viņš satraucās nevis par dialogu, bet par patiesību. Pats zini kā pāvestieši viņu dēvēja un ar ko beidzās dažs disputs.
Juris Saivars
# Labojis Juris Saivars: 2012.08.14 19:10:23
Pater Henricus vnk grūti iedomāties … šo LTA ir atmetuši attiecināt uz LELB

tas nebūt nav tik grūti, ja ieskatās dokumentos – paņem visas LELB Satversmes, cik vien no 1928. gada līdz šai dienai ir bijušas, un izlasi to Preambulas … visās, pat SovDepijas spaidu laika variantā atradīsi pagaru, bet vienkāršu frāzi, kas izklausīsies apm.: atzīst Apustuļu, Nīkajas un Atanazija ticības apliecības, nepārgrozīto Augsburgas konfesiju, Mārtiņa Lutera Lielo un Mazo katķismu un citus Vienprātības grāmatā (Liber Concordiae) sakopotos rakstus …
Tā ir vēsturiska kanoniska definīcija ar ko kāda baznīca sevi pasludina par luterisku – un pēc tās kā luteriska tiek atpazīta ārējās attiecībās … LELB šo formulējumu bija lietojusi gandrīz 90 gadus – līdz 2007. gadā tas pēkšņi pazuda …

Kas notika? Sinodi piemeklēja kolektīvs prāta aptumsums jeb LELB atteicās no LTA?

Ja pirmais – nu tad, protams, baznīcas dokumenti vairs nav jāsastāda tā, lai tie izskatītos kā inteliģentu cilvēku rakstīti … tad tajos var sakopot hierarhu sacerētus dzejolīšus …
Lūk šo pirmo iepēju uzskatu par mazticamu - atliek otrā ... Tu vari piedāvāt citus variantus? Labprāt uzklausīšu ...

ELCA savos kanonos paliek pie tradicionālajiem formulējumiem – lai arī cik stulbām idejām ik pa brīdim skrien pakaļ tās hierarhi.

Bet par praktiskākām lietām runājot – vai pēc vienošanās ar Kurzemes diacēzi ELBL garīdznieki ieguva „tiesības laulāt”?
Pater Henricus
# Labojis Pater Henricus : 2012.08.14 21:11:15
Juris Saivars tu kļūdies, atsauce uz LTA ir LELB Satversmes Preambulā - , proti, kā arī reformācijas ticības apliecības, kas apkopotas "Liber Concordiae" Atver šo grāmatu, nu jau Latvijā ir 2. izdevums ar sakarīgu mūsu arhibīskapa priekšvārdu ( elciešu bīskapi nogrābstās ) un izlasi satura rādītāju.
ELCAi tradicionālie formulējumi netraucē skriet pakaļ katrai netradicionāli orientētajai protestantu herēzei.
Starp citu, Brātena atklāto vēstuli Hansonam esi lasījis? Par to, kāpēc labākie ELCAs teologi konvertējas Romas katolicismā vai pareizticībā. Tiem, acīmredzot, tās ELCA bosu stulbās idejas ir piegriezušās, jo teologi kā nekā.
vai pēc vienošanās ar Kurzemes diacēzi ELBL garīdznieki ieguva „tiesības laulāt”? Viņi ieguva tiesības pēc aicinājuma kalpot LELB draudzēs.
rainars
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.14 21:18:55
Vai baznīcai ir jābūt luteriskai vai ja tā var isteikties Jēziskai?
Vai ta Luters ir Augšāmcēlies vai Jēzus.
Domājams pamatā jābūt pacietībai , žēlastībai mīlestībai uz savu tuvāku visnotaļ priecīgai labās ziņas nesējai.
JA pĀVILS MIN KA NEVAR RUNĀT KĀ AR GARĪGIEm(kristīgiem) kamēr dar miesīgus darbus -kožas un ēdas, dēļ kuriem varot viens otru aprīt.

Kamdēļ kāda cilvēka baušļus un mācības paaugstināt virs mīlestības baušļiem?
Aivars
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.14 21:38:03
Pater Henricus
nu bet tur jau nav teikts `nepārgrozītā` , un ja nu `prāta aptumsumā`` ...
bet nu labi.. viens ir preambula, otrs - pārējā satversme pēc būtības un gara
Pieņemu, ka strīdēties var... bet lai teiktu, ka LTA atmestas.. nu tur nu tad arī jeņķu luturiem tad jāsāk svīst un drebēt, kas nu kuram var šķist kā LTA nodevība
Bet Tevi es arī kaut kā nesaprotu. Tu saki `mūsu arhibīskapa`, bet kaut kā tomēr rezervējies no LELB un ordinācijas komisijā papīrus neiesniedz. Beigu beigās, cik tad tie `ELBL garīdznieki`, kas LELB draudzēs kalpot taisās ir?
Juris Saivars
# Labojis Juris Saivars: 2012.08.14 22:04:40
Pater Henricus atsauce uz LTA ir LELB Satversmes Preambulā

nu protams, ka ir … bet vairs tikai atsauce.

Kādreiz LELB Luteriskās Ticības Apliecības „atzina” … vārda „atzīt” jēga baznīcā ir saprotama, vai ne? atzīstu Jēzu Kristu par savu Kungu un Pestītāju – spēsi paskaidrot, ko tas nozīmē? Protams, ka spēsi … jebkurš pie pilna prāta esošs baznīcēns spēs.

Tagad LTA priekš LELB ir „saistoša kopības izpausme, kurā manifestējas …” – tu vari to pārtulkot vienkāršā latviešu valodā? vai vismaz paskaidrot - ko tas varētu nozīmēt?
Juris Saivars
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.14 22:16:44
Aivars Tu saki "mūsu arhibīskapa"

Un pareizi dara … kā reiz pēc LELB Satversme būtības un gara …

LELB Satversme Preambula … saistoša kopības izpausme, kurā manifestējas Latvijas evaņģēliski luteriskās Baznīcas vienprātība …
129. Arhibīskaps var apmeklēt visu diecēžu draudzes ar mērķi paust LELB vienotību.


X manifestē vienprātīgu kopības izpausmi … Y pauž vienotību …
X=Y vai X<Y?
Aivars
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.14 22:36:25
Juris Saivars
ko Tu tur murgo? Kāds sakars taviem citātiem ar ELBL vientuļo vilku?
Juris Saivars
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.14 22:55:15
Aivars
kāds tu neapķērīgs … vai vienkārši jau vecs un samaitāts? Jaunā paaudze daudz ātrāk atrod – kurā vietā maize apsmērēta.

ordinācijas komisija … papīrus jāiesniedz – priekš kam? Taču pietiek, ka atzīst „mūsu arhibīskapa” primātu, lai tiktu tiesībās pielīdzināts … ne šis vilks pirmais, ne pēdējais
Mārtiņš
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.14 22:55:52
Juris Saivars
X manifestē vienprātīgu kopības izpausmi … Y pauž vienotību …
X=Y vai X<Y?


Nē, Y<X
Jo no tā teksta izriet, ka arhibīskaps ir pārstāvis, sūtnis.
Līdzīgi kā enģelis, kas parādās, lai paustu Dieva nodomu.
Juris Saivars
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.14 23:07:11
Mārtiņš

vai vienprātība ir vienāda ar vienotību, jeb vienotība ir lielāka par vienprātību?

cilvēki var būt vienprātīgi - bet paturēt atšķirību citās jomās: gribā, vēlmēs ... bet ja viņi ir vienoti, tad vienoti visā - priekos, bēdās, prātā, īpašumos ... vai ne?
Aivars
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.14 23:19:32
Juris Saivars
Pats Tu samaitāts. Es skaidris kā bāreņa asara ... un gandrīz vientiesīgs
Mārtiņš
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.15 07:47:21
Juris Saivars
Jā, lai gan vienotība arī var būt dažāda, tomēr tā it kā spēcīgāka par vienprātību.
Bet vispār dīvaina ir deklarētā vienotības paušana caur apmeklējumiem. Tiešām nelāgi.
Aivars
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.15 10:21:37
Pater Henricus
Nu katrā ziņā interesanti, ja viens klērs veido veselu baznīcu, kas stājas/nestājas sadraudzībā ar LELB un svešas baznīcas arhibīskapu sauc par savējo. Vienkārši var rasties pārpratums, vai tiešām LELB arhibīskaps nav klusītēm tad kļuvis par ELBL locekli.
Savādāk nesaprotu, kādēļ nepieciešama distancēšanās no LELB citā denominācijā, jo Tu jau tā kā neesi ne Cālīša, ne Sproģa situācijā. Tāda ne līdz galam sadraudzīga tad tā sadraudzība tomēr, ne?
Uldis
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.15 13:05:34
Mārtiņš

viņš satraucās nevis par dialogu, bet par patiesību - kā tad tu tā - nošķir disputu no disputa tēmas? Pēc tevis iznāk tā, ka vīri uzraksta uz tāfeles tēmu, bet runā pavisam par kaut kādām citām lietām. Par laika apstākļiem, piemēram. Un tad tu brīnies, ka tevi nosauc par demagogu. Ja tu kaut ko saki, tad pasaki līdz galam. Ja nezini, tad klusē.
Uldis
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.15 13:09:28
Pater Henricus

Tu kā brīvdomātājs tā īsti turieniešu "vienprātībā" neiekļaujies - mums ir vienprātība mācības jautājumos. Otršķirīgos jautājumos mums viedokļi var atšķirties.
Pater Henricus
# Labojis Pater Henricus : 2012.08.15 14:18:03

Uldis nu nav jums pa īstam vienprātība visos mācības jautājumos, piemēram, Tev ar muduli kaut vai tanī pašā jautājumā par LELB.
Tu kautrējies LELB saukt par nepareizo, bet mudulim šāds uzskats ir tas, par ko viņš stāv un krīt.
Viņam ir ļoti sektantisks uzskats, bet Tu tomēr mērenāks.
Aivars
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.15 15:16:45
Pater Henricus
nu arī pāvests Benedikts, cik esmu ievērojis, Tev ir tikpat kā savējais, un tomēr Tu sevi prezentē kā ELBL
Manā vientiesībā nav skaidrs, kur tas āķis
Juris Saivars
# Iesūtīts: 2012.08.15 16:50:11
Pater Henricus

1) Tev nebūs Tā Kunga, sava Dieva, Vārdu nelietīgi valkāt!
2) vai tu šo bausli atzīsti, jeb viņš tev manifestējas kā saistoša izpausme?
3) likumus tādēļ jau raksta, ka kaut kas vairs nav „pašsaprotams”

pagaidām tu vēl neko neesi pierādījis … tu pat neesi izskaidrojis …
lai tev būtu vieglāk – aizmirsti pagaidām par Variata … koncentrējies uz atzīt vs. manifestējas.
Pater Henricus
# Labojis Pater Henricus : 2012.08.15 17:36:23
Juris Saivars
LELB LTA manifestējas kā saistoša izpausme, iespējams, ir kas vairāk par vnk - atzīt.
Es ticu, ka ELCA bīskapi ( un arī to sekotāji ) atzīst LTA - līdzīgā veidā kā Sodomas vīri gribēja atzīt tā Kunga vēstnešus.

Iekopēju tev Brātena vēstules Hansonam un Chilstromam oriģinālā.

The Reverend Dr. Mark Hanson
Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
8765 West Higgins Road
Chicago, Illinois 60631

Greetings! I am writing out of a concern I share with others about the theological state of affairs within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The situation might be described as one of “brain drain.” Theologians who have served Lutheranism for many years in various capacities have recently left the ELCA and have entered the Roman Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church in America. Why?

When Jaroslav Pelikan left the ELCA and became a member of the OCA, I felt it was not terribly surprising. After all, he had been reading and writing about the Fathers of Eastern Orthodoxy for so many years, he could quite naturally find himself at home in that tradition, without much explanation. A short time before that Robert Wilken, a leading patristics scholar teaching at the University of Virginia, left the ELCA to become a Roman Catholic. Then other Lutheran theological colleagues began to follow suit. Jay Rochelle, who for many years was my colleague and the chaplain at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago joined the Orthodox Church. Why? Leonard Klein, pastor of a large Lutheran parish in York, Pennsylvania, and former editor of Lutheran Forum and Forum Letter, last year left the ELCA to study for the Roman Catholic priesthood. Why? This year Bruce Marshall, who taught theology for about fifteen years at St. Olaf College and was a long-standing member of the International Lutheran-Orthodox Dialogue, has left the ELCA to enter the Roman Catholic Church. Why? David Fagerberg, formerly professor of religion at Concordia College, although coming from a strong Norwegian Lutheran family, left the ELCA for the Roman Catholic Church, and now teaches at the University of Notre Dame. Reinhard Huetter, a German Lutheran from Erlangen University, came to the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago fifteen years ago to teach theology and ethics, now teaches at Duke Divinity School, and this year became a Roman Catholic. Why? Mickey Mattox, a theologian who recently served at the Lutheran Ecumenical Institute in Strasbourg and now teaches at Marquette University, has recently begun the process of becoming a Roman Catholic. In all these cases the transition involves spouses and children, making it incredibly more difficult. Why are they doing this? Is there a message in these decisions for those who have ears to hear?

All of these colleagues have given candid explanations of their decisions to their families, colleagues, and friends. While the individuals involved have provided a variety of reasons, there is one thread that runs throughout the stories they tell. It is not merely the pull of Orthodoxy or Catholicism that enchants them, but also the push from the ELCA, as they witness with alarm the drift of their church into the morass of what some have called Liberal Protestantism. They are convinced that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has become just another liberal protestant denomination. Hence, they have decided that they can no longer be a part of that. Especially, they say, they are not willing to raise their children in a church that they believe has lost its moorings in the great tradition of evangelical (small e) and catholic (small c) orthodoxy (small o), which was at the heart of Luther’s reformatory teaching and the Lutheran Confessional Writings. They are saying that the Roman Catholic Church is now more hospitable to confessional Lutheran teaching than the church in which they were baptized and confirmed. Can this possibly be true?

I have decided, without any doubt about it, that I could not re-invent myself to become something else than I was raised to be by my Madagascar missionary parents – an heir of the Lutheran confessing movement. Through theological study and ecumenical engagement I thought I had learned something about what it means to be Lutheran. I have written many books and articles, preached and published many sermons – leaving a long paper trail – over a period of five decades, explaining what it means to be Lutheran. There is nothing in all of those communications that accommodates liberal protestantism, which Karl Barth called a “heresy,” an assessment with which I fully agree. If it is true that the ELCA has become just another liberal protestant denomination, that is a condition tantamount to heresy. The most damning thing in my view that can be charged against the ELCA is that it is just another liberal protestant denomination. Are all these theologians wrong in their assessment of the ELCA? I wish I could deny it. I have been looking for some convincing evidence to the contrary, because I am not about to cut and run. There is no place I know of where to go. I do know, however, that the kind of Lutheranism that I learned – from Nygren, Aulen, Bring, Pinomaa, Schlink, P. Brunner, Bonhoeffer, Pannenberg, Piepkorn, Quanbeck, Preus, and Lindbeck, not to mention the pious missionary teachers from whom I learned the Bible, the Catechism, and the Christian faith – and taught in a Lutheran parish and seminary for many years is now marginalized to the point of near extinction. In looking for evidence that could convincingly contradict the charge that the ELCA has become just another liberal protestant denomination, it would seem reasonable to examine what is produced by its publishing house, theological schools, magazines, publications, church council resolutions, commission statements, task force recommendations, statements and actions by its bishops. The end result is an embarrassment; there is not much there to refute the charge. As Erik Petersen said about 19h century German Protestantism, all that is left of the Reformation heritage is the aroma from an empty bottle. A lot of the pious piffle remains, but then, so was Adolf von Harnack a pious man. All the heretics of the ancient church were pious men. Our pastors and laity are being deceived by a lot of pietistic aroma, but the bottle is empty. Just ask these fine theologians – all friends and colleagues of mine – who have left the ELCA. They are not stupid people; they don’t tell lies; they don’t make rash decisions. They are all serious Christians. What is happening is nothing less than a tragedy. The ELCA is driving out the best and the brightest theologians of our day, not because it is too Lutheran, but because it has become putatively just another liberal protestant denomination. I would think that this is a situation that ought to concern you immensely as well as all the leadership cadres of the ELCA. But might it also be the case that the very persons who ought to be troubled by this phenomenon will say to themselves (perhaps not out loud), “good riddance, we won’t be bothered by those dissenting voices anymore? We wish more of their ilk would leave.”

I must tell you that I read all your episcopal letters that come across my desk. But I must also tell you that your stated convictions, punctuated by many pious sentiments, are not significantly distinguishable from those that come from the liberal protestant leaders of other American denominations. I do not disagree with your political leaning to the left. I am a life-long political liberal, unlike many of my friends. My wife and I opposed the unjust war against Vietnam in the 60’s and 70’s, and we have with equal conviction opposed the foolhardy invasion of Iraq by the Bush administration. We also supported the ELCA in its ecumenical actions to re-institute the episcopal office by means of passing the CCM as well as to adopt the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification with the Vatican. But none of that equates with transforming Lutheranism into a liberal protestant denomination, in terms of doctrine, worship, and morality.

When I finished my graduate studies at Harvard and Heidelberg, I was ordained by the ELC and served a parish in North Minneapolis, simultaneously teaching at Luther Seminary. At that time I was instrumental in founding Dialog, a journal of theology, together with Robert Jenson, Roy Harrisville, Kent Knutson, James Burtness, and others, in order to draw midwest Lutheranism into the world-wide orbit of Lutheran theology. We were not ecumenically oriented at the start. At that time no Luther Seminary professors were dealing with the issues posed by Bultmann, Tillich, Bonhoeffer, Barth, Brunner, Aulen, Nygren and many others. Dialog got the reputation of being a journal edited by young upstarts who thought they knew better. It seemed to us then that most of our professors were not very well informed. But they were good Lutherans, not a single heretic among them. Heresy was not the problem at that time. The journal that our group founded in 1961 has now become the voice of a liberal protestant version of Lutheranism. Robert Jenson and I resigned from the journal as its editors in1991 to found a new journal, Pro Ecclesia, a Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theology. In the last fourteen years we have published the articles of theologians of all traditions – Lutheran, Anglican, Catholic, Evangelical, and Orthodox – exhibiting the truth that we all share common ground in the Great Tradition. The same cannot be said of Dialog anymore. It has become a function of the California ethos of religion and morality, nothing seriously Lutheran about it anymore, except the aroma of an empty bottle. Too bad. I was its editor for twenty years and Jenson for ten years, but now in our judgment it has become, perhaps even unwittingly, the very opposite of what we intended. The journal now expresses its belief that to be prophetic is to become the mouthpiece of the denominational bureaucracy, that is, to attack the few dissenting voices in the ELCA.

One day a church historian will write the history of Lutheranism in America. There will be a few paragraphs trying to explain how the self-destruction of confessional orthodox Lutheranism came about around the turn of the millennium and how it underwent a metamorphosis into a liberal protestant denomination. Recently in an issue of the Lutheran Magazine you expressed your hope that Lutherans could some day soon celebrate Holy Communion with Roman Catholics. My instant reaction was: it is becoming less and less likely, as the ELCA is being taken hostage by forces alien to the solid traditions Lutherans share with Roman Catholics. The confessional chasm is actually becoming wider. So much for the JDDJ! The agreement becomes meaningless when Lutheranism embarks on a trajectory that leads to rank antinomianism.

Where do we go from here? I am going nowhere. Meanwhile, I am hearing rumors about a possible schism or something about the formation of a dissenting synod. None of that will redound to the benefit of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church we confess in the Creed. Each person and congregation will do what they deem fitting and appropriate in view of the apostasy that looms on the horizon of our beloved Lutheran Church. My friend Wolfhart Pannenberg has stated that a church that cannot take the Scriptures seriously is no longer a church that belongs to Jesus Christ. That is not an original statement of his or mine, but one said by every orthodox theologian in the Great Tradition, including Athanasius and Augustine, as well as Martin Luther and John Calvin. Does the ELCA take the Scriptures seriously? We will soon find out. Whoever passes the issue off as simply a hermeneutical squabble is not being honest – “we have our interpretation and you have yours.” Who is to judge who is right? The upshot is ecclesiastical anarchy, sometimes called pluralism. To each his own. Chacun son gout!

I am extremely sorry it has come to this doctrinally unstable situation in the church I was ordained to serve almost half a century ago. My father and two of his brothers served this church in Madagascar and China. My brother and sister served this church in the Camaroons and Madagascar. My cousins have served this church as ordained ministers in this country and abroad for decades. Knowing them as well as I do, I am confident in stating their belief that this church in some of its expressions is not remaining truly faithful to the kind of promises they made upon their ordination to the Christian ministry.

Can the situation which I have described in stark terms be remedied? Have we reached the point of no return? Are we now hopelessly mired in what Karl Barth identified as “Kulturprotestantismus?” I know of about half a dozen Lutheran renewal groups desperately trying to call the ELCA back to its foundational texts and traditions. Would they exist if there were no problem that needs to be addressed? How many congregation and pastors have left or are leaving the ELCA for other associations?

One day we will have to answer before the judgment seat of God as to what we have done for and against the Church of Jesus Christ. There will be no one by our side to help us find the words to use in response. All of us will have many things for which to repent and to implore God’s forgiveness. And we will all cry out, “Lord, have mercy!”

Sincerely in Christ our Lord,
Carl E. Braaten

August 1, 2009

Dear Bishop Chilstrom,

Your Open Letter response (dated July 21, 2009) to the Lutheran CORE Open Letter on the ELCA Social Statement and Ministry Recommendations was forwarded to me. You invite a response to it, stating that you are “open to seeing things from a perspective that may not have occurred to me.” I feel I must accept your invitation, because it is I who was asked by LutheranCORE to assemble a small group of the ELCA’s brightest and best theologians to write a critique of the documents that will be debated and voted on at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August, 2009, in Minneapolis. Moreover, all of your criticisms of the CORE Letter are at the same time objections to doctrinal positions I have taught as a Lutheran theologian for over half a century. Your perspective and my perspective are so far apart that I am not sure it will be possible to reach any degree of mutual understanding. An outside critic reading what you wrote and what I am writing in this Open Letter might have a hard time believing that we belong to same church and affirm the same teachings of the Christian faith.

However, I think I do partly understand where you are coming from. Like you I was raised in the context of Lutheran pietism. There was not that much difference between Norwegian and Swedish Lutheran pietism. Both branches of American Lutheran pietism supported the LBI movement, to which you made a significant contribution. I never went to the LBI, but I was reared on something similar, namely, the biblical pietism of Norwegian Lutheran missionaries in Madagascar, many of whom attended the LBI. We not only read the Bible every day, but memorized lengthy passages and earned nice little gold stars for reciting them. I got enough of them to fill the firmament. I write about my bringing up in Madagascar in my soon to be published memoirs, entitled Proper Christum—Memoirs of a Lutheran Theologian (Eerdmans). I mention this because, although our backgrounds in Scandinavian pietism are similar, we each took a different turn along the way on our respective theological journeys. I went to Luther Seminary and you attended Augustana Seminary, both of which were not well equipped to point us well beyond the awakening theology of late nineteenth century pietism. As I looked down the road I realized that I would eventually need to make a decision at a crossroads, where one choice leads to the left and the other to the right. By left and right I do not have in mind what these words convey in the current American political lexicon. Most people would regard me on the “left” in that context. Turning left, theologically speaking, means to affirm the theology and methodology of liberal Protestantism; turning right means to reclaim the Great Tradition of historic Christianity prior to the Reformation, including the ancient Church Fathers and Medieval Doctors of the Church. I observed that many of my generation who came out of pietism veered toward liberal protestantism. What they held in common was a religious orientation defined by feelings and personal experiences. Subjectivity decides what is true. The ELCA Social Statement talks about the “bound conscience” as determinative on ethical questions—pure subjectivism. A few of my generation, some classmates, made the longer journey into a study of the ancient traditions which shaped the development of catholic orthodoxy, which I believe our Lutheran Confessors affirmed in a positive way. Pietist theologians were not much interested in the Church Fathers, or the Lutheran Confessions for that matter. They did have the Small Catechism, but that was about all.

Your Open Letter refers to the theological method you use in judging matters theological and ecclesial. They are “reason” and “experience”—your words. They trump Scripture and Tradition. Scripture and Tradition must pass the test of your reason and experience, not the other way around. Such a priority is the essence of liberal protestant theology as I have encountered it. Karl Barth identified liberal Protestantism as a heresy. I believe he was right about that.

In my judgment most of the theologians and bishops of the ELCA today are deeply embedded in the thought patterns of liberal Protestantism, even while pretending that using a few Lutheran slogans offers any immunity from such a fate. You have probably noticed that more than a hundred of so-called teaching theologians of the ELCA have signed a statement that agrees substantially with your views. I would not draw much comfort from that. (I do not see anything in your letter to differentiate your thinking or that of the teaching theologians from any of a dozen liberal Protestants I could cite who speak or write on the same topics.) Yes, reason and experience are in command. Whose reason and experience? Not the Church’s, as defined by millennia of teaching by the fathers, martyrs, saints, doctors, evangelists, and missionaries, down through the centuries and across all cultures, but yours and those with whom you agree during the last 20 years of American culture-conforming Christianity. I do not believe you can quote a single major Lutheran theologian who agrees with your views prior to the birth of the ELCA twenty years ago. Meanwhile, many in the ELCA rejoice that finally Lutheranism is making it on the big stage of American religion, like the other mainline Protestant denominations.

You quote a few statements I wrote in Christian Dogmatics about the biblical canon and the “canon within the canon.” “The ultimate authority of Christian dogmatics is not the biblical canon as such, but the gospel of Jesus Christ to which the Scriptures bear witness—the ‘canon within the canon.’” “Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Scriptures, the source and scope of its authority.” I was trying to express a Lutheran understanding of Scripture, in contrast to the biblical literalism of Protestant fundamentalism. But in no way does it lead to the view of the Bible in liberal Protestantism. You seem puzzled by the reference in the CORE Letter to the “Word of God.” What does it mean? You are right that the Word of God can mean one of three things, the incarnate Word, the written Word, or the proclaimed Word. In this case, the context makes clear that it means the written Word of God, the Bible. I do not believe that the other two meanings of the Word of God diminish by a single iota the authority of the written Word of God.

My understanding of Scripture as Word of God is very different from Gerhard Ebeling’s, whom you quote. Ebeling was not a confessional Lutheran. His role in the controversy surrounding Bultmann’s demythologizing proposal made clear his opposition to the confessional Lutherans, such as Edmund Schlink, Peter Brunner, Ernst Kinder, Wolfhart Pannenberg, and many others. None of them could agree with Ebeling that “the Word of God is solely that which proclaims and communicates the will of God as revealed in the crucified Christ.” Like so many German theologians from Schleiermacher to von Harnack to Bultmann, Ebeling devaluated the Old Testament as coequal with the New Testament in revealing the Word of God through the Bible as a whole. Luther would not do that. He was a Professor of the Old Testament and believed that it communicates the Word of God. For Luther the Ten Commandments were the Word of God. The Law was the Word of God, not only the Gospel. To reduce everything in the Bible to the “crucified Christ” is an example of that “gospel reductionism” that is plaguing the ELCA and many of its theologians. The word for such an error is “antinomianism,” condemned as such in the Formula of Concord.
No doubt you remember very well the two “Call to Faithfulness” conferences held at St. Olaf College in 1990 and 1992, the latter at which you spoke. Three Lutheran journals sponsored the conferences, Dialog, Lutheran Quarterly, and Lutheran Forum. Already alarms were going off that the ELCA was moving in the direction of liberal Protestantism on many fronts. One thousand people attended the first conference and eight hundred the second, so we were not alone in detecting early signs of trouble in the ELCA. Although the theologians addressing the two conferences held different views amongst themselves on ecclesiology and ecumenism, almost all agreed that the commitment of the ELCA to teach according to the Lutheran Confessions was becoming nominal at best. Even the name of the Holy Trinity was up for grabs in some circles.

During those two conferences I do not recall that one word was spoken about sexuality or homosexuality. The controversy over sexuality arose later. In the last ten years it has become the all-consuming issue in the ELCA, arising not from the people at the grassroots but driven by the leadership at many levels. It should be clear that the theologians who signed the CORE Letter (around 60 of them) hold the same views concerning the slide of the ELCA toward liberal Protestantism as those journal theologians who issued the “call to faithfulness” in 1990 and 1992.

That call went unheeded. It is clear that what ails the ELCA, in our view, is not all about sexuality. It is about the underlying pervasive theological condition that gave rise to the possibility that a Lutheran denomination could devote more than a decade’s worth of its time, money, and energy to an issue that has always been deemed beyond consideration by all orthodox (small “o”) churches from the first century until now. Only a few North American liberal Protestant denominations made the issue of sexuality their cause célèbre, starting approximately one generation ago. This is only further convincing evidence that the ELCA has bought into the kind of theological methodology (reasoning) that has always characterized liberal Protestantism. You make clear what that is. Of the four principles of a sound theological method—Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience—you assign to reason and experience the place of pre-eminence. Luther called “reason” the ***** of Babylon. And in the name of “experience” every crime and heresy known to humankind have been committed. So we have to ask, “whose “reason” and whose “experience” should we trust? Not mine, all by myself. Not the “reason” and “experience” of late-North American Christians who have been marinated in the culture of what Pope John XXIII called a “culture of death and decadence.” The Germans have a word for the kind of ecclesial phenomenon that results from elevating “reason and experience” at the expense of “Scripture and Tradition”—“Kulturprotestantismus.”

I was rather stunned by the anti-Catholic sentiments you express in your Open Letter, which I can only guess must arise from deep-seated Protestant prejudice. When the ELCA is falling off a cliff into heterodoxies and heresies of its own, it seems rather disingenuous to worry about some positions and practices that Lutherans have traditionally found objectionable in Roman Catholicism. If this is not the pot calling the kettle black, what is? Maybe it is more a case of seeing the speck in the other’s eye while ignoring the log in one’s own. Astonishingly, you utter not a word of criticism of anything going on in the ELCA, except against those who are faithful to the long-standing tradition of Lutheran ethics on homosexual practices. Helmut Thielicke, a Lutheran theologian, spelled this out in his book, The Ethics of Sex, which I still regard as better than anything any other Lutheran has ever written on the subject. If one does not agree with him, one should produce better arguments than appealing to “reason” and “experience,” as though those are the only warrants available for the approval of the ordination of women. When I approved the ordination of women, which I did early on, I did not do so on the basis of my “reason” and “experience.” There are better biblical and theological arguments.

You seem to agree with the liberal Protestants who are calling for “a new reformation.” Historical providence gave us one event called “the Reformation,” but judging from what is happening to Lutheranism in the Scandinavian countries and North America, it is not turning out so well. The “new reformation” of Serene Jones, Cornel West, and Gary Dorien (I witnessed Bill Moyer’s program too) is nothing but a repristination of the old “social gospel movement” that withered under the criticism of the neo-orthodox theologians (Karl Barth, Reinhold Niebuhr, and others). H. Richard Niebuhr summed up the preaching of the liberal Protestants quite well: “A God without wrath brought people without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministry of a Christ without the cross.” That is still the God of liberal Protestantism, some of whose brightest and most eloquent spokespersons happen to be the very professors of Union Theological Seminary that you cite. It was their collective thinking that you find so “riveting.” If you have read their writings, as I have, you will have a clearer idea of what they mean by a “new reformation,” rather than learning of it merely from a program edited for TV. Their idea of the “offense of the gospel” is not what the apostle Paul had in mind. Nor do they mean the same thing as the New Testament as a whole when they talk about “the crucifixion and resurrection.” For them these words are metaphors that refer to the kind of social praxis they are calling for in our historical period rather than to the salvific occurrence of what God has already accomplished through the once-for-all death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. It has always been the tactic of liberal Protestant theology to co-opt the language of the Bible and the Christian tradition and pour utterly different meanings into them.

I have not responded to all the points of criticism you raise in your Open Letter. I am sorry that you deem it important to pray for the passage of a Social Statement that is a theological embarrassment to anyone or any church that claims to be faithful to the Lutheran Confessions. Why not face the truth: the members of the Task Force who drafted the statements now before the church lacked the theological competence for the assignment. God may well answer your prayer, however, by sending the ELCA into another Babylon, into exile from all that Jesus prayed for in his High Priestly Prayer in John 17.

In 2005 I wrote an Open Letter to Bishop Mark Hanson, which contained many of the things I have written in this letter to you as the former presiding bishop of the ELCA. Nothing in the ELCA has changed for the better in the meantime. That is why I have felt compelled to write this letter. My fondest hope would be that I have completely misunderstood your position on theology and ethics, but to me it seems to resemble the theological errors of liberal Protestantism that I believe are inimical to the truth and mission of Christ’s gospel in our time.

Sincerely,

Carl E. Braaten
<< 1 ... 27 . 28 . 29 . 30 . 31 . 32 . 33 . 34 . 35 . 36 . 37 ... 49 . 50 . >>

:: Pievienot komentāru

Autors: 
  • Lai iekopētu autora vārdu,nospied uz tā.
  • Reģistrēti lietotāji var rediģēt tekstus vēlāk.
Bold FontItalics fontUnderlineStrike OutSubscriptSuperscriptFont colorTeletypeHorizontal LineE-mail linkhyperlinkListsimies
Atlikušas 1000 zīmes

 Lapas redaktors:redaktors@lelb.lv; Copyright © 2006 LELB, created by MB Studija
Šajā stundā bijuši 91 , pavisam kopa bijuši: 33492