Rob said... Selective communion is a controversial theological dogma related to the ELS split of last year. Our
Rob you will have to explain this a bit more for me to understand. Are you saying that this comment by a
John, I see broad brush condemnation of all church growth ideas going on here… LM, we should study specific examples of alleged church growth and test their doctrinal purity.
You state that I am painting broad generalizations and later say we need to study specific examples. I was asked to give specific
I will take the time this weekend to read Prof. Brenner’s essay. Thank you for the link. I don’t claim to have the answers just a perspective from the pew.
Since no one has spoken about the teenage girl preaching the children’s sermon, I looked on the Q&A section at wels.net. Here is what I found.
Q:I am wondering how the
A:It cannot be said that
There is, of course, no reason that a woman cannot teach children or that adults cannot witness a woman teaching children, but a sermon is not the place to do it. If there is going to be a children's sermon in the service, its purpose is to be a part of the service conducted by the pastor. We do not have other people besides the pastor preach sermons in the service under normal circumstances.
The purpose of a children's sermon, if there is one, is to connect the children more directly and more pointedly to the preaching of the pastor. It is not wise for a pastor to transfer this opportunity for him to connect his preaching to the children to someone else. (We do not necessarily recommend a separate children's sermon within the regular service as the best way for the pastor to build such rapport with the children).
The synodical administration evidently had no information that this is happening. From my understanding of the answer guy’s thoughts, he seems to skirt the issue. He does say it should be the place of the pastor to do this not a girl. Any thoughts?
A comment was made about my aversion to the electric guitar in the divine service. I also found some interesting comments by Craig Parton on wels.net.
Coming Home: An Interview with Craig Parton
by John A. Braun – Lutheran Leader (1999)
LL: What did you notice in the Lutheran church?
Craig: I'll tell you what struck us initially. What hit us very powerfully was that the first thing you did was confess your sins. That was just an utterly riveting thing. To hear the spoken absolution just undid us! Completely undid us! We thought, "This church has got the center of the faith down correctly." Before we get going along our way in the service, we're going to talk about who we are as miserable sinners and our separation from God and we're going to talk about what Christ has done for us. It was -- and still is -- exceedingly powerful to us to see this in Lutheran worship. We saw the cross and the clear doctrine of justification as the center of what Lutheranism is about. It was just like we had come to Christianity for the first time. Please understand it's not as if we had never worshiped before and had been only in idol worship for the last 15 to 20 years, but I have to say we came to Lutheranism, it was coming home. It was truly coming home to the gospel.
We found a church where the gospel really worked itself out in the service. The Lutheran church is rock solid in the pulpit too. We were like a desert where you pour water on us. We were like parched people who just drank up everything we could find on Lutheran liturgy, Lutheran theology, and the confessions. It was as if we just found this enormous gold mine. The deeper you dig, the more you find.
LL: What else did you find?
Craig: The Lutheran church is built on three important books: The Scriptures, the hymnal, and the catechism. They are simply remarkable. The Lutheran Confessions are so important too. So often I give away copies of the Augsburg Confession to Evangelicals. That short statement of faith absolutely blows away many Evangelicals. I think the future of the
LL: An article in Christianity Today suggested that the organ is being overtaken by the guitar or the drums in contemporary worship. Maybe you have a comment.
Craig: Yes, I think that this is true. The organ has been lost in Evangelicalism because it's a hindrance to the idea that God is your buddy. Evangelical worship is all about familiarity; it's all about God being the best friend you've ever had. And the organ brings separation. There's no question. The organ brings a theology of strength; there's transcendence. The organ fits a strong theology that has both law and Gospel there. This is Isaiah's vision of God. The organ fits Lutheran theology and Lutheran hymnody like hand and glove. It doesn't fit the Evangelical service. I don't think we should be embarrassed by that; I think we should actually accent that. A church with an organ is intriguing to these people because of the limitations of the guitar.
I think that Mr. Parton states it best that we as Lutherans should stand apart because we have something substantial to offer. We preach Christ crucified. If we practice the methods of Methodists, I believe it will erode away the doctrine. Now I was asked to give examples and I did. What does one do with examples. I believe conclusions can be drawn.