Tuesday, October 28, 2008


A commenter, a self-identified journalist, posted about journalism. I believe his intention is to shut down this blog. Yet he doesn't share his own writing or his own blog.

The blogger format has opened a whole new journalistic perspective. This journalist is looking for facts and proof. Who - what - where - when - how - and why. Yet this journalist didn't tell me who he was.

Yes the readers of this blog need to read with discernment. More importantly, the WELS laity need to apply critical discernment to the wisdom of novelties that are introduced into their church. The journalist begs for us to use discernment according to God's command. Yet this same journalist will scream adiaphora at me when I use God commands.

I would ask this journalist to continue to read FIC for a somewhat filtered view of what is happening in the synod. However, many are interested in what is happening to our churches. Why are we losing our Lutheran identity? Mr. journalist reveal your identity. No, more importantly, help me to reveal the identity of our WELS churches.

Are we ashamed of our Lutheran identity? I fear so. (opinion) New mission churches are not identifying themselves as being Lutheran (fact). We are not proud of our sacraments (opinion). The Lord's supper is hidden from the visitors (fact). Our Lutheran heritage is not being studied by many WELS pastors (opinion). A group of WELS pastors venture off to see Ed Stetzer (fact). More WELS pastors want to hear what Stetzer has to say (opinion). Church and Change has invited Ed Stetzer to be the keynote speaker at the '09 conference (fact).

Mr. Journalist I hope that you can see the facts and opinions clearly presented. Drop me your email and I will fill you in more clearly on the details.


Norman Teigen said...

Keep going with this blog. Anonymous bloggers are not worthy of giving advice. Of course all readers will use their judgment when reading any blog. I will ask around at Bethany today to see if any of the attendees are reading your blog. There will be WELS and ELS seminarians in abundance at the 4:30 Reformation Lectures Vespers.

anonymous 1138 said...

I heartily recommend Craig Parton's writing: Defense Never Rests. The idea of a bologna meter works really well.
Confusing a Lutheran environment for a reasonable place to infuse shallow evangelicalism is to fill it with bologna. Anybody who's tired of evangelicalism can sniff out that bologna in a matter of seconds. Wolves in Sheep's clothing? They still smell like bologna.
Yes. I am most unworthy to be using an anonymous pseudonym here but the stench of reality is that my real name is active in plenty of real fights. And any real focuses on cross and vocation may suffer if the real name is not used sparingly.
anonymous 1138--the 1138 is after one who has suffered oppression at the hands of not very pastoral pseudo-lutherans within the Church.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous bloggers are not worthy of giving advice."

Does this also apply to "John" himself?

I support most of what John says, but it's still kinda funny that anonymous commenters are lambasted for their anonymity, yet John is given a free pass for his.

Norman Teigen said...

Well, I think that there is a matter of integrity here. Of course any blogger knows that he is putting his own opinions out for people to read and of course he knows that people will disagree with him and make such comments as they find appropriate.

I find that the Anonymous bloggers seem to feel so emboldened in their anonymity that they sometimes make foolish comments for which they can escape journalistic rebuke.

As a blogger I rarely honor an Anonymous comment although I reserve the right to do so.

The internet is a new avenue of discourse but didn't anybody study the ethics of communication in freshman English? Don't ethical principles apply?

Some people are so convinced that they have a corner on the truth that they express themselves strongly in their opinions. An opinion is no good, in my mind, if the person is unwilling to identify himself.

Does being a WELS gal/guy mean that one does not dare to openly express opinions on the net? Is free speech on the internet threatened by ecclesiastical discipline?

What kind of a goofy situation is that?

By the way, the Ref Lec Vespers at Bethany is on Thursday. I was mistaken. [Good thing I didn't go.]

Anonymous said...

"my real name is active in plenty of real fights."

You're so brave, and humble too.

Anonymous said...

"I find that the Anonymous bloggers seem to feel so emboldened in their anonymity that they sometimes make foolish comments for which they can escape journalistic rebuke."

And yet I still must ask, "Does this only apply to commenters here, or does it also apply to John himself, who is also an anonymous blogger?"

John said...

Again I say, drop your email address and I will contact you with full details.

Anonymous said...

"I heartily recommend Craig Parton's writing: Defense Never Rests."

But he's not WELS.

Anonymous said...

Not WELS? Then we better not read it. Only WELS can write things about Lutheranism. Thanks for the heads-up.

Anonymous said...

Craig Parton isn't WELS? He was a few years ago. Has something changed?

Freddy said...

"I heartily recommend Craig Parton's writing: Defense Never Rests."

I'll second that recommendation. I've read it, twice. The section describing his transformation from vacuous Evangelical theology and practice to robust Confessional Lutheranism resonated quite deeply with me. Our own transformation was quite a moving experience for me and my wife.

In my opinion, Parton handles Lutheranism quite competently, although, in the section covering Apologetics (which follows Montgomery quite closely), I don't think his commentary regarding Fideism v. Presuppositionalism, and the role of evidence, is entirely satisfactory. Reading with "cow eyes," I think that his commentary here can be received beneficially; but if I should meet him one day and have the opportunity, I would like to have a short, calm discussion with him regarding what his words actually say (or don't say), to clear up my own misunderstanding -- that is, if I misunderstand him...

Regardless, again, I second the recommendation, particularly as it relates to the issues that are being covered on this blog.

Freddy Finkelstein

Anonymous said...

"Not WELS? Then we better not read it. Only WELS can write things about Lutheranism. Thanks for the heads-up."

You're welcome, but actually WELS doesn't write too well about Lutheranism. Parton does.

Anonymous said...

I wrote the "Not WELS?" comment and neglected to post my name. My prominent sarcasm doesn't work well for people who don't know me ... nor for people who do, often times. I read it all and confess a preference for CPH over NW, but that's a personal preference I suppose.

I've read Parton's book as well and was delighted by it given I was transitioning from American Evangelicalism at the time. So a third recommendation as it were.


Anonymous said...

"Craig Parton isn't WELS? He was a few years ago. Has something changed?"

The WELS pastor there wasn't Lutheran.

Anonymous said...

The WELS pastor WHERE wasn't Lutheran?!? What are you talking about?!?

Craig Parton is WELS, and he is a brilliant defender of confessionalism and the liturgy.

Anonymous 1138 said...

>"my real name is active in plenty
>of real fights."
>You're so brave, and humble too.
Yes. But how do you know that I haven't already written about my real self and vice-versa?
And with regards to Freshmen English ethics, if C.S.Lewis used pseudonyms, do we discount all of his work? Of course, he was never WELS. And it is quite possible that he never even consciously interacted with anything WELS.
Anonymous blogging by the way, is not so anonymous. If you try hard enough, anyone can be identified.
IMO, it is only unethical if someone posts unethically. It does not matter if it is done anonymously.
Does anybody want to venture as to why Pastor (aka Father) John Berg in Fremont, CA was kicked out of WELS a couple years ago? Would he have been kicked out, if he spoke anonymously? Would he serve the causes of WELS better if he remained within its ranks? Should he have remained anonymous? He and his congregation are now in the LCMS, but as a most welcome ally now in a related fight. Pension and family may be worthy of loss for a real fight, but a petty one? No.

Anonymous 1138 said...

Oh yah.
With regards to real fights, my real name is being nominated for certain Synod/District positions within the LCMS. Shall I disclose my real name now and sabotage my chances of doing some real good? I don't think so. I believe that there are good reasons to remain anonymous at times. Honestly, I don't like doing this, and welcome this debate as to the usefulness and ethics of it. Thank you. I am in a district, with no shortage of hostility towards confessionals. I may be discounted anyway because I am a member of a rare confessional congregation here. (But last time, I got very close, losing in a series of tie votes. Why that is a loss is disturbing, but that's where we are.) I was formerly a refugee from the ALC merger into the ELCA. I was moments away from joining WELS before I joined LCMS instead. WELS' politics seemed a bit too familiar and similar to the ALC's. It was too centralized. If the center goes down, it all goes down. LCMS has a better chance of getting a useful split to happen in times like now. Confessional WELS may find that a good idea!

Anonymous said...

"Would [Fr. Berg] serve the causes of WELS better if he remained within its ranks?"

He wasn't WELS, read the Motley Magpie.