GJ - I should write about Catholic dogma more, because the Lutheran clergy most disgusted with Church Growth are the ones joining the Roman Catholic Church as priests. Some join Eastern Orthodoxy and repudiate Lutheran doctrine.
People who enjoy reading church history should read this gem about the Oxford Movement and Cardinal Manning - from Eminent Victorians. The Oxford Movement captivated the Church of England clergy, and many became priests - John Cardinal Newman being the best known today. He wrote "Lead Kindly Light," a hymn so vague that all religions can sing it without qualms.
Missouri has its own Oxford Movement, and ELCA shares in some of glory of sending Lutheran clergy into Roman servitude. Mrs. Ichabod and I heard Richard John Neuhaus (LCMS, then AELC, then LCA, then ELCA) trash Church Growth at the Ad Fontes conference in Pennsylvania, just before he joined the Church of Rome as a priest. Another editor of the Lutheran Forum, whom we met at Ad Fontes, joined him a bit later.
I also know several Lutheran laity who simply hated Church Growth or UOJ and joined Rome.
The strangest thing is the fascination with Marian devotion taking these men away from the historic Christian faith.
As I tried to explain to an Intrepid, many so-called Lutherans do not know how to think about Christian doctrine in Lutheran terms. The Intrepids (sic) are some of the worst offenders, because those clergy betray their ignorance every time they write.
One Lutheran layman phoned me and asked, "Why do the laity on that blog get it and the clergy do not?" My theory is that seminary lacks any intellectual rigor and serves only to beat synodical traditions into their soft skulls.
KJV Mark 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
I asked Robert Preus and Slick Brenner the same question, "Almost all your clergy come from your school system. Why do they hate Lutheran doctrine so much?"
Enthusiasm and synod traditions have been taught at the expense of Biblical training and the Book of Concord. A true-blue graduate of The Sausage Factory or the Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie will make sure he never offends the unwritten rules of his sect, but has no problem offending sound doctrine at every turn.
Missouri seminary graduates turn from the Enthusiasm of Fuller, Willow Creek, and Groeschel to the Enthusiasm of Marian worship, papal infallibility, and the mini-Hell for the semi-saved...Purgatory.
In the ELS and WELS, the graduates have this comfort - their Enthusiasm and fidelity to Fuller will take them to the top. Rev. Steve Witte became the Asian Poobah for WELS, by virtue of founding Church and Change and earning a drive-by DMin from Gordon Conwell Divinity School and Live Bait Shoppe.
Another DMin scam victim, Lawrence Otto Olson, was given the WELS call to be the Friendly Visitor to India. He is also a regular at Church and Change.
The message from the reform administration of SP Mark Schroeder is clear - promotions come to those who teach Enthusiasm with enthusiasm. Ask Paul Calvin Kelm, Stroh, and Bruce Becker. The First VP of WELS is a Fuller alumnus, extending the odious influence of that fraud factory at every opportunity. But if I walked through the doors of The Guilt Factory (formerly The Love Shack), I would be water-boarded and strip-searched before being ushered into the janitor's closet and hearing the bolts lock on the door.