The Glory Has Departed

Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central Daylight Time.
Wednesdays Romans 1-5 in Greek

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

which works as too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
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Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

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I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Friday, May 31, 2013

Ordained Two Years Ago, Erwin Was Just Elected
Bishop of the Southwest California ELCA Synod.

Guy Erwin holds an endowed chair in Confessional Lutheran theology
at California Lutheran University.
Harvard BA. Yale PhD in church history.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's downward spiral of apostasy took a huge leap when the Southwest California Synod ELCA elected the first ever homosexual bishop of the denomination. “The Rev. Dr. Guy Erwin has been elected as bishop of the Southwest California Synod ELCA” announced a facebook post by the synod. (See synod facebook page here

Rev. Dr. Guy Erwin's faculty profile at California Lutheran University where he teaches says this, "Dr. Erwin is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; he and his partner Rob Flynn are members of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in North Hollywood, CA...” (see here)

Rev. Dr. Guy Erwin was ordained as a pastor in the ELCA two years ago. A press release by Lutherans Concerned/North America at the time stated “R. Guy Erwin, a teaching theologian at California Lutheran University (CLU), was ordained in the Samuelson Chapel of that institution at 10:00 a.m. on May 11, 2011.  He is both gay and in a committed same-gender relationship.  His ordination, the fulfillment of a lifetime desire, is made possible by the change in policy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that followed the decision of the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly to allow ministers in committed, same-gender relationships to serve in the church.” (see here

This is a game changer friends. The approval of homosexuality has always been open defiance of God by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America but now this action announces it to the world and defines what the denomination is about and what they believe.

Huffington Post

Rev. Dr. Guy Erwin was elected Bishop of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Church in America (ELCA) on May 31st, 3013 during the synod's assembly in Woodland Hills, California. He is the first openly gay clergy person elected to serve as one of the 65 synodical bishops in the denomination
"The election of Pastor Erwin to the office of bishop occurred because he was the best candidate, not because he was a partnered gay man," said Emily Eastwood executive director of ReconcilingWork in a press release.
Rev. Erwin commented on his election to GLAAD: "I know that many will see my election as a significant milestone for both LGBT people and Native Americans, and I pray that I can be a positive representation for both communities," said Erwin about his election. "There was a time when I believed that I would not be able to serve as a pastor in the ELCA. Our church has now recognized the God-given gifts and abilities that LGBT people can bring to the denomination."
Rev. Dr. Erwin holds the Chair of Lutheran Confessional Theology professor at California Lutheran University and directs the Segerhammar Center for Faith and Culture. A native of Oklahoma, he is an active member of the Osage Nation of Native Americans.


Faculty Profile

R. Guy Erwin, Ph.D.

Gerhard & Olga J. Belgum Professor of Lutheran Confessional Theology; Professor of Religion and History; Director of the Segerhammar Center for Faith and Culture
Phone: (805) 493-3239
Office: HUM 217


Dr. Guy Erwin, who joined the CLU faculty in the summer of 2000, is the first full-time holder of CLU's first endowed chair, the Gerhard and Olga J. Belgum Chair of Lutheran Confessional Theology.   He also serves as Director of the Segerhammar Center for Faith and Culture. In the 2004-05 and 2005-06 academic years he served as CLU faculty chair.  As holder of the Belgum Chair, he serves as a member of the CLU Office of University Ministries, coordinating the work of the Chair, the Segerhammar Center, Campus Ministry, and Church Relations.  
In addition to a survey course in the history of Christianity, Prof. Erwin teaches seminar courses on topics in medieval, Reformation, and early modern history and theology, including very popular seminars on the life and thought of Martin Luther and St. Augustine's City of God.  Almost all of his courses are cross-listed in both Religion and History, and he occasionally teaches courses in the History department on modern German history and Scandinavian history.  He also offers instruction on liturgy and worship in cooperation with the Music Department and occasionally teaches ecclesiastical Latin as a tutorial.
Erwin is a native of Oklahoma and an active member of the Osage Tribe of Indians. He is a member of a number of scholarly societies, a loyal alumni volunteer of his various alma maters, and enjoys book collecting, the study of genealogy, opera, letterpress printing, and his Jardine's parrot. Dr. Erwin is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; he and his partner Rob Flynn are members of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in North Hollywood, CA, and are very active in Lutheran circles locally, nationally, and internationally.


Wednesday, 11 May 2011 13:33
Press Release

April 11, 2011        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Guy Erwin, Partnered Teaching Theologian, Ordained at California Lutheran University
guyerwinheadshotR. Guy Erwin, a teaching theologian at California Lutheran University(CLU), was ordained in the Samuelson Chapel of that institution at 10:00 a.m. on May 11, 2011.  He is both gay and in a committed same-gender relationship.  His ordination, the fulfillment of a lifetime desire, is made possible by the change in policy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that followed the decision of the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly to allow ministers in committed, same-gender relationships to serve in the church.

Guy Erwin said, "This is a day of great joy for me - a day that has been 25 years in the making.  My path to ordination was laid down by the heroes of the struggle for full inclusion, whose call to ordained ministry was so strong and clear that it pulled them into extraordinary action.  I rejoice to be able now to join them, and to link together my vocation as a teaching theologian with the ministry of Word and Sacrament in the ELCA.  I hope to find new ways to serve the church I love."

Guy Erwin's journey to ordination has been a long one: influenced by the study of Luther and the Reformation while in college, guided by his college chaplain and his New Testament professor, Guy soon found his way to Harvard's Lutheran campus ministry and there formed a lifelong attachment to the Lutheran church. During graduate study in Reformation history at Yale, he explored a call to ordained ministry in the Lutheran Church in America, but interrupted that process to spend some years in study and research at the universities of Tübingen and Leipzig in Germany.   Returning to America, he found his church in the process of merger into today's ELCA; that completed, his re-entry into the candidacy process was postponed yet again, as the ELCA soon afterwards enacted a barrier to the ordination of noncelibate gay and lesbian candidates. Guy was unwilling to enter a process he would be unable to complete in honesty and faithfulness both to his church and the realities of his life. Then at Yale in 1994 he met Rob Flynn, who became his life partner; that seemed to him to close the issue.

Guy Erwin is a Professor of Religion and History, holder of the Gerhard & Olga J. Belgum Chair in Lutheran Confessional Theology at CLU, which includes promoting the connection between the University and the Church.  He is the Director of the Segerhammar Center for Faith and Culture, exploring the contours of belief and vocation across ecumenical and interfaith lines.  He is the ELCA's sole representative to the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, working internationally and ecumenically, and has given long service to the church on boards and panels.  He is ordained directly to a specialized ministry as a teaching theologian.  Such direct ordination to calls for teaching requires an exemption from the rule requiring three-year's experience in parish ministry, an exemption granted unanimously in his case by the Conference of Bishops of the ELCA.

The Rev. Dean W. Nelson, Bishop of Southwest California Synod, presided and ordained Guy Erwin.  Preaching at Guy Erwin's ordination on May 11th was the Rev. Murray Finck, Bishop of the Pacifica Synod of the ELCA.

Bishop Nelson said, "We are humbled and thankful to God for the privilege of receiving Dr. R. Guy Erwin onto the roster of ordained pastors of the Southwest California Synod.  We have been blessed by Guy's ministry for over a decade, for in addition to teaching at California Lutheran University, Guy has been the Bible study leader and/or presenter at our Bishop's Colloquy for rostered leaders, at our Synod Assembly, and at our Synod's Equipping Leaders for Mission School.  During that same period, he has also been a preacher and teacher at several of our Synod's congregations.

"I am thankful for the 2009 Churchwide Assembly and all those who helped this church make the decisions that allow us to come to this day with confidence and joy.  I am also grateful to the Conference of Bishops for allowing our Synod Council to call Guy not only to the teaching position he has occupied at CLU, but also to the Synod as Supply Pastor so that the congregations of our Synod can be blessed by his ministry of Word and Sacrament.  But I am especially thankful for Guy's continuing patience and commitment to the Lord of this church without which this day simply would not have happened.  This is truly a day of celebration and thanksgiving, not only for our Synod, but for the whole Church."

Bishop Finck said, "Along with the whole church, the people of the Pacifica Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) celebrate with Dr. R. Guy Erwin at the time of his ordination into the Holy Ministry of Word and Sacrament. Dr. Erwin has come to the Pacifica Synod on occasion as a theologian and teacher. He has always been a blessing for those who sat at his feet to be in conversation, to learn, to enter into theological dialogue and deliberation. He is an amazing gift to the whole church, and especially to the ELCA, to California Lutheran University, and to the congregations, leaders, and synods of the West. We give thanks that the church of which we are part has made it possible for Dr. Erwin now to be ordained. We appreciate his faithful vocational calling to serve the church as a teacher and preacher, and now as a pastor and minister of the Gospel of Christ Jesus. His wisdom and courage, guided by a deep faith in Christ, is a needed witness to us all as the church continues to be reshaped by the boundless grace, compassionate love, and the missional call of God."

Lutherans Concerned/North America (LC/NA) is pleased and uplifted by this further example of the ELCA living out its history-making decision to take a significant step towards full inclusion of LGBT people in the life of the church.

Emily Eastwood, LC/NA Executive Director, said, "It is highly unusual for the Conference of Bishops to grant an exemption to the requirement of ordination to parish ministry.  Only a short time ago it would have been astounding for such a waiver to be granted to a partnered, out and serving gay person, no matter, how distinguished.  Guy's ordination is long overdue.  His ordination to specialized ministry without further requirement rights a 25-year wrong for the sake of the Gospel.  Guy's service to the church has been exemplary.  His ordination is a witness to the church's growing acceptance beyond the bounds of its own traditions. As with the extraordinary ordinations of years past, when the hands of bishops and clergy were laid upon Guy and the congregation assembled greets this new pastor of the church with hearty applause and likely more than a few tears of joy, our dream of a church where all may serve as guest and host at God's table of blessing and power, will come one step closer to reality.   Thanks be to God who will, no doubt, be smiling along with us."

For the twenty years prior to the 2009 decision, the ELCA required celibacy as a condition of ministerial service by LGBT people.  That prohibition against ministers living in committed, same-gender, lifelong relationships was removed by the 2009 decision.

June 1, 2013
R. Guy Erwin elected bishop of ELCA Southwest California Synod

     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. R. Guy Erwin was elected May 31 to a six-year term as bishop of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) at the synod’s assembly May 30-June 1 in Woodland Hills, Calif.

     Erwin was elected on the sixth ballot receiving 210 votes of 381 cast. The Rev. Scott Maxwell-Doherty, campus pastor at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif., received 190 votes.

      The bishop-elect is interim pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Canoga Park, Calif., and the Gerhard and Olga Belgum Professor of Lutheran confessional theology at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The university is one of the ELCA’s 26 colleges and universities. He serves as the ELCA representative to the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches since 2004.

      Erwin said he brings a “deep faith in Christ’s presence in his church lived out in 20 years of parish experience blended with university and seminary-level teaching. In the years I’ve waited for the day I could be ordained, I lived out both vocations at the same time. They have been mutually enriching, and I am a stronger scholar (and a better pastor) for having done both,” according to his biographical information.

      Ordained in May 2011, Erwin is the ELCA’s first synod bishop who is gay and in a partnered relationship. He is part Osage Indian and is active in the Osage Indian Nation.

      From 2010 to 2012, Erwin served as interim pastor for two ELCA congregations in California. Prior to that, he served as minister for worship and education at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in North Hollywood, Calif., principal instructor for the Lutheran Studies Program and lecturer in church history and historical theology at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Conn., from 1993 to 1999. He served as parish associate at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in New Haven from 1986 to 2000. Erwin also served on a variety of boards and committees for ELCA-related institutions and agencies.

      Erwin earned a doctorate degree, two master degrees and Bachelor of Arts degree at Yale University. He engaged in seminary studies at the University of Tübingen in Germany and at University of Leipzig in Germany.

     The ELCA Southwest California Synod is made up more than 120 congregations in five counties. Information about the synod is available at


ALPB Online Forum, quoting the Lutheran Forum

I, on the other hand, wonder how many bishops don't have an M.Div.

From Forum Letter August 2011:

The July issue of The Lutheran has a big and colorful spread about the ordinations of two gay men to the ELCA ministry—two men, Dan Lehman editorializes, “qualified in every way to be ordained in the ELCA,” and whose “tale needs to be told because it is now a fact of life within the ELCA.” One of the two is R. Guy Erwin, who is a professor at California Lutheran University. In the little biographical sketch of Dr. Erwin, it tells about his education at Harvard (undergraduate) and Yale (two masters degrees and a doctorate), but notes that the ELCA’s expulsion in 1990 of San Francisco congregations which conducted unauthorized ordinations of gay and lesbian persons “dissuaded Erwin from going to seminary.” Taken at face value, that seems to say that the good professor doesn’t have an M.Div. (apparently his two masters degrees from Yale are an M.A. and a M.Phil., both academic degrees). In order for him to be ordained, the Conference of Bishops had to approve an “exception” to the requirement that a newly ordained person serve three years in a parish. That’s done occasionally in special cases; a former intern of mine had been a prison guard for many years and was given an exception allowing him to go directly into prison chaplaincy. I didn’t know, however, that a college professor could be given a waiver of virtually every normal requirement for ordination (M.Div., C.P.E., internship). And one has to wonder just why it would be important to do so in this case, and by what authority. By all accounts, Erwin is a distinguished and capable teacher, and a “teaching theologian” in the ELCA—but then Lutheranism has a pretty healthy tradition of lay theologians (think “Melanchthon”). Such an action by the Conference of Bishops denigrates both the ministry of the laity and our requirements for ministry all in one fell swoop. But then that’s now a fact of life in
the ELCA.

And I wonder how many bishops have been elected only two years after ordination.

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ELCA's Pacific Seminary and Thousand Oaks To Merge,
So It Does Not Look Like a Closing.
More on the Way for the 25th ELCA Anniversary

"Brett, I know what you're thinking -
25 years of ELCA, two seminaries merge, and more on the ropes.
Gloating does not become you."

Church Council approves concept of merger

The ELCA Church Council approved April 6 the concept of a merger between California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, Calif.

Council members authorized its Executive Committee to "engage in further discussions and document review with CLU and with PLTS, as necessary, for the purpose of finalizing the proposed merger."

They also asked the committee "to bring a recommended action regarding the merger and the final documents to implement it at a special Church Council meeting at a time to be determined."

Through a similar merger in July 2012, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C., became the School of Theology of Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C.

"An ELCA seminary can be fully an ELCA seminary while merged into a church college," Jonathan Strandjord, ELCA program director for seminaries, told council members.

Both CLU and PLTS see the proposed merger "as an opportunity to advance God's mission as well as [introduce] cost-efficiencies," he added.

Strandjord said mergers between seminaries and colleges or universities could enable dual degree programs, where a student could earn, for example, a master's of divinity degree with a master's in business administration, education, nonprofit management or social work. Or they could enter a "3+4" degree program of three years of focused undergraduate study and four years of seminary to earn a bachelor's degree and a divinity degree, he said.
GJ - Strange how the lavender mafia has alienated the denomination, lost perhaps 20% of the members, and closed (merged) two seminaries already. They send their missions people to Fuller Seminary, too, who have the same winning strategy as WELS and LCMS - trust everything but the Word of God.

I imagine they will sell their billion dollar campus, overlooking the ocean, so more Lefty billionaires can squat in their mansions and worry aloud about the poor. The college will have a rush of new cash and the professors will have even less work.

Here is the seminary websty. Ted Peters admitted in print that Jesus probably did rise from the dead, so this is a confessional Lutheran seminary, as WELS defines it.

Time To Throw Out the Infected Flour

Flour moth (pantry moth) - larva and moth.
Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "False Teachers as Pantry Moths":

The Lutheran synods have lost their discernment when they adopted and then violently defended the false gospel of Universal Objective Justification. They no longer differentiate Christian from nonChristian according to Christ's doctrine. It is now the hypocrites within the visible church, rubbing elbows with Christ's Church, who are leading the apathetic and blinded laity into the pit of apostasy, human divinity and the last days in which their New Age religion flourishes.

It is up to the laity to throw out the infected flour because the baker's (the hirelings) are self serving and corrupt. Those that are not are too scared to stand up and publicly defend Christ's Church and doctrine as their calls require of them. They won't lift a finger now, when the offenses in doctrine and practice are blatant and there is no physical harm being threatened. What will they do when promotion of pure doctrine and practice is rewarded with physical death to themselves or their families - far less then they are doing now - which from my perspective is very little.

Add caption

I pray for those who openly struggle to endure in the faith but for the rest they have abandoned their calls and the laity will pay a heavy price.

The WELS Convention in July will be publicly broadcast - it will be interesting to see what the laity will do.

How Is This Different from WELS Promoting the Church and Changers?

Why would a Christian denomination pay a lecturer to speak at their events who does not believe Jesus physically rose from the dead?  Why would the same denomination recommend and use that lecturer's teaching resources when he doesn't even believe God exist?  Those are good questions every lay person should be asking the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The lecturer I am referring to is John Dominic Crossan, co-founder of the Jesus Seminar (read about it here) and popular New Testament scholar.  Let me first show you the multitude of ways the ELCA has sought Crossan and provided access to his teachings, t
hen we will documentsome specifics of what this man teaches and believes. 

  •  The Southwest California Synod promotes Crossan's lecture in their “Synnouncements” mailing.  They write“John Dominic Crossan Lectures in Solvang.  Bethania Lutheran Church. . .Solvang, CA. . .will have the honor of hosting Dr. John Dominic Crossan at our Farstrup-Mortensen Lecture Series from February 22-24, 2013.  The theme for the lectures is: 'Jesus and the Kingdom of God.'" (see here)

  •  This event was promoted by the ELCA's East Central Synod of Wisconsin. They wrote, Wisconsin Council of Churches presents their 2014 Winter Forum at Wisconsin Dells.  This year’s Inaugural Winter Forum Lecture Series is The ABBA Prayer of Jesus:  Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord’s Prayer  Dr. John Dominic Crossan.” (see here)

  •  Here we have the ELCA website promoting a book written by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. (seehere)

  •  The official ELCA website promoting video series presented by Crossan - “First Light: Jesus and the Kingdom of God" (see here)

  •  ELCA website recommending a Crossan study guide. (see here)

  •  Advertisement for Crossan DVD series in the ELCA's Lutheran-Partners magazine. (see here)

  •  The ELCA's Seeds recommended a Crossan work for the Lenten season.  They wrote, “Several of our pastors recommend The Last Week: A Day by Day Account of Jesus’ Final Week in Jerusalem by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. . .Peter Gomes, Brian McLaren, Barbara Brown Taylor and others say this is a ‘must read’ for clergy and lay leaders alike.” (read here)

  •  ELCA's ministry of publishing is selling a book featuring Crossan. (see here)

  •  Many ELCA churches are conducting studies using Crossan's materials.  This is just a few of them. (seehereherehere and here)

  •  Crossan speaks at  Lutheran Professors and Graduate Students Breakfast Sponsored by Augsburg Fortress (ELCA publishing company). (see here)

  •  A search of just one ELCA Synod (the Eastern North Dakota Synod) found them offering 8 different resources from Crossan. (see here)

  •  Crossan lecture at First Lutheran Church, Greensboro, NC - 2006. (see here)

  •  Four lectures at St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wauwatosa, WI, 2008. (see here)

  •  Four lectures, sermon, and Adult Education at Messiah Community Church Denver, CO 2009. (see here)

What does John Dominic Crossan teach and believe?

Crossan says Jesus was an exploited 'peasant with an attitude' who didn't perform many miracles, physically rise from the dead or die as punishment for humanity's sins.

Jesus was extraordinary because of how he lived, not died, says Crossan” (read here).

The following are quotes by John Dominic Crossan from his book Who Is Jesus? (found here)  "Do I personally believe in an afterlife?  No, but to be honest, I do not find it a particularly important question one way or the other." 

"Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God.  It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well.  I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us." 

"Traditionally, Christians have said, 'See how Christ's passion was foretold by the prophets.'  Actually, it was the other way around.  The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus' last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God." 

"In terms of divine consistency, I do not think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, including Jesus, brings dead people back to life."  “The second coming will not be literal.  The second coming is what will happen when we Christians accept that there was only one coming and get with the program.”
 (see here)

During this debate, we find out Crossan doesn't even believe in the actual existence of God -

“(Dr. William Lane) Craig: But surely that’s not a meaningless question.  It’s a factual question.  Was there a being who was the Creator and Sustainer of the universe during the period of time when no human beings existed?  It seems to me that in your view you’d have to say no. 

Crossan: Well, I would probably prefer to say nobecause what you’re doing is trying to put yourself in the position of God and ask, 'How is God apart from revelation?  How is God apart from faith?'” (see here)

More Crossan quotes -

“In conclusion, what is the historicity of the burial account [of Jesus]?  From Roman expectations, the body of Jesus and of any others crucified with him would have been left on the cross as carrion [dead and putrefying flesh] for the crows and the dogs.  From Jewish expectations, would not Deuteronomy 21:22-23 have been followed? Maybe, but only the barest maybe… 

But, even if it was, the soldiers who crucified Jesus probably would have done it, speedily and indifferently, in a necessary shallow and mounded grave rather than a rock-hewn tomb.  That would mean lime, at best, and the dogs again, at worst.”  (Who Killed Jesus?, 187, 188) by John Dominic Crossan 

“The tales of entombment and resurrection were latter-day wishful thinking.  Instead, Jesus’ corpse went the way of all abandoned criminals bodies: it was probably barely covered with dirt, vulnerable to the wild dogs that roamed the wasteland of the execution grounds.”  John Dominic Crossan as quoted in Richard N. Ostling, “Jesus Christ, Plain and Simple,” Time, 10 January 1994.

What others say about John Dominic Crossan 

- Hank Hanegraaff, Christian radio host says this about Crossan - 

"Jesus Seminar cofounder John Dominic Crossan claims that there were dozens of virgin birth stories circulating in Greek and Roman mythology during the first century.  Says Crossan, 'They’re all over Greek and Roman mythology, so what do I do?  Do I believe all of those stories, or do I say all of those stories are lies except for our Christian story?'"
“The truth of the matter is that historical evidence for the veracity of extrabiblical virgin birth stories is nil.”  (readhere). 

- Dennis Ingolfsland writes this of Crossan - 

“Jesus was a 'peasant Jewish Cynic,' who never thought of Himself as the Jewish Messiah, much less the Son of God or the Savior of the world.  This is the view held by John Dominic Crossan of the Jesus Seminar, reputed to be one of the world’s leading experts on the historical study of Jesus. According to Crossan and others who share his view, Jesus was simply an itinerant preacher who taught that the kingdom of God had to do with how the world would be run if God sat on Caesar’s throne.  Jesus’ ministry had nothing to do with helping people find God, salvation, or heaven.” (see here

- Father Robert Barron, writing about Crossan says - 

“How does Crossan explain the accounts of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead?  They are, he says, essentially 'parables,' figurative representations of the disciples’ conviction that Jesus’ way was more powerful than the Roman way.  They were never meant to be taken literally but rather as poetic inspirations for the succeeding generations of Jesus’ followers.

How does he explain the church’s dogma of Jesus’ divinity? It is, essentially, a misleading overlay that effectively obscures the dangerous truth of who Jesus really was: a threat to the cultural, religious and political status quo.” (seehere)

- Video of Dr. William Lane Craig answering a question about John Dominic Crossan's view on the resurrection of Jesus. (only 5 min. long)

- Here is a review of Crossan's book JESUS - A Revolutionary Biography by KIRKUS REVIEW

Here, we get a politically correct Christ stripped of all mythology, a revolutionary social leader who taught 'radical egalitarianism' but performed no miracles, except that of awakening social consciousness (Crossan reads Jesus' casting out of demons as a blow against colonialism).  This is, then, the Jesus of liberation theology, not of the Christian scholarly mainstream (up to now, Crossan has been best known for another unconventional and little-accepted theory, positing the existence of a 'cross gospel' that predates the passion narratives of the canonical texts).  As usual, Crossan's scholarship is good, with a command of cultural anthropology, Greco-Roman history, and textual analysis.  Eyebrows will rise often, though, as he goes beyond facts into conjecture: Jesus `did not and could not cure...disease' despite his laying-on-of-hands; Jesus never met Pilate or Caiaphas; the Barabbas tale is fiction (a dismissal based largely on Crossan's subjective reading of Pilate's personality), as are the Last Supper, the Raising of Lazarus, the Virgin Birth, etc. Moreover, at his most extreme, Crossan suggests that Jesus' body, far from being resurrected, was probably buried in a shallow grave and eaten by dogs.” (see here)

- Mark Allan Powell writes - 

“Most Christians are aware that Jesus does many things in the New Testament that fulfill prophecies of the Old Testament.  Skeptical scholars suggest that, in some instances, the Gospel writers are creating facts about Jesusin order to have him fulfill the prophecies.  Thus, they invented the story of the virgin birth because Isaiah 7:14 speaks of a virgin bearing a son, and they decided to say that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because Micah 5:2 indicates the Messiah will be born there.  While a number of scholars may allow that such influences come into play here or there, John Dominic Crossan thinks that much (most?) of the Gospel accounts of Jesus came about this way--including everything in his last week of life. 

According to Crossan, all the Gospel writers knew about that last week was that Jesus got grabbed by the Romans and crucified (possibly, according to Crossan, he was just caught up in a mob of Jewish rabble that got crucified for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The Gospel writers, Crossan thinks, made up the rest--the stories about Jesus’ trial before Pilate, about the release of Barabbas, about Simon of Cyrene, the thief on the cross, the centurion’s confession, the burial in a garden, and of course the resurrection--the Gospel writers made it all up out of nothing to show that Jesus had fulfilled a bunch of Old Testament prophecies.” (see here)

There we have it.  ELCA leaders seek out this kind of teacher (and others who think similarly, like Marcus Borg – seehere).  Is it any wonder the ELCA leadership has abandoned Biblical truth for their own “truth” or is this just a result of it?  Heretics have control of the ELCA leadership and they teach in their seminaries.  Pray for them and also for the people sitting in ELCA pews who they are trying to influence and bring toward their heretical beliefs.

The Holy Spirit Drives the UOJ Hive Nuts

KJV John 16:8 And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of
judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on Me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and
ye see Me no more;

Why are the UOJ fanatics driven to oppose, condemn, and confound justification by faith at every turn?

The answer is simple, and it begins with this statement from Luther's sermon on Easter 4.

6. But the Holy Spirit, says Christ, “Will convict the world in respect of sin, because they believe not in me.” Therefore it follows that unbelief is the right and true sin; other sins flow out of unbelief and are even the fruit from this root.

The power of the Holy Spirit in the Word is experienced in the creation of faith. However, when people reject or adulterate the Word, the Holy Spirit also has an effect. The Word is never lacking in its divine impact. 

  • The Word never returns void.
  • The Word always accomplishes God's will.
  • The Word always prospers in doing God's work.

Therefore, Word and Spirit are never separate, one never acting without the other.

KJV Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Studying the Word and hearing the Word increases its effect, because the entire Bible "is nothing than a sermon about Christ." The purpose of that Book is to create and sustain faith in Christ and by doing so to grant the grace, peace, forgiveness, and salvation promised in the Gospel.

In other words, the sole purpose of the Scriptures is justification by faith. Anything else is subordinate to justification by faith, so the Sacraments are equally important in their divinely designed object of bringing grace to us as Means of Grace.

For that reason, the Chief Article of the Christian Faith drives the UOJ Stormtroopers insane. And I do mean insane. They claim to be firm in their justification without faith, but justification by faith is the hornet under their cassocks. Justification by faith condemns their unbelief, just as the Gospel condemns Mormons, JWs, and Adventists. When I challenged a JW, he said, "Jim Jones, who killed all those people in the jungle. Wasn't he a Lutheran?" I said, "No, he was a false teacher - like you." He did not make me furious, but my gentle reproof made him react like a freshly-salted garden slug. It tormented him.

Back to UOJ false teachers. They move heaven and earth to make a disciple, as Jesus said about the Pharisees. They invade other denominations to keep someone who teaches justification by faith from having any influence. Jay Webber and Paul McCain have tried in vain to be the new Agricolas, posing for a time as justification by faith wizards but returning to battle sound doctrine at the earliest opportunity.

Richard Jungkuntz was another UOJ fanatic. His WELS essay on the topic is still in the WELS Holy of Holies - the Essay Files. Pause for reflection and sacred awe - until you realize the files also include the work of an atheist because he was a Growther. Jungkuntz championed the cause of UOJ, promoted the rationalistic view of the Scriptures, chaired the board of the first gay Lutheran Seminary (awkwardly named Seminex), and joined ELCA.

The UOJ Hive strikes whenever someone joins a public Lutheran discussion group and dares to teach justification by faith. The Hive gets in an uproar. Hundreds of posts emerge and the faithful Lutherans are called "morons" and banned.

The UOJ Hive is condemned by the Holy Spirit for their unbelief, and that drives them made. It also blinds them. They hate and excommunicate the true Gospel while praising, defending, or obscuring the work of rapists, pedophiles, and serial adulterers. 

Even the supposed critics of Church Growth end up defending and protecting from harm the Church Growth leaders in their own sects. They have to, because they are committed to false doctrine, to UOJ, and that dogma binds them all in one ecumenical philosophy. 

This hatred and alienation is necessary, to separate the good from the bad. Justification by faith is the Gospel, not an adiaphoron. Contending for the truth will never end, because the Father Below of the UOJ fanatics will never rest, least of all because his time is short.