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

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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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Martin Chemnitz Press Books

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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

Thursday, May 5, 2016

One Reader Got This Right - Mergers Are the Sign of Doctrinal Apostasy

I copied this article about a merged divinity school, Andover + Newton, merging with another divinity school, Yale Divinity + Berkeley Divinity.

The point I made was that all mergers are a sign of financial crisis, as mentioned in the book I just ordered - Financial Meltdown in the Mainline?

But an astute reader observed on Facebook:

"Money isn't the problem, theology is. If their theology stood on Biblical principles they wouldn't so much trouble financially. (I'm not saying -no- financial problems because the culture has moved away from believing absolutes and is not interested in those who teach about them). The Church has become irrelevant to the prevailing culture."

This new combination of four divinity schools reminds me of another one. so forgotten that I had to look up the history.

Walter Rauschenbusch attended Rochester Divinity School, where he learned the apostate Historical Critical approach to the Bible which prevails among all the mainline denominations. His father almost became a pastor in the early version of the WELS, but that is another story.

Walter Rauschenbusch was a leader in the Social Gospel Movement, which stood for political activism in the church. His Theology of the Social Gospel (Yale Divinity lectures) was a typical liberal re-writing of Christian theology, much like the Braaten Jenson Dogmatics used in the ELCA seminaries.

A hallmark of every mainline denomination is its adoration of Rauschenbusch, where they always downplay his rationalistic anti-Trinitarian views.

A faculty member of Colgate Divinity school wrote An Outline of Christian Theology (1898) that became, in the words of a leading historian, "virtually the Dogmatik of evangelical liberalism."

Liberal Baptist Colgate Divinity spawned Rochester, which promoted Biblical criticism and the theory of evolution. John D. Rockefeller funded a new campus for the merged Colgate Rochester Divinity School. An early feminist and activist women's school joined the splendid campus.

Crozer joined the mix in 1970, boasting of its training of Martin Luther King, Jr, whose activism came from the Social Gospel Movement that Rauschenbusch helped promote.

St. Bernard's Roman Catholic School of Theology entered a relationship with this merger of mergers with dogged determination, eventually building its own campus nearby.

But wait - there's more.

Bexley-Seabury-Western (Episcopalian) also joined this merger mania, selling its campus at Northwestern University (Seabury-Western) and affiliating with Crozer Rochester etc etc but now cuddles up with Trinity ELCA Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, a place where I often stopped for book sales.

No wonder I forgot chunks of this history. I am dizzy from the details, and I did not even mention the training of Leonard Sweet, at Colgate Rochester. When I was on a Leonard Sweet crusade (against, not for) - I noticed that Church and Changers in WELS loved his work. In fact, Paul Calvin Kelm worked to have the apostate Sweet-talk the sect.

Sweet and WELS

Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "New Ager Leonard Sweet Advises LCMS, WELS, ELS":

Leonard Sweet teaches a Satanic New Age cosmic christ which is being consumed by the Emergent Church ~ horns and all. WELS is now teaching this to your children.

From the Church and Change discussion concerning Kelm's invitation for Sweet to teach the WELS.

One of the church’s most important and provocative thinkers.
No church leader understands better how to navigate the seas of the 21st century. A writer of vast imagination, poise and charm. I can’t imagine a Christian leader in America who hasn’t read one or more of _______ _______'s books.
Some statistician-types will drown you in doom and gloom. _______’s
message is uplifting, hopeful and relevant.

John Huebner

Thanks for the hint. I heard _____ speak at an "emerging church" conference this year and he didn't disappoint. Great choice!

Michael Borgwardt

How about Galatians two and Acts 15? Unless it can be demonstrated that inviting Sweet or Hunter is contrary to clear Scripture, may it be that those who are "hurt" and suffering "consternation" are like the Jewish Christians who wanted to impose their religious culture on the Gentiles? The reason to ask how someone outside our fellowship sees the mission field is that we may be viewing reality through the narrow window of our own church culture. Our church's theology, based on Scripture, must remain unchanged. Our church's culture, the product of our history and experience, narrowed by homogeneity, may benefit from an outside perspective.

Why are some offended when Church and Change invites an author to speak on contemporary culture, but NOT when the World Mission Board and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary invite a Baptist seminary professor to TEACH a method of communicating the Gospel for two+ days at our seminary. Which has the greater likelihood of influencing our pastors? Is there another agenda here?

Paul Calvin Kelm

I issued no personal attacks. I raised questions ("May it be. . " "Is there. . .") Contrast this with the letter I responded to, which makes the charge "knowingly cause offense." Why is it permissible to question the love and theological integrity of those who believe there is value in hearing an expert from outside our fellowship describe the culture that is our mission field, but not permissible to question the legitimacy of these charges or the spirit that prompts them? I appreciate your passion. Try to appreciate mine.

I'm not on the Church and Change list serve. Others have forwarded SOME postings to me and posted my comments for me. You'll understand, therefore, if I'm no longer responding.

Paul Calvin Kelm
viewpoint ( has left a new comment on your post "New Ager Leonard Sweet Advises LCMS, WELS, ELS":

While the WELS leadership turns a deaf ear to parish pastors and the laity, it eagerly chases after heresy from outside WELS. Then they wonder aloud why people like me hold them in such disgust.

Leonard Sweet: "It's all a myth---that frog that slowly boils to death without realizing its environment has changed. Wikipedia smashes another illustration."

The Frog in the Kettle, by George Barna.


GJ - I know about that because I am Facebook friends with Sweet and Stetzer. I am one of the few Lutherans who could be friends with both men and not start a popcorn cathedral of rock (with huge grants and subsidies of course).

I am not at all surprised that Sweet does his research and citations from Wikipedia.

Anyone with a little experience around animals knows that God's creatures are much smarter than the average Church Shrinker.

One WELS member said to me, "Guess what? My WELS pastor is having us read a book - The Frog in the Kettle. Have you heard of it?"

I said, "Yes. And you are the frogs he wants to boil alive."

Bivens bragged about attending Fuller Seminary, as Valleskey and Kelm did.
Bivens and Valleskey both denied it.

In defending Paul Calvin Kelm, Frosty Bivens called him "no mean theologian," praise intended to awe the audience.

Kelm was pointman for the Church and Change Leonard Sweet conference. Kelm's buddies begged him to dis-invite Sweet, but Kelm would not even answer his critics on the Church and Change listserve. I have published that conversation.

Those who read the link will see that Sweet is clearly in touch with the demonic. The blog author discovered the connections with the Evangelicals back in 2000. I was writing about it in the 1980s - and being ignored, as usual.

The Shrinkers start out in the Reformed-Calvinistic camp with their precious UOJ, but their itching ears soon hear the siren call of occultism. Paul Y. Cho, South Korea, was one of the early blenders of occult and Christian thought - the ultimate winner being his Father Below. I heard Cho and met him in Wheaton, Illinois.

Earlier than Cho was a WELS favorite - Norman Vincent Peale. That man's Power of Positive Thinkingwas largely plagiarized from an earlier occultic work. Peale was kelming before Kelm! My source for that claim is the final issue of a quarterly journal the LCA produced. I was editing an article for one of my professors and it was published in that issue, as I recall.

Swimming in the same cesspool is Napoleon Hill, whose Think and Grow Rich has influenced so many, including Robert Schuller, who rightly claims to have invented the Church Growth Movement. Hill wrote about communing with the ancient spirits who hovered in his office.

If you think Hill is old news, he influenced Mary Kay of cosmetics fame, and many others as well. A quick Googling linked Mary Kay, W. Clement Stone (insurance fortune and his own foundation) and Hill.

Where did it all begin? The Father of Lies is the founder of all this, but Asian religion has served as a good mediator. Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism are anti-confessional, a-historical, and perfect for combining their concepts with formulas for success.

Cho combined South Korean religion with Pentecostalism and earned rave reviews in America. He was a guest professor at Fuller Seminary, thus proving my Unified Field Theory of Church Shrinkage. In the name of success, the false teachers have used the demonic to destroy their own denominations.

Who is denounced? 

And who is paid lavishly for proclaiming these falsehoods and denying their associations?

The answers tell you how bad it is.