Once Kantian rationalism took over, and infected the academics of Europe, Biblical studies became worthless. Halle Pietism was anti-Confessional, so that fad had no defense against rationalism.
Halle, mothership of Pietism and Universal Objective Justification, became headquarters for Biblical rationalism. Halle also became a wonderful school for unbelievers, both to study (Schleiermacher) and to teach (Schleiermacher).
Halle University was more than a school. The Pietism business included charities and other subordinate entities. Like Fuller Seminary, one could belong to Halle brand without being specifically a Halle student or professor.
Halle took over Wittenberg University too, which seems appropriate, given the collapse of Reformation doctrine after Pietism.
When ambitious American schools went to Europe to study, they often matriculated at German universities. They brought back the rationalism sweeping European Biblical studied, and that became the norm in America too.
If readers remember the lesson about Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, which has fostered additional mergers and moved, the original impulse was liberal (rationalistic) Baptist doctrine, the kind Walter Rauschbusch (Social Gospel) studied and espoused at Yale (1917 Social Gospel lectures).
I used to go to the Baptist conference center at Green Lake with my family. I was trying to remember if that beautiful place was Baptist or Babtist. Ah, the speaker praised Rauschenbusch. I looked up the site and there was MLK Jr. speaking. It is a liberal Northern American Baptist center.
The rationalists will always end up in the Social Gospel, Left-wing activism camp because there is nothing left after building upon 19th century Fatherhood of God, Brotherhood of Man theology.
So the Biblical studies professors and books and sermons from the mainline leaders have all been worthless. They have nothing to say because they begin and end with unbelief. They have made millions from their enterprise anyway, and people buy their books.
Synodical Conference - UOJ-Land - Equally Useless as the Mainlines
Some faithful Lutherans remain, but there are not many. The ELS-WELS-LCMS franchise is run by UOJ Stormtroopers.
Here is their UOJ dogma -
God has already declared the entire world forgiven and saved. That is the Gospel. That is the Chief Article of the Faith (ironic, no?), the Master and Prince, though it comes from their Father Below.
Their books, professors, and schools are just as useless as the mainline groups they seem to look down upon. They actually admire, covet, and emulate the mainline groups. Mark Schroeder and Joel Hochmuth condemned ELCA for being honest about what Hochmuth was doing at the WELS Headquarters.
The Synodical Conference continues its downward plunge. They will sell their awful hymnals and their terrible books, knowing and fearing that the next generation does not give a hoot about their congregations, seminaries, colleges, and books.
The readers have probably noticed that the seminaries have spent millions remodeling their digs rather than relieving the horrible debt load they have imposed on their students. The admins and professors make a fortune for doing very little and say about student loan debt, "Let them eat cake."
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The Financial Meltdown in the Mainline book said 26 years ago that the liberals were spending money like there was no tomorrow. Now after the Obama Great Depression, with everyone but the banks robbed, there is nothing left to steal.
Future consolidations and mergers will only trumpet - they are out of money.