The Glory Has Departed

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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

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Bad Fuddlementalist Argumentation

 "Oh Boy! I get to pose with Andy Stanley, my hero!"

 WELS clergy worshiped with Andy Stanley,
including Parlow, Glende, Ski, and Bishop Katie.

 Someone noticed a similarity between rock clubs and
Emergent churches.
 Notice the nightclub lighting and the
mucking out the stables costume.
See the same jeans, years later, with Barefoot.

When Andy Stanley solemnly declared - in time for Christmas - that the Virgin Birth of Christ was not that important, Babtists jumped into the argument.

Doubtless, such arguments are well-meaning, but they only increase the confusion. One published response went something like this, "The Virgin Birth is very important, because the entire Christian Faith falls apart without it."

Andy's rather conflicted dad, Charles Stanley, was once the president of the Southern Babtists. He was peeved that some faculty at their big seminary in Lexington refused to answer such questions as:

  1. Do you believe Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary?
  2. Do you believe Jesus rose bodily from the grave?
By the way, we stopped at that seminary during my dissertation research. They happily let me take several boxes of books home, which I returned. At Augustana College, where we graduated, the same request met with studied opposition and reluctant acceptance. I said, "Come on, A. D. Mattson was an Augustana professor, and I am an alumnus writing a PhD dissertation about him." Well, OK.

The Falling Apart Argument
Doubtless the Babtist using the falling apart argument dredged his logic from the concept of making the Scriptures reasonable and appealing. But that weak foundation is easily exploited. In fact, the ELCA leaders accept it as well, because that is their reason for denying the divinity of Christ and the meaning of His Atonement. 

Herb Chilstrom, the first bishop of ELCA, still alive at age 85, published about Jesus being an illegitimate child. His perspective comes from the Jewish Talmud, not the Scriptures. But he began his education at a Pietistic Bible school and devolved into a rationalist, as they all do in time.

Chilstrom was at a conference I attended and we talked about my dissertation during lunch. He was a student of A. D. Mattson, as all Augustana Synod pastors were.

Luther's perspective matched that of the historic Christian Church. The Scriptures are a unified Truth, with all parts linked together, supporting and explaining doctrinal matters so that anyone can understand and believe the message of the Word. 

Isaiah 7:10 Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.
12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord.
13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

For example, the Isaiah 7:14 prophesy not only declares the Virgin Birth in a context where the evil king is rebuked with a direct miracle from God, but also calls the Promised Messiah - God with us. The Virgin Birth is unique but so is calling a newborn baby God

The Isaiah 9:6 prophesy calls the Child The Mighty God and The Everlasting Father. The only way to escape the revelation of the Incarnation is to use magic - misdirection of the eye - getting people to think about some other person born that might fit. But which child was God? Another nagging question is the reference to Father. The New Testament - especially John but also Matthew and Paul - develops the Father/Son relationship, witnessed by the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament teaches the Trinity but not in the same stark terms as the New Testament. Nevertheless, the Old and New inform the believer together.

No passage contradicts any other in the Scriptures, so denying or doubting one means rejecting the rest. The Christian Faith does not fall apart at all. The revelation of God's Word stands on its own. But the Scriptures do indeed judge all books and all those who would teach the Word to others. They are ambassadors who do not have a message of their own, but only speak for the King.

Andy Stanley, like his dad, is so full of himself that he imagines his solemn proclamations to be truth. His followers are no different, because they catch the real agenda - form a personality cult and use it to create an earthly paradise.

Andy Stanley, who went to Dallas Seminary, uses the argument that John and Paul do not teach the Virgin Birth. That is what happens when simpletons are ordained. (Sorry, WELS, but like all anti-Confessionals, you make stuff up as you go along - and adore personality cults. Ft.Wayne graduates are no better, and act superior to WELS. Answer? - same Pietistic origins.) 

Gensis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

John 1King James Version (KJV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Consider this - John 1 opens with the majestic Logos Hymn, proclaiming that every item in Creation was created through Him, explaining Genesis 1 - and God said - Jesus as the Creating Word.

The Fourth Gospel supplements Matthew, Mark, and Luke, assuming that the readers already know the other Gospels. Using the Andy Stanley approach, Jesus was not baptized and did not celebrate the Last Supper, because both are indicated but not narrated in the Gospel of John.

1st John 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

The opening of the Fourth Gospel and the Apostle's first letter are completely harmonious with the Virgin Birth, using even more glorious language to explain the meaning of an event the readers already know from Matthew and Luke. By the way, Mark is almost 100% from Matthew and Luke, with two tiny exceptions, so conclude which one came first, as if it matters. 

 How is this NOT a declaration of the Two Natures in Christ?
The Son of God, born of a woman?