Someone said on the phoned, "The Calvinists make claims that are completely unrelated to the Scriptures!"
I responded, "Unlike the Synodical Conference Lutherans?"
When I began writing Thy Strong Word: The Efficacy of the Word in the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions, something became quite obvious - hardly any current Lutheran writing starts with the Scriptures, in spite of various claims.
The most basic understanding of the Scriptures - the efficacy of the Word - is missing in most contemporary efforts, as shown by Brug's hideous The Ministry of the Word.
The Political Cause
One reason is political. The chosen few - and the self-appointed Herman Otten - argue in support of synodical politicians. All the seminary professors are products of the political game, be they few - like Gaylin Schmeling & Son - or many, like the Concordias. The easy lifestyle of little teaching, no research, no writing, and no thinking is not easily obtained or kept. Ever since Walther made himself the Pope by rioting, kidnapping, and robbing his Bishop, the clergy have kept a weather eye on the synodical climate.
Therefore, they start with what is accepted and popular among the influential, not with the Word or the Book of Concord. Luther? - he is obsolete and more importantly, a painful goad to their conscience.
Every so-called lesson has a UOJ filter placed over it, which is like reading the material through a deep green filter. That filter is engraved - Copyright, Holy Mother Synod, Better Than All the Rest.
|Jay Webber cannot see the connection between UOJ and Church Growth. Read the Valleskey statement slowly, without moving your lips - there it is.|
|Barth's mistress did not age very well. That will happen when living in the same house with the professor's family - at his insistence.|
|Zo clever! Just what we need to prop up the lecherous Church Growth Movement, where no one is safe in the same room with the CGM guru.|
Another Cause - For the Synod Intellectualoids
Karl Barth - or rather, his mistress Charlotte Kirschbaum - is The Theologian of Modern Protestants. No other theological work is as flexible as the all-purpose Barth. Roman Catholic? My Roman Catholic professor at Notre Dame, Frank Fiorenza, was president of the Barth Society and loved Barth, telling us that Kirschbaum wrote the fine print in the Dogmatics. Frank loves Marxist theology and now has an endowed chair at Harvard University.
|Frank Fiorenza, Harvard University|
|Tjaard Hommes, ND, also liked Barth. Didn't everyone?|
Tjaard Hommes, RIP, also loved Barth, and he was a liberal Dutch Protestant, teaching at Notre Dame and various church institutions.
|John Howard Yoder, Mennonite and ND professor. completed his doctorate under Karl Barth.|
My friend from my hometown, name withheld, is a conservative Protestant. Yet he ripped my head off for saying Barth was an adulterous Marxist. He is an honored professor at a famous conservative college.
My friend from Yale wrote the book on Barth and Marxism, and he teaches at Princeton, probably one of the best known Barthian scholars today. Karl Barth and Radical Politics - he wrote that book, which opened my eyes to Barth in the 1970s.
|George Hunsinger, Princeton University|
|Read this before devouring Barth!|
A WELS pastor who earned a DMin at Fuller Seminary said in a message to me, "Yes, Barth was the official theologian of Fuller."
Have I left out any color in the rainbow coalition? Barth and his mistress played with words and concepts, so their disciples are equally free to make what they want out of those big, fat works.
That is why I contend that all the neo-Lutherans are really Barthians who do not anchor their words in faith or the Scriptures, so Otten is really a bedfellow with Fiorenza, even though neither one would want to say so.
Karl Barth is the vanilla theologian of the 20th century, out-selling all the rest: Tillich, Bonhoeffer, Moltmann, Balthasar (Barthian), Rahner, the Niebuhr boys, etc. Vanilla goes well with anything, from Marxism to the Mennonite sect.
|I was with you until the "The..."|
Karl, Charlotte, love ya both. You blokes sound just like the Concordia Seminary faculty, St. Louis.
Here Is a Test
When someone is writing about a Biblical concept, is it clear and plain to the reader, or is it a display of jargon, a vague expedition into statements without Biblical support?