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Re: Lutherans and Orthodox in Heaven?

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  • sr72000
    Dear Constantine, Thanks for going into that a bit more...it s really hard to see when you re in the midst. I remember, even now, a conversation in the lunch
    Message 1 of 53 , Jan 21, 2008
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      Dear Constantine,

      Thanks for going into that a bit more...it's really hard to see when
      you're in the midst. I remember, even now, a conversation in the
      lunch line at the seminary...one of the guys said "No one can tell me
      how to interpret Scripture." I couldn't make that mesh with the
      confessions, which we were supposed to believe. It didn't sound very
      "Lutheran"...but then, we were supposed to be sola. I wish I'd had it
      explained to me back then....but, glory be to God, He's blessed me so
      much now I can hardly complain--

      In Christ,
      Randy



      --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "Travis \(Constantine\)
      Stolz" <travis.stolz@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dear Randy,
      >
      > Yes, the BOC is a tradition. More to the point, it is a mode of
      interpretation (namely, a Lutheran one).
      >
      > I have always had difficulties with sola scriptura:
      >
      > 1. Scripture is never sola.
      >
      > 2. The assumption is that the authoritative source (in this
      instance, Holy Scripture) is unabiguous and clear, thus requiring no
      hermeneutic. In other words, no intermediary interpretive framework
      is needed since the text itself provides clear expression of the truth.
      >
      > Paradoxically, of course, this becomes (for Lutherans) their
      hermeneutic or tradition. Lutherans often assume that a *direct*
      reading of Holy Scripture can be made (nuda scriptura, etc.) so as to
      avoid "tradition" and the like. What this comes down to, however, has
      got less to do with Holy Scripture and more (ultimately) to do with
      the Church.
      >
      > The issue, really, is the derivation of authority. The sola
      scriptura approach inevitably leads to a view which holds that the
      meaning of Holy Scripture can be understood immediately, that the text
      is "clear," and that the message is apodictic. The assumption for
      Lutherans, then, is that truth can be read directly without recourse
      to a hermeneutic that supplies the key to understanding. (And yet,
      it's the BOC that provides the hermeneutic for Lutherans.) I think
      this, more than anything, is why many Lutherans balk at Orthodoxy,
      since I think they have a major probem with authority and, ultimately,
      the Church herself.
      >
      > Sola scriptura isn't just bad because it leads to myriad
      interpretations of Holy Scripture, sects, etc. It's bad primarily
      because it take the Church's Book from the Church herself and relies
      upon (and promotes) a hermeneutic or framework that is individualist
      and absolutist.
      >
      > Yours in Christ,
      > Travis (Constantine)
      >
      > sr72000 <stortford@...> wrote:
      > Hi...I'm Randy, a former Lutheran seminarian, turned
      Orthodox a while
      > ago. I haven't been following too closely; but it sounds like people
      > are really struggling to discern the will of God in these matters...
      >
      > I wanted to make one comment here: the Book of Concord is itself
      > tradition! That's one thing I never could get past when I was trying
      > to deal with sola Scriptura. It's not a book of the Bible; what does
      > "Sola Scriptura" mean when we use, study and confess a thick book
      > comprised of several documents, some of which are "impolite" (at best)
      > toward the pope? I could never understand how that could be
      > reconciled. Appealing to the Confessions is appealing to tradition.
      >
      > I don't mean to sound negative--I got a lot out of Lutheran seminary,
      > and met some great people.
      >
      > In Christ,
      > R.
      >
      > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "Travis \(Constantine\)
      > Stolz" <travis.stolz@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Jon,
      > >
      > > Thanks for your note. Your reply reminds me, at least in part, of
      > an episode of Frasier where Niles takes over Frasier's show. The
      > first thing Niles says is: "I should warn you: Frasier is a Freudian
      > while I am a Jungian. There will be no blaming mother today!" On the
      > one hand, I am tempted to say (as an Orthodox Christian), "There will
      > be no sola scriptura today!" But on the other hand, I don't agree
      > that "the Lutheran principle" of which you speak holds that Holy
      > Scripture is "the sole source and norm of Lutheran doctrine." The
      > Lutheran Symbols (I'm thinking of the FC especially) speak of Holy
      > Scripture as the sole norm but I am unaware of any place in the
      > Symbols where Holy Scripture is spoken of as the *sole source* of
      > doctrine. At any rate, speaking of Holy Scripture as the *sole
      > source* of doctrine is to open a Pandora's box of all sorts of trouble.
      > >
      > > Your question--whether the Church inspired God or vice
      > versa--presents a false alternative. Holy Scripture is God's Word, of
      > course. The question is how one determines this, how one chooses
      > between, say, the Gospel of St. Matthew and that of the Egyptians.
      > Put briefly (for now), this is where the regula fidei is important and
      > why it became important very early on. E.g., for Tertullian (to cite
      > but one example), if a proposed scripture opposed the regula, then one
      > must go with the regula and not scripture. This is one way--indeed,
      > an extremely important way--the Church claimed what is truly Holy
      > Scripture. This is also how one reads Holy Scripture, namely,
      > according to the regula.
      > >
      > > In other words, the Church could (she in fact did) exist without
      > Holy Scripture. But Holy Scripture could not exist without the
      > Church. To place "man's word" and "the church's word" in apposition
      > as you seem to do suggests an ecclesiology that is foreign to Orthodox
      > Christians. Because the Church is the pillar and ground of truth (1
      > Tim 3), then one can rest assured that Holy Scripture is God's Word
      > since it is the Church's Word.
      > >
      > > It's getting late and we're off to bed soon. There's more to say
      > but be well and I look forward to getting back to this tomorrow.
      > >
      > > Yours,
      > > Travis (Constantine)
      > >
      > > "Rev. Jon M. Ellingworth" <didache@> wrote:
      > > Travis (Constantine),
      > >
      > > First, I invite you to call me Jon if it is in accord with your piety.
      > >
      > > Second, I hold tradition very highly, though not equal with Holy
      > Scripture. Yes, I understand that Scripture was "handed over"
      > (tradition) by men (the Church) throughout many centuries; however,
      > did men (the Church) inspire God, or did God inspire men (the Church)?
      > What I mean is, though the Church of God existed prior to the "book"
      > of God and indeed is responsible for "creating" the book of God, the
      > book, nevertheless, is "God's Word", not "man's word" or "the church's
      > word".
      > >
      > > You know that the Lutheran principle is that the Holy Scripture is
      > norma normans, the sole source and norm of Lutheran doctrine. But I am
      > not the typical Lutheran and allow that tradition is a close second --
      > indeed, tradition is norming, so long as it is in agreement with and
      > serves Scripture.
      > >
      > > There are so many doctrines within Orthodoxy (Roman Catholicism too)
      > (e.g., the role of Mary, prayers to Saints, relics, etc.) that are
      > seemingly derived moreso, if not solely, from tradition rather than
      > Scripture. These are major stumbling blocks for me.
      > >
      > > Believe me, I argue vehemently amongst Lutherans (and others) that
      > the Scriptures can be rightly interpreted only within the Church
      > through which they were given --- but I think that it is you
      > (Orthodoxy) who have put the cart before the horse as per my
      > explanation above in the first paragraph.
      > >
      > > Your critique about individual faithful Lutherans and / or
      > congregations hits home. I do lament that my so-called church body is
      > clearly heterodox in practice if not in confession. The question
      > however is where can the faithful go? I am looking, and have been for
      > a while now. Sadly, I do not see the organized body of my own
      > confession anywhere. Right now, I am consigned to believe that this is
      > partly what our Lord meant in Matthew 10:34-39 and other similar
      passages.
      > >
      > > Right now, the only thing about Orthodoxy that is attractive to me
      > is uniformity in liturgical practice. The little flock entrusted to me
      > prays the liturgy fairly well and they even seem to like it. I'm
      > actually thankful for that. Why is it that tares are acceptable in the
      > parish, but not in the synod?
      > >
      > > When I first went to the seminary, only 10+ years ago, I firmly
      > believed in a visible Church on earth that could be recognized by it's
      > marks..., and I believed that to be the Lutheran Church. Now I'm not
      > at all certain such an entity exists. Without doubt the invisible
      > Church exists, but how could she possibly manifest herself visibly
      > through men of such corruption as us?
      > >
      > > Gads! I could just keep typing now. I'm somewhere between laughing
      > and crying. I'd quit tomorrow and go teach somewhere if I didn't love
      > Christ and His Body so much.
      > >
      > > Another glass of strong red wine (Rodney Strong Zinfandel 2005) and
      > I'm off to bed.
      > >
      > > Pax Christi
      > > JME
      > >
      > > +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
      > >
      > > "He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church
      > for his mother."
      > > - St. Cyprian of Carthage
      > >
      > > "O wondrous mystery! One is the Father of all, one also the Word
      of all,
      > > and the Holy Spirit is one and the same everywhere. And there is
      > only one Virgin Mother;
      > > I love to call her the Church." - St. Clement of Alexandria
      > >
      > > Rev. Jon M. Ellingworth
      > > The Lutheran Church of Christ the King
      > > 14 Pine Drive Pawling, NY 12564
      > > Office 845.855.3169
      > > Home 845.855.2616
      > > E-Mail didache@
      > > E-Mail pawlinglutheran@
      > > Web http://www.pawlinglutheran.org
      > > Blog http://www.lesteverymanbeblind.blogspot.com
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: Travis (Constantine) Stolz
      > > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2008 9:54 PM
      > > Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: Lutherans and Orthodox in
      > Heaven?
      > >
      > > Dear Rev. Ellingworth,
      > >
      > > Concerning point a, here are some of my thoughts (for what, if
      > anything, they might be worth):
      > >
      > > You say that you need to be convinced by arguments "normed" by Holy
      > Scripture and only "supported" by Holy Tradition. Speaking for myself,
      > at least (as only one Orthodox Christian), you seem to be putting the
      > cart before the horse. On the one hand, Holy Scripture and Holy
      > Tradition are of one piece and cannot be bifurcated or placed in
      > opposition as you seem to be doing. On the other hand, it is the
      > Church herself and her Tradition that gave us Holy Scripture, so again
      > I seem to be a bit confused as to how you want to argue, much less how
      > I can argue based on the parameters or criteria you have indicated.
      > >
      > > With that out of the way, then, we believe that the Orthodox Church
      > simply is *the* One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church because of
      > the teaching of Christ, the Holy Apostles, and the Holy Fathers which
      > she has preserved down to this day. Every communion, denomination,
      > sect, etc., says this, of course. The proof of the pudding, however,
      > is in the eating. "To be deep in history," as Newman writes, "is to
      > cease to be Protestant." And, for me, Lutheran as well. This is not a
      > dig against Lutheranism or a swipe at my former colleagues. Rather, it
      > simply reflects my experience at trying again and again to make Luther
      > et al. conform not simply to the Fathers but, quite frankly, the
      > historic witness of the Church herself. One can only (as a Lutheran)
      > read the Holy Fathers and say, "But we have this, too," before one
      > must be honest and realize that this is simply untrue. And even if it
      > is true for one Lutheran somewhere or even one Lutheran parish, it is
      > only an
      > > exception--for one is in fellowship (i.e., eucharistic) with other
      > Lutherans who do not care in the least for the Church and her
      > Tradition, etc.
      > >
      > > Also, ecclesiology and Christology are two sides of the same coin.
      > Just as the Incarnation made God concrete and tangible, so, too, is
      > the Church herself. The Church is the concrete and tangible place of
      > salvation, the place where concrete and tangible sacraments are
      > effected by a concrete and tangible priesthood (who are incumbents of
      > the priesthood through concrete and tangible means as well). This is
      > something (again, my own experience) at which Lutherans balk, at least
      > when push comes to shove. For Orthodox Christians, however, it's the
      > default setting.
      > >
      > > I don't know if this answers anything or is the least bit helpful,
      > but these are some thoughts on a Saturday night...
      > >
      > > Yours,
      > > Travis (Constantine)
      > >
      > > "Rev. Jon M. Ellingworth" <didache@> wrote:
      > > Considering the various responses the subject line has generated,
      > this is what I glean:
      > > a) Orthodox believe that they are the one true visible Church on
      earth.
      > > b) Because God alone will judge on the Last Day, no one, Orthodox or
      > otherwise, can know with certainty that they are/will be saved.
      > >
      > > Concerning "a", this has only been dogmatically stated. I need to be
      > convinced of this by sound argument normed by Scripture and only
      > supported by tradition.
      > >
      > > Concerning "b", I agree, of course, that the final judgment is the
      > final word on our salvation. Since that has not occurred, then we
      > cannot know what that judgment will be. However, another way of
      > looking at this is that the final judgment has been executed in Jesus'
      > death and resurrection. Those baptized believers in Christ are, even
      > now, judged innocent in Christ. All that is necessary to be saved is
      > to "remain in Christ", i.e. "Remain in me and I will remain in you,
      > and you will bear much fruit." Remaining in Christ is little more than
      > remaining in repentance, receiving absolution, being sustained in
      > Christ's gifts through Word and Sacrament, and bearing His fruit of
      > love (mercy, forgiveness, charity, sacrifice, etc.); this is
      > essentially what it means to be a Christian. Falling out of this,
      > though possible, is surely difficult for those who love the Lord and
      > believe His Word. For those who remain in Christ, I cannot imagine
      > that one would not be comforted and secure
      > > "knowing" that Christ has promised never to leave or forsake you and
      > that if and when you stumble and sin that, in repentance, He is ready
      > and anxious to forgive and restore. As a related aside, Job, who
      > certainly had every reason to despair, confessed "I *know* that my
      > Redeemer lives.... [...] And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
      > yet in my flesh I shall see God." This certainly sounds to me like Job
      > was confident of his salvation, and at the worst imaginable moment of
      > his life.
      > >
      > > I thank you all for your answers.
      > > JME
      > >
      > > +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
      > >
      > > "He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church
      > for his mother."
      > > - St. Cyprian of Carthage
      > >
      > > "O wondrous mystery! One is the Father of all, one also the Word
      of all,
      > > and the Holy Spirit is one and the same everywhere. And there is
      > only one Virgin Mother;
      > > I love to call her the Church." - St. Clement of Alexandria
      > >
      > > Rev. Jon M. Ellingworth
      > > The Lutheran Church of Christ the King
      > > 14 Pine Drive Pawling, NY 12564
      > > Office 845.855.3169
      > > Home 845.855.2616
      > > E-Mail didache@
      > > E-Mail pawlinglutheran@
      > > Web http://www.pawlinglutheran.org
      > > Blog http://www.lesteverymanbeblind.blogspot.com
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > > _______________________
      > > Travis (Constantine) Stolz
      > > travis.stolz@
      > >
      > > ---------------------------------
      > > Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > _______________________
      > > Travis (Constantine) Stolz
      > > travis.stolz@
      > >
      > >
      > > ---------------------------------
      > > Looking for last minute shopping deals? Find them fast with Yahoo!
      > Search.
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > _______________________
      > Travis (Constantine) Stolz
      > travis.stolz@...
      >
      >
      > ---------------------------------
      > Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile.
      Try it now.
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • Brian Fink
      You mean Pastor isnt their first name after all? Brian ... From: tharman32 To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday, January
      Message 53 of 53 , Jan 23, 2008
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        You mean Pastor isnt their first name after all?

        Brian


        ----- Original Message ----
        From: tharman32 <tharman32@...>
        To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2008 7:21:54 PM
        Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: Lutherans and Orthodox in Heaven?

        --- In LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com, "Rev. Jon M.
        Ellingworth" <didache@... > wrote:
        >
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