D. Yeago on “Facing Reality in the ELCA”

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A new page on the right (click here) contains a presentation by David Yeago on “Facing Reality in the ELCA,” given on February 6, 2010, at a “Day of Holy Conversation” in the South Carolina Synod. The presentation by Prof. Susan McArver is on the South Carolina Synod website (here).

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6 Responses to “D. Yeago on “Facing Reality in the ELCA””

  1. Paul L. Knudson Says:

    It would be marvelous for many more synods to have such events and presentations. I took issue with Professor Root on his views of Forde, but presentations such as this from David Yeago makes it clear to me that those of us in the so called Traditionalist position hold much in common. I applaud what has been presented here.

    Some of us are leaving the ELCA, but that does not mean we do not respect those staying. There will be varied ways for us all to bear faithful, humble, and gracious witness.

  2. Dan Says:

    I’m sure Mr. Yeago has his heart in the right place, but c’mon man! Don’t write fifteen eloquent paragraphs describing the mess we’re in and conclude by saying, “But gee, I’ve got no real suggestions for what to do about it. Guess you young families out there will just have to suck it up, and maybe before your kids graduate somebody will come up with something.” What is the point here? We already know the denomination is split. Will it ever be time to stop with the “Woe is me” and move forward?

    I don’t mean to be ugly, but you guys need a pep talk! Let’s get energized around here! If we need to actually fight back within the ELCA (which I personally think is futile) then somebody step forward with a concrete gameplan and let’s start fighting. Otherwise let’s move forward with a really exciting, Bible-believing, life-changing, mission-minded new Lutheranism and leave the ELCA to fend for itself. We’ve wasted more than half of a school year wringing our hands. Enough! Children grow up fast and right now they are growing up in a rudderless, conflicted Church that doesn’t know what it believes. Why should any parent put up with that for one more Sunday? Why not just go to the next street corner and join the Baptists? They seem to at least have a good idea of what they believe. (Which is kinda funny considering they have no creed or real governing body)
    C’mon team, let’s get fired up and treat this as a challenge and an opportunity to work on our fundamentals and come out of this stronger. Face it, the ELCA was on life support before this CWA. This crisis is a good thing if it forces us to get it together. If it did somehow go away tomorrow we would still be in the DYING DENOMINATION we were in before August. Let’s move on with a fundamentally sound new denomination that will grow and thrive and ACTUALLY TELL PEOPLE ABOUT THE JESUS OF THE BIBLE!!

  3. Sharon Says:

    “The institutional problem of managing this institutional internal rupture is going to engage a great deal of our attention and energy for a long. long time.” “Someone” is pleased.

  4. Pr. Ian Wolfe Says:

    Thank you Dr. Root, for posting the links to both of these presentations. I always appreciate Dr. Yeago’s thoughts and I have appreciated the deep sincerity of Dr. McArver’s presentation and yearning for Christian Charity and renewed prayer and meditation.

    What I find still deeply problematic in Dr. McArver’s presentation, which is not the problem of her argument, but rather I’m becoming more convinced is an inherent problem within American Lutheranism or at least Lutheranism of our century, is that there is no longer any norm within which the Bible is interpreted for the life, teaching, and proclamation of the Church. There is no longer any standard (rule of faith) to which our various interpretations of Holy Scripture are to be judged and normed for the life and teaching of the Church. What Dr. McArver brings forward in her presentation is that each of us interprets the scripture in our own way and then concluding that those interpretations are normative for the believer and I suggest by extension the Church. The way I read this, and this could be my own error here, is that instead of having no one pope to submit to, we are condemned to a plurality of popes each with a valid reading and interpretation of Holy Scriptures. Even if the early American Southern Church appealed to a “plain sense of scripture,” to support slavery, that interpretation is not only wrong now in our modern eyes, but it was a wrong, false and diabolical interpretation in its own day. The church was in err back then and that is not a anachronistic judgment placed upon history, but rather the reality of a false Gospel and a bastardization of the scriptures. Scriptures were used wrongly to justify current practices and societal norms, slavery. We can say the Church erred then, not because we are enlightened now, but rather because the Truth of scripture, Jesus Christ, is unchangeable whether the incarnate Church gets it right or not. I do not see in Luther or classic Lutheranism that there is no norming norm of interpreting the Holy Scriptures, no rule of faith. If we are left to each individual interpretation by the believers as valid and indeed normative for the Church, then Article VII makes absolutely no sense. How can there be a unity in the doctrine of the Gospel, when there is no unity upon the Gospel’s interpretation? How can the Gospel be purely taught, if there is individual popery to determine what is purely the Gospel? These questions I raise not to Dr. McArver, but rather of modern Lutheranism in general. I am becoming unfortunately less and less convinced of the validity of Art. VII as it’s “sole” source for unity.

    • Pr. Rafe Allison Says:

      Yes, Ian. Another way I see this line of thought being proposed it that God’s Word exists in two “forms”… first, the written Word, and second, the incarnate Word. Well, none of us are going to disagree with that (at least I don’t think so!) However, the new argument seems to be that, rather than one being the fulfillment of the other, these two “forms” of God’s Word do not stand together in a complimentary way but, rather, are actually in contradiction to one another. So, (continuing on this line), I will choose the incarnate Word over Scripture and re-interpret the written Word, (or select the chapters/verses I want to choose), based on what I believe/feel/accept the incarnate Word (or “Spirit-doing-a-new-thing”) speaks to me. Therefore, any real, applicable authority once attributed to the written Word is undermined or circumvented all together, and the “sole rule and norm” becomes a version of “What Would Jesus Do?” Of course, w/o any other norm, this one quickly sinks into the relativism of “What do I believe Jesus would do?” a question, of course, based upon my own thoughts, emotions, experiences, etc. So, whether confessed or not, in application the “sole rule and norm” becomes… me. Seems like there was an old, old story about a man and a woman in a Garden that got themselves into a similar trap… but then that’s only in the written Word.
      Christ’s Peace!

  5. Pr. Dan Biles Says:

    This is actually a comment on Prof. McArver’s article, where she says,
    “So where do we go from here? How do we carry on the mission of the church here in the South Carolina Synod when we are in such disagreement? Once again, I cannot claim to have the answers. I think for one thing, though, we keep praying together. Worshipping together. If my study of church history has taught me nothing else, it has taught me that when people stop praying and worshipping together, the mission of the church suffers.”

    Very true. Unfortunately, praying and worshipping together is itself becoming more difficult to do, for in much of the ELCA we no longer have a common language in worship. The inclusive language legalism that the speech police have imposed on our liturgies has made common worship in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit virtually impossible. In other corners of the ELCA, worship has become a form of entertainment or the latest novelty. Compared to this issue, the sexuality matters are almost a trifle.

    Indeed, we became an impaired Church (Yeago’s term) long before CWA 2009 took place.

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