Carl Braaten on How We Got Here


Carl Braaten’s take on how the ELCA got into its present situation is on the new page linked on the right side of the blog under “Pages.”  No one can accuse Carl of mincing his words.

Michael Root

3 Responses to “Carl Braaten on How We Got Here”

  1. Paul T. McCain Says:

    Dr. Root, thank you for your blog, which I have been enjoying reading. I’ve always had a great deal of respect for Dr. Braaten as an articulate scholar. I have been puzzled for a number of years though about where he stands on various issues. His dogmatics text is rather consistent in offering revisionist positions on many of the most fundamental points of the Christian faith, casting doubt and suspicion on them and questioning the source of authority for these doctrinal topics.

    Has Dr. Braaten in recent years revised his own thinking and come back into a more traditionalist view of Christian and Lutheran doctrine?

  2. lutheranspersisting Says:

    Dr. McCain,
    You would have to ask Carl himself about that. I think he would insist that he hasn’t changed, those around him have, but he would have to confirm that.
    Michael Root

  3. Jack Kilcrease Says:

    Rev. McCain, I think that Dr. Root is correct. I think what Braaten would say is that the Church changed, he didn’t. He has always been creedally orthodox in the sense that he believes in ecumenical councils 1-6. He has always believed in ecumenism (though he appears more willing to accept a modified version of the Lutheran doctrine of justification presented by JDDJ than he was when he wrote his justification book in the 80s). He has always insisted that he is a “Confessional Lutheran” as well. Though certainly not in the sense that an LCMS theologian like myself or yourself would recognize. Apparently his defintion of what it means to be “confessional” also encompasses a theologians like Wolfhart Pannenberg, whom I do not regard as even particularly “Lutheran” in a very broad sense of the word. I was completely confused by Braaten’s description the authority of the Lutheran Confessions in both editions of his Lutheranism book. Nevertheless, returning to the point above, he doesn’t seem to have changed much on many of these issues since the 70s.

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