Summer Conventions: Is it New Orleans all over again?

Next month the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod will hold its convention here in St. Louis. The gossip says it will be a hot one regardless of the local weather. One district president (i.e., a regional bishop) is on the carpet for practicing fellowship with the heterodox. He participated in the wedding of his niece in a service held in …

And Then There Were Three

Colleagues, A fortnight ago in ThTh (#2) I bubbled about the two Seminex grads, Marcus Lohrmann and Robert Rimbo, who had just been elected to episcopal office in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Robin Morgan, our Sabbatheology editor, added a good word from Article 28 of the Augsburg Confession to accompany them on their episcopal callings. Some responses have …

Bishop’s Job Description: What does Augustana 28 say to us today?

Ed Schroeder was on a high two days ago when he e-mailed me to say that two–yes 2!–of his former students, both Seminex alums, were elected bishops last weekend in ELCA synod assemblies. As far as Ed knows none of his former students have made the cut. So you can see why he was bubbly. ‘Course he doesn’t take all …

Foretasting “Full Communion”: Tomorrow’s LutEpisc Today

Robert W. Bertram [Presentation at a Lutheran-Episcopal workshop entitled “Foretasting ‘Full Communion’” sponsored by Lutheran School of Theology, Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis, Mo, May 5, 1998]  Dr. Bertram considered this a “’penultimate’ draft, not (yet) for publication.” Unfortunately, he died before he was able to edit it to his satisfaction.   Like Gaul, this paper has three parts. 1) …

HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HAND?” YES, BUT WHICH HAND?

[Delivered at Bethel Lutheran Church, St. Louis, MO 10-26-97]   At last weekend’s ITEST workshop on the theme, “Creation AND Evolution”, a question arose about the Darwinian (not Darwin’s) phrase, “the survival of the fittest.” Who are the “fittest”? Are they merely whoever happens to survive? But then does the phrase really say anything? Or is it just arguing in …

Luther’s Commentary on the Third Article as a Clue to His Theology of Other Religions

Edward H. Schroeder [Luther Research Congress. Heidelberg University, Germany, August 17-23,1997 A Presentation for the Seminar: “Outside the Church No Salvation” Revised & published in Missio Apostolica, Journal of the Lutheran Society for Missiology VII:1 (May 1999), pp. 4-10. Reprinted with permission.] In spring of 1997 the Mormons dedicated a new temple in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Bahai community …

WILL “FULL COMMUNION” INCLUDE FULL CONVERSATION?

Robert W. Bertram   ELCA’s two proposals for “full communion,” one with the Episcopalians and another with the Reformed, will surely be adopted by the assembly, if only for the sake of appearances. Flawed as the proposals may be, to vote them down now would be unimaginable to today’s churches except as an act of schism. There will be delegates …

Lutheran-Reformed Full Communion: A Modest “No”

Robert W. Bertram [This was originally an address at a gathering of Lutherans in Disaspora in Princeton, New Jersey on February 1, 1997. Later it was printed in Lutheran Forum, Summer, 1997, p. 35. Lutheran Forum gives their permission.] ABSTRACT “A Lutheran-Reformed full communion?” Not “no” to the proposal itself of full communion but a modest “no” to a limited, …

Falling Short of the Glory

Robert W. Bertram [Printed in Lutheran Woman Today, March, 1996, p. 25-27.]   The first thing to say about sin is that sin, by itself, is not our biggest problem. Sin, bad as it is, only becomes worse when we are criticized for it. And no one criticizes us— accuses us, as Lutherans say—so profoundly, so unnervingly as God does. …