Augsburg 1530/Seminex 1974

Today’s the 468th anniversary of the presentation of the Augsburg Confession to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. I thought you’d like to know. The year was 1530. Times were tough. Suleiman the Magnificent was outside the walls of Vienna with 600,000 Muslim troops, having just “scorch-earthed” his way through a big chunk of southeastern “Christian” Europe. That’s why there …

Gay/Lesbian Ordination – The Central States Synod Resolution

Dear Sabbatarians, Our perusal of Seminex history will begin again next week with Ed’s next chapter, “The first days at Seminex, Feb. 20, 1974ff.” This week I asked Jim Squire to write about the Central States Synod Assembly which took place this past weekend. THE ISSUE of the assembly was the defrocking of a pastor who admitted to our bishop …

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 …

Abounding in Hope

Robert W. Bertram [Address at the 1991 Assembly of the Missouri-Kansas Synod – (ELCA), Lindsborg, Kansas, June 7-8, 1991.] ABSTRACT The “abounding in hope” theme of Romans 15: 13 can address the boundaries of hope the Christian faith community experiences in the divisions between those strong and those weak in faith. In the setting of the Epistle, in fact, it …

Altogether By Faith

Robert W. Bertram [Published in Lutheran Forum, Volume 23, Number 2, Pentecost, 1989.] ABSTRACT The theme of the 1967 (New York) LCMS convention, “Justification by Grace,” with no mention of the sola fide (“faith alone”), reveals a problem far more broad than merely the LCMS’. As the Fourth Article of the Apology argues, by minimizing faith, the Reformation’s other “solas” …

PUTTING THE NATURE OF GOD INTO LANGUAGE: NAMING THE TRINITY

[Address at Lutheran School of Theology Faculty Forum, Chicago, Illinois, May 18, 1987. Later published in Our Naming of God: Problems and Prospects of God-Talk Today, 91-110. Edited by Carl E. Braaten. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1989. Used by permission.] Nothing so defies “putting the nature of God into language” as does God’s triunity, except that even that much languaging is …

A Baptismal Crossing (Isaiah 42:1-9)

Robert W. Bertram [Printed in Currents in Theology and Mission 9, No. 6 (December, 1982): 344-353. Reprinted with permission.] Who in the Old Testament reading of Isaiah is “you”? “You,” to make a long story short, is you—you, the reader of this page, and I. A long story that is, from the original “you” of this Isaianic song to the …