Author Topic: Today I said...  (Read 468 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Ainnir

  • Section Moderator
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,524
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Today I said...
« on: May 27, 2018, 05:41:47 PM »
that Lutheranism still seemed dualistic to me, despite them having more of a sacramental view of things like communion (Real Presence) and baptism (regeneration).  I attended a two month inquirer's class at a WELS church, but that's about all my exposure to Lutheranism.  So critique or correct me, preferably without bashing Lutherans in the process, because that's not my goal!  I'm just trying to figure out if I'm randomly making things up and throwing words around or just can't quite access an actual memory that left me with that impression.  :laugh:
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Volnutt

  • Dull Sublunary Lover
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,656
  • too often left in the payment of false ponchos
  • Faith: Evangelical by default
  • Jurisdiction: Spiritually homeless
Re: Today I said...
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2018, 06:00:40 PM »
Well, Diego always said that WELS were just Calvinists in Lutheran clothing lol, so maybe that's what he meant! :D

I guess the Lutheran view of Communion could be seen as dualistic with the insistence on the substance of the bread and wine still remaining, but I'd be hesitant to push that too far lest it end up criticizing the Orthodox view as well as to why the bread and wine don't visibly change into the Body and Blood (know what I mean?)

I guess it could also be argued that Luther's approach the trappings of liturgy (calling them "things indifferent") betrays a certain dualistic bias as well- an attitude that all that "really matters" is what goes on in the mental-spiritual realm. Ditto for his views on justification as a sort of "legal fiction" detached from sanctification in one's life.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Ainnir

  • Section Moderator
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,524
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Today I said...
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2018, 10:17:14 PM »
I missed him saying that, but in that case, it may well have been peculiar to WELS.  I was thinking less about whether their view of communion was still dualistic, and more about their general view of the relationship between spirit and matter.  It could have been poor note-taking or attention on my part, but I sort of came away with the impression that it wasn't any different than the Baptist or Evangelical churches.  But if I'm wrong or being too broad, I'd like to know.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Volnutt

  • Dull Sublunary Lover
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,656
  • too often left in the payment of false ponchos
  • Faith: Evangelical by default
  • Jurisdiction: Spiritually homeless
Re: Today I said...
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2018, 10:28:04 PM »
I missed him saying that, but in that case, it may well have been peculiar to WELS.  I was thinking less about whether their view of communion was still dualistic, and more about their general view of the relationship between spirit and matter.  It could have been poor note-taking or attention on my part, but I sort of came away with the impression that it wasn't any different than the Baptist or Evangelical churches.  But if I'm wrong or being too broad, I'd like to know.

I'm not entirely sure. I've always seen the Lutheran view as hovering somewhere in between the sacerdotal churches and the rest of Protestantism (minus High Church Anglicans). I know they tend to believe that consecration is something that can "turn" on and off, so they usually just put unused host back into the box (unused wine does at least get poured down a special drain into the earth). I think anything like a Presanctified Liturgy would make no sense to a classical Lutheran. This is the conservative Lutherans, of course. The ELCA can be very anything goes.

Here's the Small Catechism (the entire Book of Concord is on that site) on the Sacrament of the Altar:


Quote
As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household.

What is the Sacrament of the Altar?

It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself.

Where is this written?

The holy Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul, write thus:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and gave it to His disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.

After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Take, drink ye all of it. This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the remission of sins. This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.

What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?

That is shown us in these words: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins; namely, that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.

How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things?

It is not the eating and drinking, indeed, that does them, but the words which stand here, namely: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins. Which words are, beside the bodily eating and drinking, as the chief thing in the Sacrament; and he that believes these words has what they say and express, namely, the forgiveness of sins.

Who, then, receives such Sacrament worthily?

Fasting and bodily preparation is, indeed, a fine outward training; but he is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins.

But he that does not believe these words, or doubts, is unworthy and unfit; for the words For you require altogether believing hearts.

I see a lot of emphasis on the "words" behind the symbols and belief in the heart and it does make me wonder what in all this a Baptist would actually object to, but then I know that Luther and Zwingli did almost come to blows over the very question.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Online Alpha60

  • Pray without ceasing!
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,552
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox
Re: Today I said...
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2018, 10:28:10 AM »
I missed him saying that, but in that case, it may well have been peculiar to WELS.  I was thinking less about whether their view of communion was still dualistic, and more about their general view of the relationship between spirit and matter.  It could have been poor note-taking or attention on my part, but I sort of came away with the impression that it wasn't any different than the Baptist or Evangelical churches.  But if I'm wrong or being too broad, I'd like to know.

I'm not entirely sure. I've always seen the Lutheran view as hovering somewhere in between the sacerdotal churches and the rest of Protestantism (minus High Church Anglicans). I know they tend to believe that consecration is something that can "turn" on and off, so they usually just put unused host back into the box (unused wine does at least get poured down a special drain into the earth). I think anything like a Presanctified Liturgy would make no sense to a classical Lutheran. This is the conservative Lutherans, of course. The ELCA can be very anything goes.

Here's the Small Catechism (the entire Book of Concord is on that site) on the Sacrament of the Altar:


Quote
As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household.

What is the Sacrament of the Altar?

It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself.

Where is this written?

The holy Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul, write thus:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and gave it to His disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.

After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Take, drink ye all of it. This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the remission of sins. This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.

What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?

That is shown us in these words: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins; namely, that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.

How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things?

It is not the eating and drinking, indeed, that does them, but the words which stand here, namely: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins. Which words are, beside the bodily eating and drinking, as the chief thing in the Sacrament; and he that believes these words has what they say and express, namely, the forgiveness of sins.

Who, then, receives such Sacrament worthily?

Fasting and bodily preparation is, indeed, a fine outward training; but he is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins.

But he that does not believe these words, or doubts, is unworthy and unfit; for the words For you require altogether believing hearts.

I see a lot of emphasis on the "words" behind the symbols and belief in the heart and it does make me wonder what in all this a Baptist would actually object to, but then I know that Luther and Zwingli did almost come to blows over the very question.

Chiefly because of Luther’s insistance on what some scholars term “consubstantiality,” that being there is a physical presence in the Eucharist of the body and blood, “in, with and under” the bread and wine.

Sort of an extreme version of transubstantiation, in which the Eucharist retains the substance as well as rhe accidents of the gifts while also obtaining a new substance, miraculously and via the Holy Spirit.

~

My firm opinion is that Luther only got three things right in terms of Eucharistic theology: his insistance on a physical presence, his emphasis on frequent reception, and his insistence this be in both kinds.   Sort of a case of “close, but no cigar.”  RC Eucharistic doctrine was really poorly communicated in the 16th century, with too much emphasis on seeing and adoring the Host and not enough on partaking it frequently, or on the wine, which became a privilege of the clergy.   That said, the RC position was much more correct than the Lutheran one, which also denied the sacrificial character of the Eucharist among a host of other follies.  The only Western Christians who I suspect had a correct Eucharistic theology at that time were the Czech Utraquists, and certain other Hussites, who were seeking to regain a lost Orthodoxy, but the Czech restoration ultimately failed with the Pietist takeover of Moravianism under Count von Zinzendorf. 

Fortunately we now have a healthy and growing Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, which from what I hear is not just there for the sake of the Carpatho-Rusyns, but is actually ministering to Czechs and Slovaks.  And that makes me very happy, as I love those people.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Iconodule

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 15,049
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Johnstown
Re: Today I said...
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2018, 10:47:09 AM »
The dirty secret of Protestantism (well, it's not really a secret at all) is the immense influence of Renaissance Neo-Platonism in the protestant movement. Neo-Platonism of course was not new to the Christian tradition but the strain that was in vogue among the European intellectuals was fiercely rationalist and anti-material, and much less tempered by an awareness of the incarnation. One gets the sense that these men, as was said of Plotinus, were ashamed to be seen in a body. This is much more evident in Zwingli and Calvin than in Luther, though the trend must inevitably have crept into Lutheran thinking as well.
Quote
When a time revolts against eternity, the only thing to set against it is genuine eternity itself, and not some other time which has already roused, and not without reason, a violent reaction against itself.
- Berdyaev

If you would like a private forum for non-polemical topics, comment here.

Offline Ainnir

  • Section Moderator
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,524
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Re: Today I said...
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2018, 09:20:16 AM »
And if the WELS is not really characteristic of Lutheranism but more like Calvinism, that would especially make sense.

I remembered.  Dualism may not be the right word for this concept, but it's the sense that God is inaccessible to most people most of the time.  The classes were heavy on both monergism and total depravity.  Because really, all any of us has to do to at least begin to "find God" is stop and turn around, but if you have a religious framework built around these two doctrines, stopping and turning around are rendered impossible unless God happens to decide to make you (and then how do  you know?).  So God isn't really "here" in any sort of meaningful or relational sense.  I might be bending the use of "dualism" to breaking point on that one, I don't know.   :laugh:  Either way, that's what was so off-putting from the WELS classes.
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Online Alpha60

  • Pray without ceasing!
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,552
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox
Re: Today I said...
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2018, 06:34:03 PM »
The dirty secret of Protestantism (well, it's not really a secret at all) is the immense influence of Renaissance Neo-Platonism in the protestant movement. Neo-Platonism of course was not new to the Christian tradition but the strain that was in vogue among the European intellectuals was fiercely rationalist and anti-material, and much less tempered by an awareness of the incarnation. One gets the sense that these men, as was said of Plotinus, were ashamed to be seen in a body. This is much more evident in Zwingli and Calvin than in Luther, though the trend must inevitably have crept into Lutheran thinking as well.

Ergo the eventual embrace of cremation by most Protestants and a theology focused on “getting to Heaven” vs. Resurrection at the Day of Judgement.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Volnutt

  • Dull Sublunary Lover
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,656
  • too often left in the payment of false ponchos
  • Faith: Evangelical by default
  • Jurisdiction: Spiritually homeless
Re: Today I said...
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2018, 06:48:52 PM »
And if the WELS is not really characteristic of Lutheranism but more like Calvinism, that would especially make sense.

I remembered.  Dualism may not be the right word for this concept, but it's the sense that God is inaccessible to most people most of the time.  The classes were heavy on both monergism and total depravity.  Because really, all any of us has to do to at least begin to "find God" is stop and turn around, but if you have a religious framework built around these two doctrines, stopping and turning around are rendered impossible unless God happens to decide to make you (and then how do  you know?).  So God isn't really "here" in any sort of meaningful or relational sense.  I might be bending the use of "dualism" to breaking point on that one, I don't know.   :laugh:  Either way, that's what was so off-putting from the WELS classes.

Depends on how you define monergism, doesn't it? I thought St. John Cassian taught that nobody comes unless called first.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline scamandrius

  • A man of many, many turns
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,370
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA
Re: Today I said...
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2018, 09:32:10 PM »
that Lutheranism still seemed dualistic to me, despite them having more of a sacramental view of things like communion (Real Presence) and baptism (regeneration).  I attended a two month inquirer's class at a WELS church, but that's about all my exposure to Lutheranism.  So critique or correct me, preferably without bashing Lutherans in the process, because that's not my goal!  I'm just trying to figure out if I'm randomly making things up and throwing words around or just can't quite access an actual memory that left me with that impression.  :laugh:

Modern Lutheranism is but a shadow of its former self after the Reformation.  Problems began with the Pietistic movement in the 1700s and also from the state forcing the Calvinists and the Lutherans together (modern EDK in Germany) despite major theological differences though many of those seem to not matter anymore.  I remember going to the Evangelische Kirche in the German town where my mother was born and the sermon may well have been given by a Calvinist.  Here in the states, you have a Lutheranism which is more or less Episcopalianism (ELCA), more or less Baptist (half of the LCMS), more or less faithful and true to the confessions of the Lutheran Church as found in the Book of Concord (the other half of the LCMS) and the WELS. 

As far as the dualism, you're not wrong.  The "chief article" of LUtheranism is justification by faith alone which can only be understood in the Lutheran formulation that man is simul iustus et peccator (at the same time justified and a sinner) and that he is dung covered by snow.  There's also the Lutheran hermeneutic towards interpreting Scripture that one must use the lens of "Law and Gospel" though one would be hard-pressed to see how that would work with the Sermon on the Mount.  Same even with the understanding of the Eucharist:  It is both "body and blood" but also still "bread and wine."  Though these are supposed to be "both..and" formulations, contradictory as they are, a lot of times you will see one highlighted at the expense of the other.  Many Lutherans would balk at calling the Eucharist strictly the "Lord's Body and Blood" despite the Scriptural evidence because it sounds toooooo Catholic (can't have that).  But though the term consubstantiation has been applied to what Lutherans believe happens at the altar, many Lutheran theologians also balk at that term saying it defies categorization (ironic when you consider that in Lutheranism pretty much everything has to have a category).  Justification and sanctification are also now separated by such a wide chasm that sanctification, or the doing of good works, has also been largely written off as "earning salvation." 

Lutheranism has its own "logic" which, I suspect, if most Lutherans actually did their homework they would see the inherent disconnects and at least wonder what is going on.   But that's not going to happen.
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.

Online Alpha60

  • Pray without ceasing!
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,552
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox
Re: Today I said...
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2018, 05:47:34 AM »
that Lutheranism still seemed dualistic to me, despite them having more of a sacramental view of things like communion (Real Presence) and baptism (regeneration).  I attended a two month inquirer's class at a WELS church, but that's about all my exposure to Lutheranism.  So critique or correct me, preferably without bashing Lutherans in the process, because that's not my goal!  I'm just trying to figure out if I'm randomly making things up and throwing words around or just can't quite access an actual memory that left me with that impression.  :laugh:

Modern Lutheranism is but a shadow of its former self after the Reformation.  Problems began with the Pietistic movement in the 1700s and also from the state forcing the Calvinists and the Lutherans together (modern EDK in Germany) despite major theological differences though many of those seem to not matter anymore.  I remember going to the Evangelische Kirche in the German town where my mother was born and the sermon may well have been given by a Calvinist.  Here in the states, you have a Lutheranism which is more or less Episcopalianism (ELCA), more or less Baptist (half of the LCMS), more or less faithful and true to the confessions of the Lutheran Church as found in the Book of Concord (the other half of the LCMS) and the WELS. 

As far as the dualism, you're not wrong.  The "chief article" of LUtheranism is justification by faith alone which can only be understood in the Lutheran formulation that man is simul iustus et peccator (at the same time justified and a sinner) and that he is dung covered by snow.  There's also the Lutheran hermeneutic towards interpreting Scripture that one must use the lens of "Law and Gospel" though one would be hard-pressed to see how that would work with the Sermon on the Mount.  Same even with the understanding of the Eucharist:  It is both "body and blood" but also still "bread and wine."  Though these are supposed to be "both..and" formulations, contradictory as they are, a lot of times you will see one highlighted at the expense of the other.  Many Lutherans would balk at calling the Eucharist strictly the "Lord's Body and Blood" despite the Scriptural evidence because it sounds toooooo Catholic (can't have that).  But though the term consubstantiation has been applied to what Lutherans believe happens at the altar, many Lutheran theologians also balk at that term saying it defies categorization (ironic when you consider that in Lutheranism pretty much everything has to have a category).  Justification and sanctification are also now separated by such a wide chasm that sanctification, or the doing of good works, has also been largely written off as "earning salvation." 

Lutheranism has its own "logic" which, I suspect, if most Lutherans actually did their homework they would see the inherent disconnects and at least wonder what is going on.   But that's not going to happen.

This seems a good and fair post summarizing the status of Lutheranism in the US.   In Europe, the only traditional Lutherans I am aware of are the so-called “Mission Province of the Church of Sweden” which I believe is actually in full schism with the Church of Sweden; at best they might have an SSPX-RCc style relationship.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.