The Difference

I received a certain publication today; one that I never read.  However, as I was moving toward the round file, I accidentally glanced at a few words on the front page.  Not reading them, mind you, just inadvertently seeing the letters.  What letters did I see?  Apparently they referred to a recently released book – one that I will be happy to see go out of print.  Why?  The review begins thusly :

“…I am a wounded veteran… from the civil war in American Lutheranism… It took place as I was entering adulthood; along with many others of my generation, it robbed me of my church and the future that I planned. “

Self absorbed much?  I understand that this is a personal thing for survivors of the traumatic events of the 70’s.  But really?  A man who is a college professor complaining that his planned future was taken from him?  That’s a surprise in the church?  Did someone dress and carry him where he did not want to go, or did he simply have to settle for a professorship at a different school than he intended?

His church?  I thought it was our Lord’s church.

I have met, and ministered to many who have served in the military.  Many were wounded with real wounds that still pain them to this day, almost seventy years later.  How much complaining have they done?  Not a single word.  Men you admire were forced to teach at a different college?  How awful.  I know men who got up in the morning and wondered which of their friends would be lifeless corpses by day’s end.  It was not a matter of if.  It was of when.  How much complaining do they do?  How much agonizing in public over the lost lives?  None.  They had a job to do.  They did it.  I think Jesus tells a parable about that somewhere.

As for the title of the review, this is not “A Book that Could Change American Lutheran History”.  Those days are done, and can not be changed.  One assumes you are hoping it will change how that history is viewed.  Of course, given the manner in which many of the seminex crowd sought to change the events recorded by the Evangelists themselves, I should not assume you know that history can not be changed.  But ultimately, the LCMS will always see this as a great triumph for God’s Word.  Since the seminex crowd didn’t think much of God’s word in the first place,* they will never be able to see the battle as anything more than a political one.

My generation will never agree to that analysis, and this book will almost certainly change no minds.

For the difference between the previous generation and my own, as seen through the lens of a Volkswagon commercial, an excellent analysis can be found at Penelope’s Trunk. (HT : Respublica)  I think it also explains the difference between the church of the previous generation and the church of my own (or my grandfather’s depending on how you want to look at it.)

*Favorite quote from seminex trained pastor:  “The doctrine on which the church stands or falls is not the word of God, it is justification.”

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One Response to “The Difference”

  1. Generation X may be much more family-oriented than the Baby Boomers, but….I wonder about Generation Y or Z. Would these “lost generations” have the same priorities as Generation X?

    ELCA pastors (many of them Seminex clergy) go out of their way to tell their pewsitters that the LCMS is “evil.” They are upset that congregations are leaving the ELCA to join the LCMC or NALC. They are terrified that many of these breakaway congregations may eventually decide to join the LCMS or the AALC.

    Psssst! Nobody under the age of 50 has even heard of Seminex. Well, maybe only the ELCA pastors over at ALPB might argue over it. The author should have published this book in the mid-1970s. Too much time has passed. This is dead history. No one cares anymore. He may as well have written a tome about the French Revolution….

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