Friday, January 04, 2008

New Lutheran title on the Ordination of Women (agin it) includes Australian Authors

Dr William Tighe has alerted me to the following title that has just been released:
New Book on Women’s Ordination Includes Essays by Several CTS Faculty

A collection of essays on the ordination of women, Women Pastors? The Ordination of Women in Biblical Lutheran Perspective, edited by Concordia Theological Seminary professor John T. Pless and Matthew Harrison has been published by Concordia Publishing House and is available for $26.99. This anthology of essays includes chapters by CTS professors Charles Gieschen (“Ordained Proclaimers or Quiet Learners?”), Roland Ziegler (“Liberation Theology in the Leading Ladies of Feminist Theology”), William Weinrich (“Women in the History of the Church” and “It Is Not Given a Woman to Teach: A Lex in Search of a Ratio”), and David Scaer (“May Women Be Ordained as Pastors?” and “The Office of Pastor and the Problem of Women’s Ordination”). Other essays are included by North American, European, and Australian theologians Henry Hamann, Bertil Gaertner, Bo Giertz, Reinhard Slenczka, Peter Kriewaldt, David Bryce, Fredrik Sidenvall, Peter Brunner, John Kleinig, Hermann Sasse, Gregory Lockwood, Louis Smith, Louis Brighton, and Robert Schaibley.

CTS President Dean O. Wenthe commented on the significance of the anthology: “It is striking that in the ancient Near East where female deities and priestesses were abundant, Israel was told to have only male priests. Similarly, in the Greco-Roman world, where female gods and priestesses flourished, the church restricted the apostolic office to men. This volume is to be commended for similarly resisting prevailing cultural novelties by supporting in a scholarly and churchly manner the God-given order for the church’s ministry. Women as well as men are blessed when they hear and follow the living, healing voice of Jesus in the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures.”
Marco Vervoorst and I were reflecting today on how one could possibly make a case for not ordaining women from a Lutheran perspective. The Catholic argument assumes that the one who is ordained IS a PRIEST, and not just a "minister". From the blurb about by Wenthe (about the priesthood of ancient Israel) it would seem that he assumes the equation pastor=priest. But is this true of Lutheran theology in general and of these essays in particular?

Incidentally, several of the Australian authors are, were or have been my close associates or teachers: Henry Hamann, Peter Kriewaldt, David Bryce, John Kleinig, Gregory Lockwood, and (in spirit but never in person) the great Hermann Sasse. Also one of the editors, Pastor Matt Harrison, and his wife were my neighbours at Luther Sem for a year when he was studying here in Australia. A good man and mean banjo player (and yes, I say that even though I was living right next door to him in the same building!).

It would be an interesting endeavour to compare the arguments in this book to Sara Butler's "The Catholic Priesthood and Women", which I regard as the best on offer from a Catholic perspective on this question.

18 Comments:

At Saturday, January 05, 2008 1:47:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...

Happy New Year, David, and all who are posting here.

From the blurb about by Wenthe (about the priesthood of ancient Israel) it would seem that he assumes the equation pastor=priest.

And so do many Lutheran laity. My Lutheran sister is completely oblivious (and I don't mean this disparagingly at all) that the canon of the Mass offers a "holy and living sacrifice," the memorial of the Lord's passion present here and now. Although she has attended Mass many times with Catholic relatives in her mind the Eucharistic canon is for all intents and purposes the same as what she experiences as a Lutheran.

What I found even more interesting in my visits to an LCMS congregation last year was how few of the members in the Adult Education class understood the reason that the LCMS does not "officially" encourage intercommunion with the ELCA.

To them the label "Lutheran" was quite sufficient.

As the Chinese say, we live in interesting times.

 
At Saturday, January 05, 2008 9:04:00 am , OpenID Bob Catholic said...

... how one could possibly make a case for not ordaining women from a Lutheran perspective.

Herr Schutz, is that a challenge? Maybe the Lutherans who frequent this prominent blog could put forward an argument why women should not be included in the public minister of Lutheran communities.

Maybe before that they could outline a way of doing theology that is distinct Lutheran! :) (Sorry is that too John Locke??)

 
At Saturday, January 05, 2008 9:06:00 am , Blogger Chris Jones said...

Mr Schütz,

At least in the United States, Lutheran clergymen are generally referred to as "pastors", occasionally as "priests", but rarely simply as "ministers." In direct address, we call them (usually) "Pastor Smith" or (sometimes) "Father Smith", but not (as other Protestants sometimes do) "Reverend Smith" or "Mr Smith".

Whatever the title that is used, the office that Lutherans believe their clergy to hold is the same office as any Roman or Orthodox priest or bishop. A Lutheran pastor is not simply a lay person who has received an administrative appointment to write and deliver sermons. He has received a divine call to stand in the place of Christ in presiding at the eucharistic assembly, in proclaiming and teaching the Word of God, and in exercising the power of the keys to forgive (or retain) sins. Functionally, this is the office of a priest. The fact that other Christian bodies such as the Roman Catholic Church do not recognize the validity of Lutheran orders, and therefore do not believe that a Lutheran pastor actually carries out these functions, does not change the fact that the office the Lutheran pastor purports to perform is the office of a priest.

The notion that a Lutheran pastor claims to be nothing more than a preacher, rather than an actual priest, is a misconception. All of the valid arguments against women being ordained to the apostolic priesthood are valid in the Lutheran Church as well, since we claim that our pastorate is, in fact, the apostolic priesthood.

 
At Saturday, January 05, 2008 9:24:00 am , Blogger Chris Jones said...

Mr Catholic,

I cross-posted with your comment so I didn't see it until after my earlier comment went up. But I should be happy to take up your challenge.

But first of all, I should say that there is no need (in most cases) to do theology in a "distinctively Lutheran" way. As the Augsburg Confession makes clear, the evangelical Lutheran Church receives the whole of the Catholic faith, only objecting to a few specific errors and abuses which, sadly, had infected the Western Church. Being "distinctively Lutheran" is of value only when addressing those specific errors. The idea that Sola Scriptura means tossing out everything from the Tradition and reconstructing Christianity "from the ground up" by deducing it from the Bible is a Reformed notion, not a Lutheran one. The Lutheran Church gratefully acknowledges the Christian tradition as her theological and spiritual patrimony, objecting only to errors which, though masquerading as valid elements of the tradition, are in fact contrary to the Scriptures.

Thus for Lutherans the short version of the argument against the ordination of women is that Scripture neither requires it nor provides any example of it, and the tradition is decisive against it. Therefore we have no authority to do it.

Here's a slightly longer version of the argument, which I posted on my weblog several years ago (here):

1. The Saviour chose no women apostles and (so far as we know) commissioned no women to teach or exercise the power of the keys

2. St Paul forbade women to teach or have authority over men in the Church. Among other things, this suggests how St Paul interpreted the fact that Christ appointed no women apostles.

3. There were no women bishops or presbyters in the early centuries of the Church. This indicates that St Paul's take on the matter was not his personal opinion, but the consensus among the Apostles which was handed down to their successors.

4. In the third century, the principal point at issue between the Montanist heretics and the orthodox was the reliability of the Apostolic Tradition, compared to the "new revelations of the Holy Spirit" that the Montanists were claiming. One of the principal arguments against the Montanists was that their practice of ordaining women proved that they were not faithful to the Apostolic Tradition. This indicates that the ordination of men only to the presbyterate and the episcopate was part of the authentic teaching of the Apostles.

5. The canon law of the early Church specifically forbade the ordination of women to the presbyterate and episcopate. These canons were endorsed by the Council of Nicaea which gave us our Creed. You could say that Nicaea got the Apostolic Tradition wrong on this point, but they sure got it right in the Creed, so I don't think so.

 
At Saturday, January 05, 2008 9:16:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Dear Chris,

While I grant that the Lutheran conception of the office of the Holy Ministry (nb. that is the terminology Lutherans use, not "Holy Priesthood" or "Holy Pastorate") is not exactly that of other more "reformed" protestants, nevertheless, it cannot be said that Lutherans in any sense see that the office of Pastor equates with the office of Priest in God's Church.

Let us be quite clear about what a priest is. A priest is one who offers sacrifices--usually on behalf of himself and others (only Christ the Priest did not need to offer sacrifice on his own account).

Lutheranism knows of only one priesthood under Christ, and that is the priesthood of all believers. "Ordained and consecrated" as priests in baptism, all Christians offer the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving and the sacrifice of intercession on behalf of the world. (nb. This is Catholic teaching too).

However, the Catholic Church believes that there is a specific "ministerial" priesthood (there's that word again) in addition to the baptismal priesthood which Christ instituted on the night when he was betrayed. He instituted this ministry when he said "Do this in remembrance of me", thus designating his apostles, their successors and those they ordained to the task, to be priests who would offer the sacrifice of the Mass until he returns.

Lutheran pastors may indeed do many of the things that a Catholic priest does (some validly and some invalidly from a Catholic point of view). However, apart from the Catholic view of Lutheran ministry, Lutherans themselves would never view the office of the Holy Ministry as instituted to offer the sacrifice of the mass.

This is a fundamental distinction between Lutheran and Catholic Clergy. The offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice is at the heart of the identity of the Catholic priest, whereas at the heart of the Lutheran pastor's identity is the proclamation of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments.

It is quite clear, on the basis of the OT priesthood and other ancient priesthoods why one whose central task is to offer the eucharistic sacrifice must be male.

It is not so clear why one whose central task is to proclaim the word and administers the sacraments must be male.

 
At Sunday, January 06, 2008 2:21:00 am , Blogger Chris Jones said...

Dear Mr Schütz,

I understand the distinction that you are making, but I do not think it affects my argument as much as you think it does.

I could have been clearer, but when I said the office that Lutherans believe their clergy to hold is the same office as any Roman or Orthodox priest or bishop, I did not mean that Lutherans believe the same things as Catholics about the nature of that office. It is not that we believe that our pastors are everything Catholics believe their priests to be; rather we believe that Catholic priests and bishops are everything we believe our pastors to be (and no more). A subtle distinction, perhaps, but an important one.

Yours is the same argument that Leo XIII used in Apostolicae Curae. I didn't buy it from the Pope in my Anglo-Catholic youth, and I don't buy it from you in my Lutheran age (with, of course, all due respect both to you and to the Pope).

However, I would submit that one's theology of the sacrifice of the Mass is beside the point here -- the point being your original contention that Lutherans cannot reasonably argue against the ordination of women because it is to some office other than the priesthood that they ordain.

Let me grant, for the sake of argument, your contention (and Pope Leo's) that the offering of the sacrifice of the Mass is the essential and identifying characteristic of the Christian priesthood. If that were true, then your original point (that Lutherans can have no valid argument against women's ordination because we do not ordain priests) implies that it is precisely the offering of sacrifice (and nothing else) that women are not able to perform. Any other office which does not involve the offering of the sacrifice should, in principle, be open to women. Otherwise, if there are functions not involving the sacrifice which women are (on the Catholic view) not permitted to perform, then the Catholic arguments forbidding women from such non-priestly functions would be equally applicable to the (allegedly) non-priestly Lutheran pastorate.

This, of course, would allow the ordination of women to any office not involving the sacrifice, including all of the minor orders (acolyte, chanter, catechist, reader, subdeacon, etc.) as well as the diaconate among the major orders. But of course women have never been ordained to any of those orders (all of which, including the minor orders, have been regarded, and referred to liturgically, as "degrees of the priesthood" even though none of them involve the offering of sacrifice). If we are to admit the authority of the Church's unbroken tradition (as surely Catholics must), we see that the concept of the "sacrificing priesthood" is not central to the exclusion of women from the sacred ministry. Women are excluded from all orders of the sacred ministry, whether the orders involve the offering of sacrifice or not.

If the offering of the Mass is the only function which women may not perform in the Church, then we would have to say that women may (in principle) preach; baptize (not only in extremis as any lay Christian may do, but as a regular liturgical function in the Church); confirm; hear confessions and absolve; exorcize; etc, etc. Of course, that is nonsense; but it is the logical consequence of making the sacrifice of the Mass the sole defining characteristic of the presbyterate. A fair reading of the Tradition shows that that is not the case, but you (and Pope Leo) have made it so for polemical purposes.

 
At Sunday, January 06, 2008 3:20:00 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Chris Jones is correct in his critique of the "women can't offer the Sacrifice of the Mass" argument against WO, and I also agree with him that women can no more be "ordained" to the diaconate than they can to the episcopate or priesthood/presbyterate. Where I disagree with him, as he well knows, is that there is any coherent historical Catholic argument in favor of the validity of "Lutheran Orders" -- which I think are absolutely and doubtlessly invalidated (no more and no less than "Presbyterian Orders" or "Baptist Orders") by the simple phrase "no bishop, no Orders" (and "no Orders, no Church").

William Tighe

 
At Sunday, January 06, 2008 4:30:00 am , Blogger Chris Jones said...

Bill,

The validity of Lutheran orders is not the point at issue here. The point at issue is whether the fact** that Lutheran pastors are not "priests as the Roman Church understands the priesthood" vitiates Lutheran arguments against the ordination of women. It does not, as I believe I have demonstrated.

When I was an Anglo-Catholic I took the position that Mr Schütz does: that since Protestant ministers were "merely preachers" so that there could be no objection to women filling that role. I was wrong then and Mr Schütz is wrong now (at least with regard to Lutheran pastors).

Chris


** I agree that Lutheran pastors are not "priests as the Roman Church understands the priesthood"; but (in my view) Catholic priests aren't priests in that sense either. --Ch.

 
At Sunday, January 06, 2008 1:12:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Dear Chris,

I now fully comprehend your argument which you have expounded very well and very clearly. Thank you. If only all my interlocutors were so clear and precise in their distinctions and definitions. I value this in my own lines of argument (although sometimes for the sake of brevity I get a little sloppy) and I value it in others.

Righto then. Let's be quite clear here. First, Lutherans hold that there is only a single office of ministry, which may or may not be differentiated into other orders such as pastor, bishop, deacon etc. It is often overlooked that Catholics also teach that the Sacrament of Holy Orders is a single unified sacrament, despite the fact that in its very definition it deals with the ordering or ranking of the apostolic ministry.

Second, Lutherans and Catholics will generally agree that the Office/Sacrament was instituted by Christ first in the apostles and that there was some sort of "succession" involved when they ordained others to exercise the same office after them.

Third, it is my contention that the defining essence of the Sacrament of Holy Orders in Catholic teaching is the priesthood. The bishop has the fullness of the priesthood, and his priesthood defines all the aspects of his ministry, including teaching and preaching, absolving, baptising etc. Others, such as Priests and Deacons to a certain extent share in this ministerial priesthood in specific and different ways. Thus, although a Deacon does not offer the Eucharistic sacrifice, he is joioned to the Eucharistic sacrifice as minister of the Chalice. His preaching and teaching is also Eucharistic.

(Nb. The ordination of women to the diaconate has not yet definitively been ruled out, although it is not allowed and, if it becomes a burning issue, is likely to be declared illegal. Nevertheless, there is the office of "deaconess", which although it isn't used in the Roman rite, does exist in other rites, such as the Greek Church. The Deaconess is not simply a female deacon, however. She does not share in the sacrament of holy orders. Significantly though, it does appear that in the early church the deaconess did exercise the ministry of baptising--in the particular case of the baptism of adult females, whose nakedness made this function inappropriate for Deacons).

The Lutheran office, on the other hand, is indeed the Predigtampt, although it is quite wrong to call the Lutheran pastor a "mere preacher". It is his call and ordination as a "servant of the word" which completely defines every other ministry he performs, pastoral work, absolving, administering the Lord's Supper, baptising, teaching etc.

Thus while Catholic objections to the ordination of women rests largely on arguments regarding why women cannot be priests, Lutheran objections rest largely on why women cannot be public preachers and teachers of the Word (and hence the relevance and importance of the Pauline passages, which in the Catholic argument hold a very secondary place).

Naturally, Lutherans do not only argue that a woman cannot be ordained to preach, but that she cannot be ordained to administer the sacraments either--because in Lutheran theology the ministry is a ministry of Word AND Sacrament (the Sacrament being the embodied Word). Nor do Catholics allow women to be ordained to preach, because preaching in the liturgy is profoundly related to the Eucharistic Offering as a whole.

 
At Sunday, January 06, 2008 1:22:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Chris,

Also regarding your arguments:

1. The Saviour chose no women apostles and (so far as we know) commissioned no women to teach or exercise the power of the keys

This is the defining argument of the Catholic Church also, however, we would not define the "commission" in terms of teaching or the keys, but in terms of the priesthood. Demonstrates my argument really.

2. St Paul forbade women to teach or have authority over men in the Church. Among other things, this suggests how St Paul interpreted the fact that Christ appointed no women apostles.

As I have said, these texts have a very minor role in the Catholic argument. Their role is precisely as you have pointed out: they are a witness to how St Paul interpreted the action of Christ. However, Lutheran argument (unlike the way you have worded it here) often takes the Pauline passages as themselves determinative of the Office rather than descriptive of the Office as it was determined by Christ.

3. There were no women bishops or presbyters in the early centuries of the Church. This indicates that St Paul's take on the matter was not his personal opinion, but the consensus among the Apostles which was handed down to their successors.

Again, we take Paul very slightly here. It indicates that from the time of Christ--including Paul--an all male priesthood was the unbroken rule.

4. In the third century, the principal point at issue between the Montanist heretics and the orthodox was the reliability of the Apostolic Tradition, compared to the "new revelations of the Holy Spirit" that the Montanists were claiming. One of the principal arguments against the Montanists was that their practice of ordaining women proved that they were not faithful to the Apostolic Tradition. This indicates that the ordination of men only to the presbyterate and the episcopate was part of the authentic teaching of the Apostles.

True. And to the Diaconate. Note what has been said above about the office of Deaconess being distinct from the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

5. The canon law of the early Church specifically forbade the ordination of women to the presbyterate and episcopate. These canons were endorsed by the Council of Nicaea which gave us our Creed. You could say that Nicaea got the Apostolic Tradition wrong on this point, but they sure got it right in the Creed, so I don't think so.

We, of course, would never imagine that Nicea "got it wrong". Of course, Nicea got it right on celibacy too, but we won't go there at the moment!

It is interesting that you say you were an Anglo Catholic, because in many senses you still argue like one. A dyed in the wool (modern rather than classical) Lutheran wouldn't be worried about any of your arguments listed here except no. 2, because they would take the attitude that the unless the Scriptures explicity declared that women cannot be ordained pastors then it is allowable. Of course, that is why so much exegetical ink has been spilled on the Pauline passages. In this sense your argument is more Catholic than Lutheran! I suspect your view of the Lutheran ministry may also be slightly more coloured by your Anglo-Catholic past than by Lutheranism as she exists today.

 
At Tuesday, January 08, 2008 1:08:00 am , Blogger Chris Jones said...

It is interesting that you say you were an Anglo Catholic, because in many senses you still argue like one.

I think the fact that I was Orthodox for ten years is even more important.

I suspect your view of the Lutheran ministry may also be slightly more coloured by your Anglo-Catholic past than by Lutheranism as she exists today.

Again, my Orthodox background probably has more to do with it. Anglo-Catholics are (in my experience) totally hung up on the issue of formal validity of orders, which makes Lutheran orders right out for them. That's why when I was an Anglican I shared your view ("Why should the silly Lutherans bother about whether to 'ordain' women to their faux priesthood?"). The Orthodox don't think much of the Lutheran pastorate either, but they don't even begin to consider "validity of orders" until the orthodoxy and orthopraxis of the Church involved has been considered.

In any case I try to keep myself pure from what you called "modern rather than classical Lutheranism." "Modern" Lutheranism so often is simply Reformed in Lutheran clothing.

 
At Tuesday, January 08, 2008 1:11:00 am , Blogger Chris Jones said...

BTW, I was intrigued by your comment that "Nicaea got it right on celibacy." If I ever knew that the Nicene canons addressed priestly celibacy, I have long forgotten it. Can you give me a reference?

If there is an ecumenical canon (from Nicaea or otherwise) requiring priestly celibacy, it is remarkable that Eastern Catholic priests are married.

 
At Tuesday, January 08, 2008 3:41:00 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thnk that I know of concernng Nicaea and priestly celibacy is the apocryphal tale that the representatives of Rome at the council tried to get it to mandate celibacy for bishops, priests and deacons (some versions simply say priests and deacons), but that someone, a monk (Pachomius, Paphnutius -- I forget who it was supposed to be) got up and spoke against it, and so it was defeated.

William Tighe

 
At Tuesday, January 08, 2008 9:07:00 am , Blogger William Weedon said...

Chris directed to me this interesting discussion - though I did note David's comments on the book. I've got it and am currently reading through it.

Once again, I think agree with Chris in almost every particular. I will note, though, that the Lutheran Symbols frequently use the term "minister" ("Diener" - with the emphasis being on the one who serves out the Lord's gifts). As to the Lutheran understanding of the office, these points are perhaps worth keeping in mind:

*The Lutheran Symbols themselves, when addressing the topic of celibacy, say "They (the Roman bishops) have neither the authority nor the right to ban marriage and to burden *the divine order of priests* with perpetual celibacy." (SA III: XI:1) The Lutheran Symbols also simply refer to "the order of priests" (Ap XXII:13). Hence the priesthood is not merely an office (though it is that, of course) but it also constitutes an Order in Christ's Church.

*The Lutheran Symbols teach that the priests in their offering of God's Word or of the Sacraments "offer them in the stead and place of Christ" so that they "do not represent their own person's, but the person of Christ." (Ap VII:28) Thus, "God is present" in this ministry (Ap XIII:13)

That last point becomes a key one in the question of women's ordination: in what sense can a woman step into that Office that represents Christ?

 
At Wednesday, January 09, 2008 2:44:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...

"They (the Roman bishops) have neither the authority nor the right to ban marriage and to burden *the divine order of priests* with perpetual celibacy."

Pastor Weedon, interesting that the Symbols did not also address the perpetual celibacy of Eastern bishops, although I recognize that the theological disputes at the time of the Reformation were in the main between Rome and Wittenberg, not Wittenberg and Constantinople.

 
At Wednesday, January 09, 2008 6:41:00 am , Blogger Chris Jones said...

Christine,

Two points:

1. The Reformation disputes addressed in the Lutheran Symbols are between Lutheranism and various other groups within western Christendom, not simply with Rome. There is language in the Symbols to distinguish the Lutheran position both from that of the Reformed and from that of the Anabaptists.

There is, however, no language in the Lutheran Symbols which condemns the Eastern Church or specifically distinguishes the Lutheran teaching from the Orthodox teaching. The teaching or practice of "the Greek Church" (as it is referred to in the Symbols) is occasionally cited, but never with condemnation; only with approval, in support of the Lutheran teaching. Thus, as between Constantinople and Rome, one could say that the disputes were not in the main, but entirely between Wittenberg and Rome only.

2. Strictly speaking, the Orthodox Churches do not directly require celibacy of their bishops. Relatively late (7th century, IIRC) the Eastern Church began to choose her bishops from among the monks. So Orthodox bishops are celibate because of their monastic vows, not just because they are bishops. In principle Orthodoxy could relax its rule of having only monastic bishops, and then there could be married bishops again.

 
At Wednesday, January 09, 2008 6:57:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...

Chris, as a Roman Catholic (with a Lutheran upbringing) I am not primarily concerned with the Lutheran/Reformed disputes of the Reformation.

It remains that after all was said and done the Lutherans could not find final rapproachment with Patriarch Jeremias II who disagreed with sola scriptura and sola fide as much as Rome did.

I understand that Eastern Bishops are celibate because of their monastic vows and given the spirituality of most Orthodox I know I would be very surprised to see that change, but of course, it could.

 
At Wednesday, January 09, 2008 8:36:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...

Chris, also:

There is, however, no language in the Lutheran Symbols which condemns the Eastern Church or specifically distinguishes the Lutheran teaching from the Orthodox teaching. The teaching or practice of "the Greek Church" (as it is referred to in the Symbols) is occasionally cited, but never with condemnation; only with approval, in support of the Lutheran teaching.

What the Lutheran Symbols don't address is covered very nicely in the LCMS Christian Cyclopedia, successor to my old copy of the Lutheran Cyclopedia:

2. Decrees of the Synod of Jerusalem, or Confession of Dositheus* (1672). The 1672 syn. at Jerusalem is the most important in the modern hist. of the E Ch. and may be compared to the Council of Trent.* It issued a new Defense, or Apology, of E Orthodoxy directed chiefly against the Calvinism of C. Lucaris* and his followers. It endorsed the answers given by Jeremias* II to M. Crusius,* sanctioned the confession of P. Mogila,* and condemned that of C. Lucaris. It consists of Six Chapters and Confession of Dositheus. The latter contains 18 decrees: (1) single procession of the Spirit; (2) Scripture not of private, but ecclesiastical interpretation; (3) double election is conditioned on man's use of his free will; (4) creation; (5) providence; (6) sin, with Christ and Mary exempt; (7) incarnation, death, resurrection, ascension, and judgment of Christ; (8) work of Christ - He is the only Mediator, but Mary, saints, and angels bring petitions to Him; (9) faith, which works by love, alone saves; (10) Cath. and Apostolic Ch. contains all believers, and bps. are necessary; (11) mems. of the ch. are those who hold the faith of Christ, apostles, and holy syns.; (12) the Cath. Ch. cannot err or be deceived; (13) man justified by faith and works; (14) in the fall man did not lose his intellectual and moral nature or free will; (15) 7 sacraments; (16) necessity and effect of Baptism; (17) Eucharist both a sacrament and a sacrifice; (18) souls of dead are either at rest or in torment (those dying in penitence but without satisfaction go to Hades, whence they may be delivered by prayers of priests, alms, unbloody sacrifice of the mass).

I'd say a bit of a difference in views, no? I realize that Patriarch Jeremias did not endorse the cryptocalvinism of Lucaris, but down to this day there's a pretty wide chasm between Lutheran/Orthodox theology.

So I really am curious -- with your Anglican/Orthodox/Lutheran background, how does being Lutheran make sense of all these differing approaches because it seems that sometimes you are arguing for all of them ??

 

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