Monday, 22 June 2009

Swimming the Tiber


My friend, Lito, at Extra Nos, has recently posted a theory to explain Lutheran conversions to Rome (aka "swimming the Tiber"). I'm not convinced, but the discussion has led me to an interesting discovery of a perversion of the old Synodical Conference doctrine of objective justification in the direction of universalism. I'm sure this development would have Franz Pieper (pictured right)
turning in his grave.

Click on the title to go to the post.

11 comments:

PW said...

Very very interesting article you have referenced. I have read the article and many of the responses that follow. Because of this, and other questions too, I'm reopening my other blog to continue discussion on similar questions. http://whatisarealchristian.blogspot.com/ I still have my newest one, but feel the need to reopen this older one and continue some of the discussion questions, and dialogs that I have started there. These past few weeks while I have been moving, and prior to that, I have discovered a lot in the blogosphere that has raised more questions. Some of these questions stem from my multi-denominational background. These are questions I thought I had answered but haven't. In the days to come I will continue to open discussion there. Today we are to go and get some more stuff for the house. Our unpacking and settling in is nearly done.

Acroamaticus said...

Hi PW,

Good to hear from you!
I will follow developments on your blog with interest.
Not much time to comment now, but will be on recreational leave soon, which will provide more opportunity.
Thanks for the comment.

L P said...

Pr. M,

Pr. August of AsiaFocus (and of Gympie QLD) is staying in my house. He went around from Victoria to SA to tell people about AsiaFocus, and on the way back to us, passed through visiting some Geelong ministers.

Now that made me curious and so I asked him about a Geelong pastor (who has a PhD) if I heard from Pr. B was true, that the gentleman has gone Poping. He said yes. Now I know this ex-pastor was one of those that Pr. B consulted when I brought up my skepticism about UOJ, and as Pr. B said he spoke to him about it and this ex-pastor believed in it.

This is anecdotal of course, but that is my connecting of the dots.

LPC

Acroamaticus said...

Mmm...Interesting piece if information. However, I know the pastor in question, and UOJ wasn't an important consideration in his swimming the Tiber as far as I am aware.

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to do any research on UOJ at the sem library as I was following uo other matters, but it does occur to me that there is a strain of universalism in post-Vatican II RCism and I wonder how this relates to the question? Just a thought.

L P said...

it does occur to me that there is a strain of universalism in post-Vatican II RCism and I wonder how this relates to the question?

That is what I am getting at. You took the words from my big mouth.

LPC

Acroamaticus said...

Lito,
I'm inclined to the view that the RC universalism stems from their weak doctrine of original sin, rather than any perversion of justification, although the application of the atonement must come into it somewhere too.

L P said...

Pr. M.

If a person already holds to UOJ and has some dis-satisfaction with what he sees in Lutheranism today, then the impetus is there to embrace Romanism because as you pointed out in Vatican II, it has a universalistic tendencies already. So the impetus to soften up is there. The two are not incompatible.

On another note, I am having conversations with Pr. August who is staying with us for a while. He said that though the Victorian pastors are more confessional and conservative than Queenslanders, yet there are more defections happening in Victoria than there are in Queensland.

I thought that was an interesting observation.

LPC

Mark Henderson said...

Lito,

Yes, I can see your point, but from my experience of talking with those who have "Poped" it has not been on their radar, so to speak. Bear in mind, too, that Vatican II was a pastoral council, rather than a dogmatic council, so it did not actually change Roman dogma, which is definitely not universalist when it comes to soteriology. But, it did open the door to speculation, especially vis a vis the fate of non-Christian "religious" people, like Hindus, etc (my wife is Indian, btw, and her parents were Hindu, but she and her siblings were evangelised by the RCs - long story, will tell you some time). It remains to be seen whether these speculations will eventually effect the dogma.

On the matter of why the "defections" come from Victoria, I differ with Pr August because I question how "conservative" the pastors who have defected really were in terms of their understanding of and commitment to Lutheran theology (I'm not questionign their sincerity while they were Lutheran, just their understanding). For all of them, as I understand it, the reason why they left was basically came down to authority - they doubted sola scriptura, and so ran to the Pope to find authority. It's as if they had never considered the question until after they were ordained - which if it is the case I find extraordinary. There may be nuances in each individual story, but that's basically what it boils down to. Bear in mind too that UOJ is not taught at Luther Sem, certainly not when I was there and probably not when those guys were there either. If they picked it up at all, it would have to be in their own reading.

Please pass on my regards to Pr August - next time he'd down here he must arrange to come to Tarrington.

Mark Henderson said...

Lito,

I should have added - in Queensland and elsewhere in the LCA, the defections have been to Pentecostalism.

Mark Henderson said...

So Lito, which would you rather be? A RC with Word & Sacrament or a Pente who's swallowed the HS, feathers and all?

Sorry, couldn't help being mischievous!!

L P said...

It's as if they had never considered the question until after they were ordained - which if it is the case I find extraordinary.

Extraordinary indeed. If there is any Christian group I know who lives and breaths the means of grace in seriousness it is the Lutherans. Having been an RC kid and even ventured in the Reformed, I can say none of them have such doctrine. It is suppose to be a given that if you are going to be a Lutheran minister, you should be convinced that Scripture is your authority - Word and Sacrament.

I will pass your regards to August.

LPC