Liberal?

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Dan Sheppard | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 12 2010 7:56 PM

 

If I may be objective (now THAT would be a FIRST), in the political realm, liberal and conservative have specific meanings.  When translated to the theological realm, I have heard two other words; revisionist and traditionalist, with which I like to subscribe.

Even within one single denomination, there are those on both sides.  I used to be Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), which believes the Bible is INSPIRED.  I changed to Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS), which believes the Bible is INERRANT.

Within these two definitions used here only as examples, an LCMS'er would consider "inerrant" as a traditionalist view, with which they would concur, and the position of "inspired" as essentially accurate, in that we agree that the Bible IS GOD-INSPIRED.  But where we would differ, is that we think that their use of INSPIRED is watered down, in revisionist manner, to draw away from the element of INERRANT.

Just for description purposes; not for arguing. 

A good place to read about this might be to purchase from Logos, this book: http://www.logos.com/ebooks/details/HSTINTRO which cost $29, is available on iPhone and would serve as an intro to anyone, who is just interested in where Lutherans really stand, with respect to the original church.

 

Posts 611
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 10:44 AM

MJ. Smith:
Thanks. I now understand what you were referring to - it was terminology that had tripped me up.

Personally I see liberal as an umbrella definition the same with conservative I do not think that I am unique in this regard but the danger is that a liberal becomes someone who has all the attributes of those that make up the the whole. In the context of the original question I think the one thing that we have failed to say specifically is that its not enough to ask whether some one is liberal we also need to ask in what way they are considered liberal and then consider how that might impact their writing on the topic in question.

I like Wayne Grudem's approach, in the from of his systematic theology he has a table that clearly states his personal position on a number of theological issues. I wish more writers had the courage to do this.

Ultimately liberal and conservative are both incredibly subjective terms.

I have been called a liberal by a KJV reader because I use the NASB and a conservative by an NIV reader for the same reason!

Personally I think that any mature Christian should recognise for themselves when they are reading something that contradicts their beliefs I think this is being addressed in other posts where others are suggesting how our exposure to different ideas should be extended as we grow. I enjoy reading material from many different perspectives because I find it strengthens my faith  by making me reconsider what I believe and why I believe it.

Again trying to stay with the original topic, my advice is to read and enjoy the AYBD but read it like everything else carefully and judge each article not by the theological position of the author but by the quality of the content.

God Bless

Graham

Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

Posts 321
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 10:54 AM

Honestly this shouldn't be a Logos problem imo.   How many of us go to our seminary library and require an ideological inventory of each book on the shelf so that the "freshmen" can be protected from the hard stuff...by whatever favored definition one wants to use.  Are Christians truly this fragile?  

I have run into this sort of paternalistic 'we must protect the children' defense on a favored web site of mine (in the past) and must say all this attitude protected was the sacred theology of the webs site sponsorship.  It would be my hope that in an age where we can just about down load whatever (literally) what we want from the net that an organization with a solid reputation, like Logos,  should be immune to 'save the children' theological paternalism.   Thats just me though.

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Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 11:09 AM

ReneAtchley:
It would be my hope that in an age where we can just about down load whatever (literally) what we want from the net that an organization with a solid reputation, like Logos,  should be immune to 'save the children' theological paternalism.

Agreed.

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 11:12 AM

ReneAtchley:

Honestly this shouldn't be a Logos problem imo.   How many of us go to our seminary library and require an ideological inventory of each book on the shelf so that the "freshmen" can be protected from the hard stuff...by whatever favored definition one wants to use.  Are Christians truly this fragile?  

I have run into this sort of paternalistic 'we must protect the children' defense on a favored web site of mine (in the past) and must say all this attitude protected was the sacred theology of the webs site sponsorship.  It would be my hope that in an age where we can just about down load whatever (literally) what we want from the net that an organization with a solid reputation, like Logos,  should be immune to 'save the children' theological paternalism.   Thats just me though.

Rene, quite OT, but I have always thought of you as "male," but I see many have referred to you as "she."  Not that it makes a difference in discussion, but I wondered if you could clear this up?  Surprise 

 

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 11:19 AM

Dan DeVilder:
Rene, quite OT, but I have always thought of you as "male," but I see many have referred to you as "she."  Not that it makes a difference in discussion, but I wondered if you could clear this up?  Surprise

 

Good question, Dan. My all-time favorite preacher to listen to is R. B. Oullette (Bridgeport Baptist Church  -Michigan)

Although his first name is Rene, he says the "R. B." stands for "Real Butter." I believe it is a French name

Well, we will have to wait for Rene to tell us. Confused

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Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 11:22 AM

The misconception is that "liberal" and "conservative" positions lay on a "straight line" with the extremes being in the far right and far left. Life does not exist in a "straight line" but in a "circle."

A person on the left side of the circle can move so far along the circle that they end up on the right. In addition, the opposite is true as a person on the right can move along the circle until they actually end up on the left. You would have to draw a circle on paper labeling the left side "left" and right side "right" to see the illustration.

In political conversations, (if you adhere to the straight-line view) you can see a person traveling along the line left from liberal to socialist. However, what label is given if a person travels even farther left that socialist? This conception does not work because we really should look at the "circle of life" to provide insight.

From my own perspective, I do not want to be considered either conservative or liberal. In my circle illustration, Christ is in the "center" of the circle. That is where I find just living, equality, honesty, loving others as Christ loved me, and the Kingdom of God. The great thing for us is that Christ, being in the center, touches all points on the circle. That is where I want to be in the center with Christ seeing and learning (and loving all points) from all points.

I have studied with many individuals that some would call liberal that I have received great insight. Likewise, I have received equal insight from those that others would call conservative. I have discovered over the years that the divisions caused over discussions regarding liberal and conservative is actually a tool by the "evil one" used to divide the call of His Church.

If we are not feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the ill and in prison (the disenfranchised of our culture) then we have missed the boat and all our theological positioning is a mute point.

Yours in Christ, Mick

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 11:29 AM

ReneAtchley:
How many of us go to our seminary library and require an ideological inventory of each book on the shelf so that the "freshmen" can be protected from the hard stuff

I am assuming a real seminary doesn't have to bottle feed new Christians with milk like "30 days to knowing what you believe." 

ReneAtchley:
an organization with a solid reputation, like Logos,  should be immune to 'save the children' theological paternalism.   Thats just me though.

That is me too. I would be happy to see my daughter read from my Logos library and give it a fair consideration. (But then I don't have Karl Barth yet. Surprise )

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Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 12:01 PM

Renee is female in french ....at least that is what I am told.

Real seminaries have all kinds of weaklings who need oversight and guidance from the true moral parents....just ask the parents.
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Jonathan West | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 12:10 PM

MichaelFinch:
If we are not feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the ill and in prison (the disenfranchised of our culture) then we have missed the boat and all our theological positioning is a mute point.

Some might view this as a "liberal" interpretation of the parable of the sheep and the goatsStick out tongue

 

www.emmanuelecc.org

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 12:37 PM

ReneAtchley:

Renee is female in french ....at least that is what I am told.

Dr. Oullette did say he got beat up as a kid a few times for his name.

ReneAtchley:
Real seminaries have all kinds of weaklings who need oversight and guidance from the true moral parents....just ask the parents.
Sad to agree with you. I've noticed three types of students enrolling: 1) Godly Christian ladies looking for a godly husband, 2) Godly Christian men answering the call to the minisrtry, and 3) Immature kids whose parents thought they'd get into less trouble at a Chrtistian school than a secular one. (Those kids go on to prove their parents wrong. Devil )

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Al | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 2:10 PM

At least one more category besides the three mentioned - those who are trying to figure it all out.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 4:06 PM

Al Bastin:

At least one more category besides the three mentioned - those who are trying to figure it all out.

And a fifth--besides the young ladies seeking their "M.R.S." degree--those women who are there to train for ministry.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 4:08 PM

ReneAtchley:
Renee is female in french

okayyyyyyyyy.  how much more cryptic can your answer get?  Stick out tongue  I think you are male.  And of course your name is spelled (seemingly) with one "e", BUT we are not speaking French, either. . .

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 321
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 4:11 PM

I think we should have a contest in which I win a Logos product for each person who guesses wrong....but thats just me.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 4:18 PM

I found more immaturity at the college level.  Seminary was actually quite a pleasant and rigorous experience.  Both men and women quite serious about serving and learning.  And we enjoyed a faculty that (for the most part) taught us to think, and to engage (and appreciate) writers and theologians from a broad spectrum.

I am thankful for that variety to exist within Logos.  At the same time, I DO, at times, wish we had some way of gauging the particular theological bent of a resource we are considering purchasing.  It is not necessarily that I fear a certain perspective, I may just want to research a particular view point and would like to know which resources might fit the bill.  At times we know ("Reformed" or "dispensational"), other times, we don't.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 5:02 PM

Dan DeVilder:

Al Bastin:

At least one more category besides the three mentioned - those who are trying to figure it all out.

And a fifth--besides the young ladies seeking their "M.R.S." degree--those women who are there to train for ministry.

I'm glad someone else (a man) said that. I didn't want to be the one to point out that it's not only godly men who go to seminary to train for ministry.

There's also a sixth category (into which I fall) of people who have finished another career, or need a sabbatical from same, and go to seminary to grow in their relationship with God.

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Al | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 6:36 PM

Rosie,

To be frank, I'm a bit embarrassed that I didn't pick up on that. I immediately thought of the one that I mentioned, and failed to think through to other possibilities, including your very obvious one.

Al

Posts 97
Al | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 6:41 PM

Sigh - and the fifth category, which is the one I was really embarrassed about. That, and the one Rosie mentions, are spot on.  I've got to start reading these posts more carefully or drink more caffeine.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 13 2010 6:45 PM

Dan DeVilder:
those women who are there to train for ministry.

 

My mother met my father in seminary. She was there to prepare for missionary work in India.  If India had not closed it's doors to missionaries they probably wouldn't have married (and guess where that would leave me!? Indifferent ) But God had plans for them in Japan instead.

Yes, there are lots of godly ladies at seminary for the right reasons.  I knew I'd start something with the 1, 2, 3 stuff. "There are two types of people in this world....." Devil

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