From the comment section over at BJS. Trent Demarest pointed me to this with the following disclaimer:
This was sent to me via email by Pr. Mark Surburg, who assumed that I was the author and indicated that others have been making the same assumption (presumably on Facebook). I’m honored(ish), but, no, I am not the author. Funny thing, I was actually trying to get a comment in on that story all day, but was having weird CAPTCHA difficulties and was unable to post. I am not the author, but I wish I were. Well, kind of. I would never say, “1517/CHF is a lot of good and a lot of bad all mixed together”— I think the whole thing is a flaming pile of […], and I have never liked Rod Rosenbladt even a little. Nothing personal— I only know him as a theologian, and he’s awful. Even when I was an antinomian, I thought he was a weird, emotive try-hard. It’s like he never stopped being a pietist. Anyway, on the whole and in general, yes to all of this. You should post it.
I’ve taken the liberty of putting links in where available. Read and share. Papa bless.
NOTE: photos, captions, etc., are all the creation of The Cellar Door Syndicate™ and are all completely © and even ®, so don’t even think about stealing our OC.
Comparisons with Issues, Etc. or Seminary Symposium, or pastors contributing to non-Lutheran blogs are more obscuring than helpful. Same with personal testimonies about how 1517 used to be. 1517 understands itself as a “movement.” The question is, where is it moving?
Once upon a time 1517 had nothing to do with Christ Hold Fast (CHF). Now it does. Is that a “movement” toward or away from Confessional Lutheranism?
The founder of CHF, “Pastor” Daniel Price, has sexually preyed upon one of Christ’s sheep. He twists the Bible to remain instated as a “pastor” of an “independent Lutheran church” (read: cult leader). He practices open communion, slanders confessional brothers, is divisive, quarrelsome, and blatantly unrepentant. If you want to know his m.o. read, “Beware of Broken Wolves” by Joe Carter. It spells out how Price uses the gospel so that Price can do what Price wants to do.
Once upon a time Van Voorhis used his gifts in service to Confessional Lutheranism. For example, google his videos on “American Christianity” and “A Brief history of Lutheran Pietism.” Since becoming part of the “movement” that is 1517, how has Van Voorhis moved? There was the pro Nadia Bolz-Weber article, bizarre and questionable videos on “Christ and Culture,” the Reinke interview, the Eilers interview, and now hours of narcissism and humble-bragging about a sinful past (See “Virtue in the Wasteland” and “Monsters”).
If 1517 was interested in working together with Confessional Lutherans, how hard would it be to simply post a correction, retraction, or clarification (on the Eilers issue, for example, or any of the others)? How hard would it be for 1517 to simply say: “If you see something contrary to the Bible or the Confessions, let us know, we will take it down”?
But 1517 is a movement and it isn’t interested in what Confessional Lutheranism thinks. It’s headed in another direction, one small step at a time.
Evidence? Donavan Riley: “Clark Kent in a Manger” (Eutychianism), “God’s Not Angry At You” and “The Gospel For those angry At God” (Antinomianism). Chad Bird: “Safe Preaching and the Prophylactic Gospel” and “Gospel Phobia” (Antinomianism). Scott Keith: “Do you Really think You can Use God’s Law” (Antinomianism), “The Gospel As Dynamite …” (Anachronism, Bad Exegesis, Reductionism), “My First Lutheran Cruise” (Mocking the Lutheran church). Joel Hess: “Is God Drunk” (Blasphemy), “Want Uniformity In Worship? Go back to Prussia” (Anti-liturgical). There’s even a papist! Graham Glover: “Authority Problem” and “Protestants Need the Pope.”
Add all this to what you know about CHF and the tragic turn of Van Voorhis.
1517 identifies as a “movement.” Does it appear that they are moving (and want their audience to move) toward Confessional Lutheranism or away from it?
1517 has also promoted an organization called Mockingbird and its conferences (see the “friends” section of 1517’s website). If you want the abstract, simply google “episcodisco.” If you want the full scoop, check out the crass antinomianism of Paul Zahl’s book, Grace In Practice or the identical theology of his son, David Zahl. Mockingbird is also pro women’s ordination and has had, for example, “Rev.” Mrs. Fleming Rutledge as a conference speaker. Again, 1517 promotes Mockingbird and its conferences.
1517 identifies as a “movement.” Does it appear that they are moving toward Confessional Lutheranism or away from it?
1517/CHF are now promoting a conference called “Here We Still Stand” The conference name and list of speakers will tell you all you need to know. Orthodox (Montgomery, Rosenbladt, Francisco, Siemon-Netto), mixed with heterodox (non-Lutherans, David Zahl, etc.), mixed with predatory (Daniel Price), mixed with flat-out heretical (Stephen Paulson). Yes, Stephen Paulson who, in his book, “Lutheran Theology” denies the atonement (p. 91-93), denies the Third Use (p. 170-188), and even accuses our Lord Jesus Himself of personal sin (p.105) is one with whom 1517/CHF is going to “stand” on the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. Let that sink in.
1517 identifies as a “movement.” If it “stands” with the kind of teachers listed above, and implies that Lutherans have always stood with these kinds of teachers (“Here We Still Stand”), is this a “movement” toward or away from Confessional Lutheranism? Is it a “movement” toward or away from Truth?
How have orthodox teachers gotten wrapped into this? By not truly understanding the nature of the “movement” to which they are lending their names and talents. Once upon a time 1517 was not so. Now it is. The big picture and the slow drift are sometimes hard to see. Old age, old friendships, and a bit of money can make it even harder to see.
Of course, you could simply come to the same conclusion about 1517/CHF using the well-worn short-cut: lex orandi, lex credendi. If the worship is generically protestant, revivalistic, and ego driven – so too will be the theology. Check out any 1517/CHF conference.
1517/CHF is a lot of good and a lot of bad all mixed together. The bad is a move toward protestantism, nuanced with radical Lutheranism. The good is why it has its champions. Everyone interested in Confessional Lutheranism needs to understand that 1517/CHF is a “movement,” and they need to understand where that “movement” is headed.
And if this is, indeed, a “movement” that Higher Things wants to join, then, “Higher Things – Quo Vadis?”