Thursday, August 03, 2006

Calling Out "The Lutheran"

I think as the owner/webmaster of the Lutheran Blog Directory, I have been more than gracious and fair by including Lutheran Blogs from whatever denomination/designation people claim. Though it happens that there are many more LCMS blogs out there, I don't discriminate against ELCA blogs.

This month, "The Lutheran", a publication of the ELCA, ran an article on Lutheran Blogs. You can read it here. I have several criticisms of this article, quite apart from the fact that the Lutheran Blog Directory was not mentioned. Here is the short article:

The buzz about Lutheran blogs

An estimated 32 million Americans read blogs, semi-anonymous online journals.

Enter bloggers who write about life in the ELCA. There’s a Wisconsin pastor, a lectionary-loving laywoman in Michigan, and a missionary in the United Kingdom.

Sociologist Lorne Dawson of the University of Waterloo (Ontario) said blogs also represent a haven for dissent within denominations. A blog by “Shrimp” represents “one pastor’s attempt to fight antinomianism” (the belief that faith alone is necessary to salvation) and aims to “call the ELCA back to Sola Scriptura (God’s word alone).”

“The critics, the ex-members … are thriving online because this is giving them a voice so much more powerful than they would have ever had before,” Dawson said.

The blogosphere is also home to Lutheran institutions. The Lutheran has one. An ELCA delegation to India, which included The Lutheran staffer Andrea Pohlmann, kept a blog travelogue. And Andrew Genszler of the ELCA Washington Office kept a blog when he toured areas affected by last year’s hurricanes.


1. Anti-nomianism is not adequately defined as "the belief that faith alone is necessary to salvation". If that were true, all Lutherans would be anti-nomians. A better definition is, "An anti-nomian is someone who is against the teaching of God's law." That wasn't so hard, was it?

2. "The critics, the ex-members are thriving online". No kidding? Could it be because those who blog have plenty to say?

3. It seems ironic that the ELCA which is so concerned about ecumenism is unwilling to admit to the thriving LUTHERAN blog community - most of which is NOT ELCA!

Ok. Rant done.


Scott Scofield said...

It's a fair rant. I was struck by the tone of "critics and ex-members," as if they are underground anarchists plotting some kind of coup!! I have yet to read anything on the blogs I've been to that the author wouldn't say out loud in a public forum. I suppose there are those kinds of blogs, but I don't linger in them as they are of little, if any, substance to begin with. Equating this medium with rebellion is just antiquated thinking, and flawed writing.

I'm not familiar with the magazine, but it is unlikely they'll publish a correction or amendment - besides, you have your audience, they have theirs - you just happen to have a generous spirit. :-)

Preachrboy said...

I mean, really, go to any search engine and type in "Lutheran Blogs" and see what happens. It's like they purposely omitted the site - and I can think of only one reason they would.

I have heard some criticism from ELCA circles of the Lutheran Carnival (which is more strict in its participation - including only those who hold a "quia" subscription to the confessions - a.k.a. the "conservatives"). Maybe they have the LBD confused with the Carnival?

So sorry. Ranting again.

LutherPunk said...

Quite honestly, you should take anything you read in The Lutheran with a whole shaker of salt. Even as one ordained in the ELCA I quit subscribing to the magazine in 1999 (though people will give me occasional articles that I'll read). It seems to be the voice of the revisionists anymore. The fact that they mentioned a blog with someone critical of the ELCA is amazing in and of itself.