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CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY -. 7+-> . -, ::, ~!i - - "- Volume 44. Number 1 .--- . . JANUARY 1980 Harry A. Huth, D.D., 1917-1979 ........................................... 1 Perceived Influences on Occupational Choice of Seminarians ...................................... William M. Cross 3 The Purpose and Fruits of the Holy Supper. .............................................. C.J. Evanson 17 Luther's Understanding of "Church" in His Treatise On the Councils and the Church of 1539 ................................................ Eugene F. A. Klug 27 To Raymond Surburg on His ........................................................... Seventieth Birthday 39 ................... Raymond F. Surburg: A Selected Bibliography 41 ............ Opinion of the Department of Systematic Theology 46 ............................................................ Theological Observer 50 *. Homiletical Studies ........................................................ 62 .................................................................... Books Reviewed 79 ..................................................................... Books Received 99 Theological Observer Rewriting the Bible in Non-Sexist Language Elimination of certain portions of the Bible and exclusive concentration on other portions have identified false teachers in the church since the very beginning. Early Christian Gnostics seem to have been strangely attracted to the Pauline concept of liberty and were perverting it into libertinism (2 Peter 3: 16, 17). The Ebionites, a legalistic Jewish-Christian sect, saw the Epistle of James as the key opening all truth and felt uncomfortable with St. Paul's Epistles. Mar- cion eliminated the Old Testament, all the Gospels except Luke, minus the first two chapters, and all the non-Pauline Epistles. Bolder has been the actual rewriting of the Bible. Thomas Jefferson, achild of Rationalism and the Age of Enlightenment, left the legacy of a Bible from which the supernatural had been extracted. The Jehovah Witnesses have rewritten the Bible with their New World Translation. The Coalition on Women and Reli- gion has now produced a non-sexist Scripture entitled The Word For Us. Included in what is described as a restatement "in inclusive language" are the Gospels of John and Mark and the Epistles to the Romans and the Galations. For additional study thecoalition has published a commentary on those Biblical passages dealing with women entitled The Woman's Bible. Perhaps the ultimate advertising pitch is for the Srudy Guide to the Women's Bible: " You can be a Thea-logian!" (emphasis supplied by the coalition). 'Thea-logian" literally means an authority on the "Goddess." The boundary between Christianity and paganism has been crossed. Christianity has marched backwards. Peter Brunner in the 1950's predicted correctly that the ordination of women pastors would eventually mean that God would be thought of in feminine terms. Such phrases as "Our Mother who are in heaven" and "God, She" were at first thought to be jokes in extremely poor taste. This type of language is now con- sidered as acceptable and necessary for a more comprehensive understanding of God by radical feminist groups. More frightening, it is becoming more com- monplace among all denominations, including Lutherans. Lutherans have not yet reached the point of pubIishing a non-sexist Bible or non-sexist confessions -- that would really be another type of confessionalism - but they have at- tempted to eliminate sexist language in the hymns and liturgy. This was a con- cern of the preparers of the Lutheran Book of Worship. The number of women students at seminaries and women pastors in churches of the Lutheran Church in America, the American Lutheran Church, and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches continue to grow. At its July 1979 convention The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod informed the Ameri- can Lutheran Church that the ordination of the women pastors continues to weaken fellowship between the two churches. The Missouri Synod knows that it cannot continue to restate its opposition to the women pastors and at the same time maintain fellowship with the American Lutheran Church where the prac- tice is condoned and fostered. No serious observer of church affairs really believes that the American Lutheran Church could rescind its approval. In that church and the Lutheran Church in America women pastors are a significant part of the body politic. The American Lutheran Church, moreover, would not wish to threaten its fellowship with the Lutheran Church in America and its growing ecumenical ties with those Protestant denominations where the prac- tice is beyond theological dispute. The seriousness of women's ordination lies not only in that it contradicts a clear Biblical prohibition. but also in that it directly affects the concept that Theological Observer 5 1 people have of God. The views of the Coalition on Women and ReIigion would have been novel and amusing twenty or thirty years ago, but they are now ac- cepted by many Christians, including a growing and vocal group of priests and nuns in the tradition-bound Roman Catholic Church. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in its convention resolutions has been consistently opposed to the practice of women pastors. No other church, Pro- testant or Catholic, has been as courageous and consistent. A greater problem may exist at the congregational level as people experience women pastors in neighborhood churches, including Lutheran churches. In charismatic prayer and Bible groups, popular among some Lutherans, women are likewise assuming a leadership role in conducting the meetings and leading in prayer. Matters are little helped by the public attention given to Jean Carter Stapleton, President Carter's sister, who is billed as an evangelist and attracts large audiences to hear her preaching. In an atmosphere in which women preachers are accepted as a fact, it is more difficult for a denomination and a congregation to regard the practice as anti-Scriptural. The public resolve of the Missouri Synod takes on greater confessional proportions in such a situation. The Missouri Synod position is weakened when its members practice fellow- ship with those Lutherans who endorse and encourage women pastors, without calling their attention to the offensive practice. It would be ironic if, as the synodical conventions became more firm in Biblical opposition to the ordina- tion of women pastors, the laity would become so uninformed that in the not so distant future a woman pastor would indeed be introduced. It is now possible that a Missouri Synod pastor could find himself, unwittingly perhaps, partici- pating with a women pastor of another Lutheran synod in a church service. In some cases it may have already happened. A Missouri Synod congregation several years ago did have a woman vicar. The matter was handled and it has not happened again. A vicar is not simply another member oft he congregation help ing the pastor, but one who has been preliminarily judged, through a synodical procedure, acceptable for the pastoral ministry, with the understanding that other conditions in his education be completed satisfactorily before ordination. Materials, some serious and others light-hearted, on feminist views of reli- gion can be obtained by writing to the Coalition on Women and Religion, 4759 Efteenth Avenue, N.E., Seattle, Washington, 98105. Pastors should examine the material for themselves. The Lutheran Council in the U.S.A. printed a booklet supporting the ordination of women. It was received as definitive by the American Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church in America. Continued alertness is required if the Missouri Synod is to maintain its publicly stated posi- tion. It may be time for the Board of Parish Education to provide the necessary materials. David P. Scaer The Lutheran Confessions: Stepping Stones Between the Bible and Current Church Problems Anniversaries are always an opportunity to evaluate the past and make plans for the future. The various dbcuments that comprise our Lutheran Confessions are very rarely read or studied by our people. Their association with the Confes- sions is limited to the three ancient creeds - the Apostles, the Nicene, and the Athanasian -- and Luther's Small Catechism. Most people, indeed, think of 52 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY these documents less as creeds than as liturgical devices in the church worship service or as educational tools. Many a man in the pew, if asked about the creeds or the catechism, would probably respond that the Apostles Creed indicates an ordinary church service; the Nicene Creed signifies that Holy Communion will be celebrated and that the service will be about ten or fifteen minutes longer; and the Athanasian Creed means that the congregation will be stumbling through the difficult words and again the church service will be longer. The Small Catechism is regarded as a book that must be studied and leaned for confirma- tion. The four-hundredth anniversary of the Book of Concord in 1980 is pro- viding Lutherans an opportunity to reevaluate what it means to be really Lutheran. This anniversary is especially meaningful to Missouri Synod Lutherans. be- cause many of its institutions perpetuate the word concordia, the Latin designa- tion for the Book of Concord. All of our synodical education institutions with the exception of two are designated Concordia as are our publishing house and many of our high schools and congregations. One side benefit of noting the an- niversary of the Book of Concord is that we have an ouportunity to determine what the word concordia means. A favorite topic at opening church services at our educational institutions is an exegesis of the Latin word concordia, which means "harmonyn in English. The preacher then goes on to urge that harmony should be the mark and the theme of the coming academic year. It is doubtful whether sermons exhorting to harmony ever achieve their goals. And it is undoubtedly wrong to imagine that the name of any of our church institutions was bestowed to foster the exercise of humanistic harmony. The church calls its book of confessions the concordia because of its insistence on agreement and harmony in doctrine. With the title of concordia we expect our church institu- tions to adhere the doctrine set forth in the Book of Concord. This centennial year will give us a specialopportunity to review for our people the content of this Book of Concord. Our church, the Missouri Synod, along with other Lutheran synods, are flooding the market with materials tocelebrate the book's four-hundredth anniversary. The Evangelical Lutheran Synod has produced a manual for congregational study. Fortress Press of the Lutheran Church in America has published an anthology of scholarly essays. At least five books on the Book of Concord derive from staff members here at Concordia Theological Seminary. The celebration of the concordia may reach liturgical proportions. One could make a case for thedivine necessity of liturgy. Liturgy is basically a succession of memorial celebrations in the church year. This concept was the grain and fibre of the Old Testament rite, and early Christians did not wait long before they began annual and weekly celebrations of the Lord's Resur- rection. Likewise, it is especially in those years ending with "30" that we Luth- erans commemorate the production of the Augsburg Confession and in those ending with '80," the Formula of Concord. As long as a church uses the name of "Lutherann and "Concordia," there is almost a liturgical necessity to note these anniversaries. Past centennials of the Augsburg Confession and the Book of Concord have not always been totally felicitous occasions. Theyear 1580, the fiftieth anniver- sary of the Augsburg Confession, was, indeed, a happy one for Lutherans. Con- troversies between the Lutherans following Luther's death had been resolved. Later celebrations however, of the Augsburg Confession in particular have often been considered clarion calls to step boldly into the future. Thus 1830, the year in which the Augsburg Confession reached its three-hundredth birthday and the Book of Concord reached the quarter of a milleniurn mark, saw the destruction of Lutheranism in Germany through the merger of Lutheran and Reformed Theological Observer 53 churches into the Prussian Union. Confessional anniversary celebrations in the United States in our century have frequently been the occasion for mergers and unions between several corporate Lutheran bodies. On that account We must be careful to state that our position is that the Luth- eran confessions are a stepping stone between the Bible and current church problems and not a stepping stone to what we might consider newer and better horizons. The Lutheran Church as a confessional church is not moving through history from one step to another; but with each step forward we take a step back- ward to the original historical confessional principle. Our confessional life is less like a ladder than like a dance. On a ladder we aremoving higher and higher with each rung. In a dance we are moving all over the dance floor and are never con- fined to one place on the floor, but there are as many forward steps as there are backward steps. As in a dance we cover the same places on the dance floor several times, so in confessional theology we will also cover the same areas of dis- cussion. Thus, the problems that faced Athanasius in the controversy about Anus's theology were resurrected in the Age of Rationalism and are certainly with us today. Xestorianisrn, a fifth-century heresy, showed itself in the Reformed theology of the sixteenth century and has reappeared in the methodology that modern exegetes have used to divide the person of our Lord into the historical Jesus and the Christ of faith. The church has in her confessions an arsenal of defensive weapons to handle new situations. It is one thing, however, to have the necessary equipment, and it is an entirely different matter to have the ability to use it effectively and effi- ciently. Our claim to being confessional will depend on using confessional weapons to handle new difficulties. There are at least two ways in which we lose our right to be recognized as confessional. When we use confessional weapons to fight battles that have already been fought, we are not being confessional. There is the story of a man who is a military buff. His home is given over to the recon- struction of military battIes from former centuries. His craftsmanship is with- our flaw. The troops are moved around the battlefield in victory and defeat. But his reconstruction of former wars and battles is only a visualization of the past. Our confessional commitment cannot mean that we mount our steeds and charge headlong into the past. This type of confessionalism is as confiningand useless as the basic two-step is in dancing. A second approach which is equally anathema to confessionalism is, even when there is the willingness to face the new situation, to put aside the old weapons to adopt new weapons created from the situation itself. This attitude has some respect for the past, but isso self-con- fident that it believes that every situation in the life of the church can be resolved by implements provided by the situation itself. A dear example of this view is situational ethics, which taught that every situation provided the answers to its own ethical dilemmas. The current theologies of history and hope also suffer from this attitude. The present situation is capable of setting forth its own theological answers. Confessional theology reaches its ultimate goal when it draws upon the revealed truths of the past to answer dilemmas of the present. Answering past questions with past answers is historicism. Answering present questions with truths allegedly derived from the present situation is nothing but contemporary spontaneity. To keep one hand on the past and the other hand on the present situation, which is the true confessional stance, it is first necessary to under- stand the theological basis of the confession itself. Then we will be able to apply the confession to the contemporary situation. David P. Scaer 54 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY Roman Catholic Communion Practices The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in its congregations is perhaps the only major Protestant denomination with a regulated communion poIicy. Ac- cording to this practice only members of Missouri Synod congregations or con- gregations of sisterchurches in feIlowship with the Synod may receive the Lord's Supper in the denomination's churches. These sisterxhurches are agreed in this practice. Actual practice among Missouri Synod congregations may not be uniform and may not conform to the stated policy, but this does not con- tradict the fact that the Synod has a policy which is as oId as the Synod itself. The Synod's policy may have to be reaffirmed, but it does not have to be formulated. Among most Protestant churches the responsibility for determining who may attend the Lord's Supper has shifted from the clergy to the individual. Though this practice is widespread, it comes not from the ancient or the Reformation church, but directly from the theology of Friedrich Schleierrnacher who made the individual's pious self-consciousness the guide and norm for the truth. Until recent times the Roman Catholic Church operated with a communion policy which, like that of the Missouri Synod, has its roots in the New Testa- ment and the ancient church. There are now clear indications that Roman Catholic communion policies are being adjusted in the direction of open com- munion, a typical modem Protestant custom. On a practical level this means that Lutherans attending Roman Catholic ceremonies and rites may possibly be asked by the officiating priest to participate in Holy Communion. Roman Catholics may expect a similar privilege from Lutheran pastors. In certain areas a type of intercommunion between Roman Catholics and Lutherans may aIready be understood as proper. Lutheran pastors will certainly recognize here a problem in pastoral theology and a responsibility to alert their parishioners to the change in Roman Catholic policy. Norman R. Bauer, a canon lawyer, in an article "lntercomrnunion: Possibili- ties and Practicalities," presents the reasons offered for thechange in practice in some dioceses and supports them. The older canon law was clear in forbidding the sacraments to heretics and errorists, even if they were acting in good faith. In danger of death a non-member might be given the sacraments of penance and extreme unction, but not the Eucharist. With Vatican I1 (1967) there was a change. Danger of death and urgent need, defined as imprisonment and perse- cution, were set forth as conditions for sacramental sharing with non-Roman Catholics. The one requesting the sacrament should have no access to a minister of his or her community, should request it spontaneously, and should declare a faith in the sacraments in harmony with that of the Roman Catholic Church. The instruction of June 1, 1972, broadened the 1967 principles somewhat, but each case was to be decided individually. Wholesale open communion was not intended, but in certain cases may have been the result. The conditions govern- ing the cases were: (1) faith in the sacrament in conformity with the Roman Catholic Church; (2) a spiritual need for the eucharistic sustenance; (3) inability to obtain the sacrament from one's own minister over a longer period of time; (4) a request for the sacrament on one's own accord. The 1972 guidelines have spawned such questions as these: What is a serious spiritual need? Can the period of time be given a moral interpretation instead of a chronological one? Can the bishop delegate the decision in particular cases to a priest? Can Roman Catholics receive the sacrament in a non-Roman Catholic worship service? Here are some concrete cases of how the new principles are now being put into practice in some dioceses. Bishop Hammes of Superior, Wisconsin, has per- mitted distribution of the Eucharist to non-Roman Christians in hospitals and Theological Observer 5 5 rest-homes, those attending the funeral of a relative in a Roman Church, those marrying a Roman Catholic during a nuptial mass, and the parents of a child being baptized, confirmed, or receiving his first communion as a Roman Catholic. Archbiship Peter L. Gerety of Newark states that the non-Catholic is in the best position to determine whether he or she has a deep spiritual need for the Eucharist. He also permits his diocesan priests to determine whether the guidelines have been met in individual cases. Such a policy amounts to what we would understand as a combination of open communion and selective fellow- ship, since the individual priest can enforce the older policy if he wishes. Bishop Elchinger of the Diocese of Strasburg, France, permits non-Roman Catholic spouses to receive the Eucharist and for the deepening of faith permits the Roman Catholic partner to participate in the communion services of the church of the Protestant partner. (Strasburg Protestants are chiefly Lutherans.) The Roman Catholic Church diocesan structure permits diversified practices. While some areas do not deviate from the older practices, other areas are practicing the newer principles which conform to the general Protestant custom of open com- munion. in the face of wider acceptance of open communion not only among Pro- testants, but now also among Roman Catholics, Lutheran pastors will have no choice but to reenforce the Biblical, catholic, and Lutheran principle. Herman Sasse's This 1s My Body, now republished by the Lutheran Church of Australia and available at a horrendously inflated price (especially for a reprint), clearly sets forth Luther's attitude in his refusal at Marburg to celebrate communion with Zwingli and the Swiss. Werner Elert's much overlooked Eucharist and Church Fellowship puts to death the lively myth that closed communion is some peculiarly devised Missouri Synod doctrine. The matter of closed communion will be regarded as a legalistic club only where the pastor's instruction in this area needs further elaboration. The growing laxness in Roman Catholic com- munion practices only indicates that no church doctrine or practice is, without constant reenforcement, absolutely secure and certain for all time. Lutherans can appreciate that Roman Catholic theology is working with an expanded con- cept of the church which recognizes Christians in non-Roman communities. In- novative communion practices indicate that the Roman Catholic Church has succumbed, by an improper digestion of this concept, to strictly modern Protestant ideas and practices. Maintenance of strictly Lutheran practices will be made more difficult but no less necessary. David P. Scaer C. S. Lewis on Women Priests World Christendom seems set on its fateful and doomed march to ordain women as pastors, preachers, ministers, and priests. The 1978 summer world- wide conference of Anglican and Episcopal bishops at the Lambeth Palace of the Archbishop of Canterbury (England) may not have urged the ordination of women priests, but they issued a writ of toleration. The movement to ordain women priests in the Roman Catholic Church has continued to gain strength. One of the first official acts of the newly organized Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, a splinter group from the Missouri Synod, was to permit the ordination of women pastors. Recently the Reformed Church in America has taken this step. In spite of strong papaldisapproval, the movement to ordain women priests in the Roman Catholic Church is gaining ground. According to 56 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY opinion polls, a growing number of Catholics are finding women priests ac- ceptable. Though the Missouri Synod has stood resolutely against the practice as being contrary to both the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions, no Synod member dare be lulled into a complacency which believes that the prob- lem has gone away. The actions of one denominational family affects the theolo- gical environments of the others. The late Anglican lay theologian, C. S. Lewis, may be reckoned as one of the most influential EngEshspeaking religious writers of the twentieth century; but his views especially on the relationship of the maIe and female and how this rela- tionship pertains to the ordination of women clergy does not seem to have made many converts, even among his fellow Anglicans. The name of C. S. Lewis is revered, but his views have not always penetrated the theological thinking of his admirers. One wishes that an evaluation of Lewis's views appearing in the February 1978 issue of the Cresset (XLI, 4), a publication of Valparaiso University, could have had wider circulation. In that issue W. Andrew Hoffecker and John Tim- merman of Grove City College (Pennsylvania) analyze in depth Lewis's opposi- tion to women clergy. The writers discount any male chauvinism in Lewis's per- sonal life. For years he performed the most meniaI chores for Mrs. Moore, who was the mother ofa deceased friend to whom he had given a prornlse for her care. Lewis recognized that women are no less capable of piety, zeal, learning or other qualities recognizable as necessary for the pastoral office. There has been no lack of reverence for women in the church. In the Middle Ages the Virgin Mary came as close to deification as any human being, but there was no sugges- tion that women couId become priests. According to Hoffecker and Timrnerrnan, Lewis's opposition to women pastors found its starting point in his understanding of the Episcopal liturgyand the place of the priest (minister) in the liturgy. At times the officiating clergy- man represents God to the people and at other times he represents the people to God, a concept easily understood by Lutherans. Lewis held that, since the woman possesses the same God-like qualities as does the man, she may repre- sent the people to God, but that a woman cannot represent God to the people. Lewis would find it impossible to substitute -Our Mother who are in heaven" for "Our Father." He asks such questions as these: Why was not Mary the Christ instead of her son? Could Christ be the bride and the church the bridegroom? The answer is emphatically "NO!" A woman representing God would for Lewis change the nature of Christianity. Another basic argument is taken over from studies in comparative religions. Religions with female deities are fundamentat ly different than those with male. Those with goddesses and accompanying priestesses replace religion with "magic, manipulation of the impersonal, mysterious powers, and sacred prostitution" @. 18). Though Lewis would not contend that God is male, he does hold that God has taught us to refer to Him in the male gender and that male and female are not merely interchangeable neuters. Those who accept the ordination of women also fail to see ?he full implications of the distinctiveness of the two sexesw (p. 18). The male-female relationship symbolizes the hidden things of God according to his understanding of the Genesis passage, "God created man in His own image . . . male and female He created themw (Gen. 1 127). The sexual roles are divinely determined, and even where males do not sufficiently cany out their roles in representing God, no right to make a substitution exists. Lewis's analysis of the role of the sexes with its stress on the natural structure in the question of the ordination of women is not entirely new in Lutheran circles, even though most of Theological Observer 5 7 the argumentation against the practice has come from Pauline prohibitions. The two Grove City professors, in their analysis of Lewis's position on human sexuality, go beyond his purely theological writings and delve into two of his novels Perelandra and That Hideous Strength. According to Hoffecker and Timmerman, L~wis "immediately apprehended with mythical insight why in almost all languages certain inanimate objects are masculine while others are femininew (p. 19). The sexual designation of hanimate objects is not a result of an anthropological projection of the male and female relationship, but derives from characteristics of the things themselves. Seas are seen as feminine and mountains as masculine. "The seas and females are simply two things in the natural world that have feminine gender and mountains and males are two things of the creation that participate in and present an ontological polarity that separates all things" (p. 19). In other words, there is a masculine-feminine polarity in which all things participate. kwis does not argue that God is a male and that all people in the church are female, but hedoes assert that God in His relationship to the church is masculine and that the church is feminine. "Therefore one who 'represents' God to man as a priest ought to be one who most adequately represents or participates in that masculine nature which God alone is ontologically" (p. 19). Female pastors representing God "ignore the real distinctiveness that makes male and female unique despite their obvious similaritiesw (p. 19). Professors Hoffecker and Timmerman criticize Lewis in that, in recognizing a cosmic distinction between the masculine and feminine, he fails to identify the distinctive characteristics of each. He is also scored for proceeding from a litur- gical model without providing an equally strong Biblical basis. In the defense of Lewis, it can be said that he may have rightfully seen a continuity between the Biblical revelation and the ancient liturgies of the church. If he did, he would be in the fine company of the late Herman Sasse, who occupies a position in the stream of Lutheranism similar to the one held by Lewis in Anglicanism. The Cresset in publishing the essay of Hoffecker and Timmerman on C. S. Lewis's concept of male and female may have opened a new frontier in theology in which very little substantive work has been done. Lutherans will have little difficulty in fitting into Lewis's liturgical posture. In certain parts of the liturgy, e.g., the absolution, the pastor is clearly Christ's representative and not the church's. Lutherans will have little difficulty in feeling right at home in the mas- culine-feminine imagery of the bridegroom and bride which describes Christ's relationship to the church. This can be traced from God's relationship to Israel in the Old Testament down to Christ's relationship to thechurch inthe Synoptic Gospels, the writings of St. Paul, and the Book of Revelation. While the church has clear prohibitions against women clergymen, a largely satisfactory rationale for these negat~ons has been provided by Lewis. A mere proh~bltion without an explanation relating it to the totality of revelation soon becomes legalism. Lewis has trod in the area of a mystery which has not as yet been much explored. A number of fruitful avenues of research await investigation. The theory, for example, that inanimate objects are universally regarded as mascu- line and feminine needs further exploration. Both Biblical Hebrew and Greek make use of the masculine and feminine genders in describing inanimate ob- jects- the Biblical languages coincide with the majority of languages in iden- tifying the gender of inanimate objects? Lewis did not identify those charac- teristics which create the masculine and feminine distinctions. Lewis's central principle that there is a polarity in which some things are mas- 58 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY culine and others are feminine is both frightening and appealing. It frightens be- cause it might be considered a form of sexual Manicheism or theological Platonism. It appeals because the sexual polarity is fundamental to the Genesis creation account. The command for the animal and vegetable kingdoms to reproduce reflects this polarity. The relationship between the male and the female not only exists by a divine verbal fiat but is a mystery ingrained into the fibre of the cosmos. Lewis's concept of assigning predetermined sexual roles to objects would not be incompatable with what Lutheran theology has called the natural orders. Lewis, however, includes God in this scheme, not in His solitary existence, but in His relationship to the human race. Lewis's assigning God to the masculine sphere tests out in Trinitarian theology. The first two persons are identified as Father and Son and not mother and daughter. The common names for the Spirit are in the Old Testament ruach, a feminine noun, and in the New Testament ynewna, a neuter noun; but the pronouns used for the Spirit are heand it, but not she. Thus grammatically the Spirit shares in the realm of the masculine and not the feminine. The thesis of Lewis that the woman can represent mankind to God, even though he recognizes the reverse as strictly prohibited, must be scrutinized. If Lewis were right in holding that a woman can represent mankind to God, then she could have a more prominent part in the liturgy. According to Lewis. the woman's ability to represent both male and female to God finds its basis in her being God-like. According to both Genesis and Paul, however, she possesses her God-like qualities through the instrumentality of the male. Paul points out that, though the male is dependent on the female for his birth. the male-female order is nevertheless not changed (I Cor. 1 1 :3, 12). ?he drive in certain parts of society to a unisexual mentality in which mascu- line and feminine characteristics lose their uniqueness lies perhaps more than anything else at basis of the desire to ordain women priests. The entire sexual revolution in the late twentieth century and its resultingproblems may have their roots in the failure first to recognize and appreciate masculine and feminine dis- tinctiveness as part of God's cosmic plan. The problem of women pastors can- not be handled in isolation. but must be viewed in conjunction with the other sexual misunderstandings of which it is both a part and a result. Only citing the simple prohibition against the women pastors, without viewing the wider hori- zon of which the prohibition is a part, leaves unsolved the real and basic prob- lem of understanding the divinely established relationship of male and female. In concluding their Cwsset article Hoffecker and Timmerman are overly re- strained in commenting that "Lewis has presented a lucid and provocative view of male and female" (p. 2 1). Lewis may, in fact, have opened up a Biblical per- spective that has remained as yet for the most part untouched. In Ephesians 5:21-33 Paul dives deep into the depth of the mysterious relationships between husband and wife and Christ and His church. With the imagery of the maleand female, he explains the even greater mysteries of theatonement and Baptism. In concluding his presentation on marriage he quotes Genesis 1:26, "For this rea- son a man shall leave his father and mother and bejoined to his wife and the two shall become one." He adds then immediately the words. "This is a great mystery." In both marriage and Christ's unionwith the church. the mystery of the masculine-feminine imagery is maintained. God or Christ may be compared to the bridegroom because both belong to the masculine sphere. The church and the bride belong to the feminine sphere. A woman serving as God's representa- Theological Observer 59 tive to His church destroys this inherent creative polaritv. Peter Brunner, a German Lutheran theologian, stated that ordaining women would be an of- fense to the nature of God Himself. The late C. S. Lewis, an Anglican, has dug even deeper in the same vein. David P. Scaer Augsburg Confession VII: An Unnecessary Controversy "For it is sufficient for the true unity of the Christian church that the Gospel be preached in conformity with a pure understanding of it and the sacraments be administered in accordance with the divine wordn (32:2).' The interpretation of this passage of the Augsburg Confession, Article VII, has been a source of con- tention among Lutherans in the present as well as in the past. The controversy has centered around the question as to what extent Augustana V11 applies to church fellowship. Some maintain that the term "Gospe1"in Article VII must be taken in the wide sense to include “doctrine and . . . all its articles," as the Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article X puts it. The Gospel in this sense is more than forgiveness of sins. Others insist that "Gospel" must be taken in the narrow sense of forgiveness through faith in Chri~t.~ Taken to theextreme this view completely repudiates the Confessions' concern for truth and purity of doctrine. In 197 1 the Lutheran and Reformed Churches in Germany agreed on a statement which has become a basis for full church fellowship. This statement is popularly know as the Leuenberg Concord. Article VII of the Augsburg Con- fession was a principle source of inspiration for this agreement concerning church fellowship.3 Who is right? Which view is the correct interpretation of Article VII? Does Article VII establish a high standard for fellowship or one that is minimal? I think neither, for the wrong question is beingasked. Article V11 sets no standard, high or low, for church fellowship because it was never intended to serve as a basis for such an enterprise but instead to describe what the church is and how the church is created and preserved. A careful examination of Article VII demonstrates that church fellowship is not under consideration but the church as the Una Sancta. The opening sen- tence determines the subject matter for the entire article: "It is also taught among us the one holy Christian church will be and remain forever" (32:l). The next sentence makes it clear that the Una Sancta is being discussed by explaining what the church is: "the assembly of all believers among whom the Gospel is preached in its purity and the holy sacraments are administered according to the Gospel" (32:2). If "the Gospel . . . in its purity" is taken in the broad sense ofdoc- trine and all its articles as in Formula X, then only a handful of Lutherans are the one holy Christian church. This is the very condusion which Article VII was designed to refute because of Rome's view of the church as an outward associa- tion with the Pope being its head. Article VII quotes Ephesians 4:4,5 in order to prove that there is only one holy Christian church, i.e., all believers (32:I). The Gospel "in its purity" and the holy sacraments "administered according to the Gospel" are mentioned as the means which create and preserve the Una Sanrta. In other words, human rites do not justify and they are not means of grace. Article XV, "Church Usages," and Article XXVI, "Distinction of Foods," reiterate Article VIl's claim that human rites cannot create or prexrvc the uno Sanctu It is in this context that it is said, "It is not necessary for the true unity of 60 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY the Christian church [the Una Sancta] that ceremonies, instituted by men, should be observed uniformly in all places" (32:3). If one is not fully convinced by the abovediscussion of Article VII that church fellowship is not its concern, the Apology demonstrates this beyond any doubt. The Apology was written to defend the views of the Augsburg Confession, and it explains the intended meaning of Article VlI. As with the Augsburg Confes- sion, Article VI I of the Apology is clearly concerned with the Una Sancta and not church fellowship. In the first sentence the Apology describes the church as "the assembly of saintsn (168:l). The Apologyalso states that the Gospel and the sacraments not onIy are the means which create and preserve the church but that they also are marks of the church, i-e., where they are present one can be certain ! that the church is present (1695). The church properly speaking excludes the wicked, and it is not merely an external association (1695, 8; 170:13). Instead, the church properly speaking includes only those "men scattered throughout the world who agree on the Gospel and have the same Christ, the same Holy Spirit, and the same sacraments, whether they have the same human traditions or notn (170:lO). Again, the church consists of all who are "reborn of the Holy Spiritn (170:14) and have the righteousness which comes through faith in the Gospel (170: 15, 16). Clearly, the Una Sancta is being spoken about, i.e., all believers "the Church in the proper sense is the assembly of saints who truly believe the Gospel of Christ and who have the Holy Spiritn (173:28). Only a few of the references concerning the church have been quoted. It is in this context that the reference to true unity must be understood. Fortunately, the Apology specifically explains what is meant by "true unity" in Augustana VII: "We are talking about true spiritual unity, without which there can be no faith in the heart nor righteousness in the heart before God. For this unity, we say, a similarity of human rites, whether universal or particular, is not necessary" (174:31) (emphasis added). At this point it is extremely im- portant to note in what connection rites and ceremonies are being discussed. In the Apology they are not mentioned in connection with church fellowship but in connection with the Una Sancta Rites and ceremonies are not discussed as adiaphora but as things which do not merit justification or serve as means of grace: "Some have thought human traditions are devotions necessary for meriting justification" (174:32). Such a view is condemned because "the uninitiated have concluded that there can be no righteousness of the heart be- fore God without these observancesn (174:33). If the discussion of church rites and ceremonies in Augustana VII and the Apology was concerned only about adiaphora there would have been no problem for the reformers: "we believe that the true unity of the church is not harmed by differences in rites instituted by men, although we like it when universal rites are observed for the sake of tran- quility" (1 7433). However, this is not the issue. The issue is whether such rites ef- fect or affect the Una Surtcta. "Now, we are not discussing whether it is profit- able to observe them for the sake of tranquility or bodily profit. Another issue is involved. The question is whether the observance of human traditions is an act of worship necessary for righteousness before God" (175:34) (emphasis added). The Apology answers: "It is evident that human traditions do not quicken the heart, are not works of the Holy Spirit (like love of neighbor, chastity, etc.) and are not means by which God moves the heart to believe (like the divinely insri- tured word and sacraments)" (17536) (emphasis added). The Apology, then, declares that the intention of Augustana VII is to describe what the church is, i.e., the Una Sancta, how it comes into existence,and how it is preserved, i.e., by the Gospel and the sacraments. This is the true spiritual unity that exists among all believers in Christ. Human rites and ceremonies do not contribute towards this spiritual unity and, therefore, ir is not necessary that they should be ob- Theological Observer 6 1 served uniformly in all places. Since the Apology so clearly explains the meaning and intent of Augustana VII it is wrong to use Formula X to prove that Augustana VII isconcerned with external fellowship between churches. The passage that is frequently used as a parallel of Augustana VII is the following: "In line with the above, churches will not condemn each other because of a difference in ceremonies. . . as long as they are otherwise agreed in doctrine and in all its articles and are aiso agreed con- cerning the right use of the holy sacraments, according to the well-known axiom, 'Disagreement in fasting should not destroy agreement in faith"' (616:3 1). The concern of Formula X is not the Una Sancra but ch. -ch fellowship, whether to use rites and ceremonies of another denomination when ttzre has been no pre- vious agreement in doctrine and all its articles. The issue of Article X is what to do when adiaphora become a matter of confessing the truth (493:6; 613:14): "Hence yielding or conforming in external things, where Christian agreement in doctrine has nor previous/-v been achieved. will support the idolaters in their idolatry, and on the other hand, it will sadden and scandalize true believers and weaken them in their faithn (613:16; cf. 61 1:2, 3, 5; 612:lO; 613:16) (emphasis added). Although rites and ceremonies are discussed in Augustana VII and Formula X, they are discussed in different historical settings and different con- texts. In the Augsburg Confession and the Apology the burning question is "Are certain church rites necessary to justification and are they means of grace?" In Formula X the question is this: "In times of persecution, when a confession is called for, and when the enemies of the Gospel have not come to an agreement with us in doctrine, mag we with an inviolate conscience yield to their pressures and demands, reintroduce some ceremonies that have fallen into disuse and that in themselves are indifferent things and are neither commanded nor forbidden by God, and thus come to an understanding with them in such ceremonies and indifferent things? One party said Yes to this, the other party said No" (492:2). Article VII of the Augsburg Confession should not be used at all in matters pertaining to external church fellowship or visible unity. The spiritual unity of the Una Sancta is the concern of Augustana VII. Formula X should not usurp the function of the Apology to explain Augustana VII. Formula X is dealing with a different issue than Augustana VII. Fifty years separate the two docu- ments, and the historical and doctrinal elements are not the same. The Augs- burg Confession was directed toward the Rornanists while the Formula, although still concerned with the abuses of the papists, is, in the main, a docu- ment which settled doctrinal differences among Lutherans. Thus, Lutherans who use Augustana VI1 to support a minimal standard for church feIlowship are wrong to do so. Article VII cannot be used to justify watering down confession- al positions on doctrine or to condone loose fellowship practices. The Lutheran Confessions, especially the Augsburg Confession, require doctrinal unanimity for the exercise of fellowship, but Article VII does not belong in thisdi~cussion.~ Footnotes 1. All quotations from the Book of Concord are cited according to page and sec- tion number in Theodore G. Tappert, ed.. The Book of Concord (Philadel- phia: Fortress Press, 1959). 2. Roger W. Nostbokken. "The Augsburg Confession and Lutheran Unity", Consensus, vol. V, No. 111 (July, 1979), 3-14. 3. Ibid, p. 8. 4. Editor's Note: This was also the position of our late colleague, Dr. Harry Huth. E. Lassmann Parksville, British Columbia