A Once Well-Respected Journal
I anticipated that there would be reaction to our editorial of last week, both in support and in opposition. There is really no middle ground on this issue, and over the internet where likes and shares fly there was plenty of conversation.
I was forwarded a long series of screen shots from the Facebook page of the Rev. Bror Erickson. His initial comment regarding the editoral was short, "The position that a real fruit of repentance is to shut up about the gospel is untenable." Of course that isn't our position, that is simply- that Messrs. Bird and Tchividjian should bear fruit worthy of repentance by not advancing themselves as teachers in the Church, which they undeniably do. On that thread, the Rev. Andrew Packer noted that the original post wasn't the position of the editorial and then Rev. Erickson responded with the following:
"So in the case of Tchividjian and Bird, and others like them, what might this fruit look like? For starters, it would acknowledge that the fact that their continued public teaching of the faith, notwithstanding their many and great talents, needs to cease." Direct quote from an article published in a once well-respected journal. Sure sounds to me like someone saying the fruit of repentence is to shut up about the gospel. Unless of course, they think Chad and Tullian are perhaps Muslims, and that is the faith they mean here.
The highlighed portion is what caught my eye, not the argument at hand. Who knew that Gottesdienst was a once well-respected journal? I've always thought our journal is a bit like this guy. So if we lost respect, who knew we had it in the first place? Not us. A few weeks ago the editors met face to face for the first time in the journal's 25 year history to do some long term planning; (for real, there had never been a meeting to discuss the direction of the various things we do. Ever.) We commented about how disorganized we were and how if we wanted Gottesdienst to continue into the future we needed to get to work. This meeting led to the increased blog activity you've seen and also to a few more things we will be rolling out soon enough.
Now, I'll be bold to speak for the editors: We do want you to read our blog. We do want you to subscribe to the journal. We do want you to love the Lutheran Liturgy. We do want Lutheran Pastors to be reverent and fulfill their office in accordance with their confessional subscription. We do want the Gospel to be spread around the world. We do want people to be believing in Jesus and rejoicing in the doctrine of justification, the article by which the Church stands or falls. We do want people to not be antinomians. We do want our Synod to address that issue along with a few others. The list of things we do want could go on for a while. But what we do not want or need, is respect.
So for those who claim to have lost respect for our journal for telling the truth: We don't want it anyway.