June 29th, 2012 - 8:10 am § in Church

Eight Is (More than) Enough: Of Seminaries and Church Support

Father Anonymous at Magdalene’s Egg recently posted about faculty changes at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, which will shortly be completing its merger with Lenoir-Rhyne University. In the process of the merger, three faculty members will be leaving, their positions being eliminated.

A little background is in order for any who may not be familiar with these institutions. Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) is one of the eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). It is located in Columbia, South Carolina. It has a history going back to 1830. Founded in 1891, Lenoir-Rhyne University is located in Hickory, North Carolina. It is a college of the ELCA. Facing financial pressures, Southern Seminary is merging with and becoming the graduate theological school of Lenoir-Rhyne University.

A comment on Fr. Anonymous’s blog points readers to a letter from the outgoing president and board chair of LTSS. It provides some institutional history and background to both the merger and the decisions to reduce the faculty size. (The letter can be found at

One item from that letter that stood out for me was a statement that, since 2008, support from the ELCA for the programs of LTSS has declined by 30%. I find that amount of reduction in support from the church alarming. In my estimation, among many other pieces of information, that should stand out as the most significant in the letter. read more

May 22nd, 2011 - 12:00 pm § in Bible, Theology

It’s Not the End of the World

It's too easy, though, to get caught up on the date fixing and the ridiculousness of claims of rapture and earthquakes happening in each time zone and obeying the international date line. It's all easy to ridicule, but it misses something actually worth noting. Perhaps it is the only thing really wo[...]

April 23rd, 2011 - 1:43 pm § in Church, Liturgy

Good Friday Bidding Prayer

The Good Friday service at my church was good and well done. But I have to say that the Bidding Prayer is sticking in my craw. The Bidding Prayer is a traditional part of the Good Friday liturgy. It consists of a serious of calls to prayer, a short silences, and prayers by the leader […][...]

October 14th, 2010 - 8:00 am § in Church

Structural Engineering the ELCA

The ELCA, facing budget shortfalls, is forced to restructure it's churchwide organization. But the restructuring is flawed with misplaced priorities and a failure to address the real structural problem it faces.[...]

July 25th, 2010 - 11:13 pm § in Theology


The lectionary lessons for this Sunday (July 25, 2010) center around the theme of prayer. We have Abraham’s entreaties to God for the sake of a few righteous people in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah from Genesis 18. In the reading from Colossians 2, starts out by holding up a life rooted in [...]

March 8th, 2010 - 1:34 am § in Theology

The Proper Place of the Law: What of Antinomianism?

In the debates over human sexuality and the related discussions, the charge is frequently made by conservatives and traditionalists that the ELCA has drifted into antinomianism (rejecting the law). That charge has been unsurprisingly leveled once again by Robert Benne in the winter 2009 edition of L[...]

February 18th, 2010 - 10:05 pm § in Church

Reconfiguration of Lutheranism. Really?

Today the conservative, traditionalist, and dissident group Lutheran CORE released it’s vision for what the group’s press release called “the reconfiguration of Lutheranism in North America.”  It calls for the establishment of a new church body with the suggested name of the[...]