Thank you to the three professors at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis (LCMS), who have written powerful, definitive, Scriptural, and confessional responses to documents from ReconcilingWorks, an organization that seeks to give a Biblical basis for affirming the LGBTQ+ lifestyle and for fully welcoming LGBTQ+ people into the life of the church, including as rostered leaders of the church.
I highly recommend their articles to you. Among the people who I believe would especially be interested are –
Those who hold to the traditional, Biblical view and who are looking for resources to help them defend and advocate for that view
Those who are genuinely seeking and wondering – with so many voices to the contrary – if the traditional, Biblical view is plausible and defensible
Dr. Thomas Egger, president of the seminary and professor of exegetical theology, has written a review of Reconciling Scripture for Lutherans: Sexuality and Gender Identity. A link to his review can be found here. Dr. Egger’s thesis, which he defends admirably and in great detail, can be found in the opening and closing paragraphs of his article. “Reconciling Scripture for Lutherans does not carefully listen to and apply the Bible as God’s authoritative Word to the matter of human sexuality and gender identity, but rather offers creative ways to employ Biblical language and theological categories to confirm a set of convictions that have been arrived at on other grounds.” (page 18)
Dr. Joel Biermann, professor of systematic theology, has written “An Evaluation and Reaction” to another document from ReconcilingWorks – Lutheran Introduction to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression. A link to his article can be found here. A few phrases from his article will reveal his major point, which he makes clearly and supports strongly.
“Considering the remarkable prominence given the word Lutheran on the cover, it seems clear that the intent of the document is to provide teaching from and for Lutheran Christians. Yet after the first sentence, Lutheran appears once more (pg. 6), church makes a similar fleeting singular appearance (pg. 2), and the word Christian is absent. Most remarkable of all, perhaps, there is no reference or even allusion to Jesus or God anywhere in the document.” (page 1)
“Another word noticeably, but unsurprisingly, absent from the document is sin. Presumably, the discovery and celebration of one’s individual, self-identified, identity offers no quarter for an idea like sin. . . . Given the suppression of sin in the document, it is hardly surprising that Jesus makes not even a cameo appearance. With no sin, what need is there of a savior; and with my identity and self-expression determined by myself who needs, or wants, a Lord?” (pages 2-3)
Dr. Timothy Saleska, professor of exegetical theology and dean of ministerial formation, has also written a response to Reconciling Scripture for Lutherans. A link to his article can be found here. A friend of Lutheran CORE wrote, “It is at once thoroughly charitable in its response, humble and honest in self-examination, empathetic to the plight of LGBTQ+ persons . . . thoughtful in genuinely trying to understand the perspective of LGBTQ+ affirming persons . . . – and yet unflinching in telling the truth about homosexuality and transgenderism from a confessional Lutheran, traditional sexual ethics perspective.”
As a retired pastor who is rostered in a Lutheran church body that has contained on the homepage of its website links to resources from ReconcilingWorks, and whose presiding bishop did not give me the courtesy of responding to my email when I asked her why the ELCA website never also contains links to resources with traditional views (thus violating the spirit and language of the 2009 social statement, “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust,” which acknowledged that people within “this church” hold a number of views, including traditional views, “with conviction and integrity,”) I found it refreshing and encouraging that another church body would have professors at one of its seminaries that would write clearly and compellingly in support of traditional, Biblical, moral values.
I highly recommend these three articles to you.