Newly Updated Statement on Scripture

Several weeks ago there was considerable discussion in Lutheran CORE’s Facebook group in response to a person who questioned whether it is appropriate to call the Bible the Word of God. 

As part of that process, we posted our Statement on Scripture, which was written in 2007.

Because that statement was responding specifically to comments made by former ELCA presiding bishop Mark Hansen and to the ELCA’s Book of Faith initiative, we felt that the document should be updated to reflect our current situation and without reference to that initiative.

We are very grateful to NALC pastor Ken Kimball, who, along with Bishop Paull Spring, wrote the original statement.  Pastor Kimball graciously accepted our request to update the statement.  We are also very grateful to Dr. Mark Mattes of Grand View University for reviewing the statement. 

At its most recent meeting the board of Lutheran CORE unanimously voted to approve the statement.  You can find the full text of that document here

As we said in the July 2021 issue of CORE Voice, the real issue behind the issue is more often than not the authority of Scripture.  Refusing to call God Father, rejecting evangelism as part of the mission of the church, seeing faith in Christ as only one out of many ways to God, and embracing the full, radical LGBTQIA+ agenda all result from rejecting the inspiration, reliability, and authority of the Bible.  Therefore, we are glad to be able to share with you this newly updated Statement on Scripture.    

In the words of a hymn that has been set to the tune of “A Mighty Fortress” –

“God’s Word is our great heritage and shall be ours forever.

To spread its light from age to age shall be our chief endeavor.

Through life it guides our way; in death it is our stay.

Lord, grant while time shall last your Church may hold it fast

Throughout all generations.”

Spring Devotional

Editor’s Note: This piece was written by a Luther Seminary student earlier this spring.

I can’t tell you what spring is like in places beyond the Midwest — I’m sure they have it but it certainly pales in comparison to the spring that we enjoy in Minnesota. Saint Anthony Park and the ever-creaky Bockman Hall were covered in snow one day this week and basked in warm sun the next. Through open windows a new breeze blows in and with it the promise of a new age. A new age not held by the chains of ice and cold but one dominated by the warmth of the sun.

It is on to this odd state of transition that I cannot help but project my own faith. We as believers live in a time of transition. We have felt the warmth of the Son but are all too familiar with the cold and death of sin. Yet just like those experiencing spring in Minnesota, we know that the days of sin are numbered. We may not know for certain what that number is but that God has assigned it.

There is a moment in early March (and yes, I am a hardy one) when we first feel the warmth that God has given us. It is a feeling unlike anything else as it brings us to the end of our reality and then on to the next. That first warm day in March announces that winter is ending and summer is soon to follow. It is a sweet promise but one that loses its meaning if we spend the rest of the season behind closed windows and in a dorm. There, away from the sun, the promise becomes stale.

I remember the moment when I first felt the warmth of Christ. It brought me to the end of my reality and onto the next. Yet it is a warmth unappreciated when it is followed by distance and silence; by greeting the new breeze with closed windows and walls. Like students in spring, we as believers must live into the warmth and not merely observe its effect through a double-paned window. We will never replace the experience of when the Son first broke the cold but we can continue to live into the promise of that which the Son brings.

How do we live in the sun in a time when winter looms so close? I really couldn’t say but certainly we must first step from our dorms and houses and into where that light shines. We know darkness because we have seen light; cold because we have felt warmth. There is wisdom in that simple pairing — now that we have known, we should know.

The snow on my window’s ledge is gone but, without any regard of my own attitudes, it may return tomorrow. Spring is a time of transition, one that aims to break us of winter and usher in a period where we need not worry about snow. Until that time, I will have to wait and celebrate the warmth as it is given — that is the reassurance that allows us to hope for summer even when winter surprises us again.

A. Nestenprest