Kudos to editor David L. Miller for his affirmation of the historical
and catholic identity of Lutheranism (October, page 66). Only in
receiving what Christ has to give to the church — Scripture, tradition
and faithful teaching — are we truly free to be the church. Evangelical
freedom and mutual accountability within the church catholic aren't
mutually exclusive. One cautionary note: I agree with Miller's
assertion that the Episcopal Church's confirmation of a noncelibate gay
bishop is troubling, at least insofar as it is a unilateral decision
lacking ecumenical or even pan-Anglican consensus. But we in the ELCA
should first take the log out of our own eye: What of our recent
exception clause to ordination within the historic episcopate?
William F. Kirsh-Carr
Miller's editorial said biblical literalism isn't an element of Lutheran tradition. I think you're mistaken. The early church viewed Scripture as God-breathed. Jesus said he came to fulfill the law and the prophets. He challenged the Israelite religious leaders on the basis of the Hebrew Bible. He viewed Jonah as a historical person and clearly spoke about the reality of hell.
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