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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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WordAlone story spurs response

Some say deeper discussion is needed

I have three responses to reporting on the WordAlone convention in your July issue ("WordAlone: 'The Bible reads sinners'") relating to my address: 1) The first paragraph of my remarks isn’t actually in my lecture but must be the writer’s compilation and interpretation, often incorrect and misleading, of remarks made at different points in my hour-long address. The second paragraph of my remarks is removed from its pastoral and academic context, which misleads your readers. 2) Timothy Wengert, a distinguished and highly respected colleague of mine, appears to be responding to the writer’s skewed summary falsely attributed to me rather than to my complete text. This is unfortunate since it overlooks the detailed theological and academic nature of my remarks. 3) The editor’s column ("Do not blink") indicates that my remarks were “alarming” because they “just ramp up discord, stoking even more invective” serving only “to divide, not reconcile or correct.” Personal judgments such as these are unfortunate since they never deal with the substance of my argument nor recognize the ecumenical and reconciling nature of my 43 years of ordained ministry.

Karl P. Donfried
Amherst, Mass.

(Read the full text of Donfried’s remarks.)

News with criticism

I commend you for printing the WordAlone article. I am bothered, however, by the insertion of a response from Lowell Almen and Timothy Wengert right in the midst of the story. This is a first for me: to read a news item and have included right in the reporting direct criticism and attack upon those whose story is being reported. I can only surmise that headquarters is running scared with our dwindling membership and is doing everything it can to gloss over the issues.

Lester F. Polenz
Mansfield, Ohio


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December issue

DECEMBER issue:

Advent: Waiting together

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