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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The way it really was

Best intention turned into startling 'news'

Has someone ever taken something you said or did, something reasonable, something commendable, and twisted it to make it sound deplorable?

I remember the day in February 1984 when 70 of us on the Commission for a New Lutheran Church were working on the constitution for the ELCA. When we got to the section about the Trinity in the church's confession of faith, one of the members, a man, suggested that we should see if we could find language that was less male-oriented.

Edgar R. Trexler, the editor of The Lutheran at that time and continuing after the merger, tells about the moment in his book Anatomy of a Merger (Augsburg, 1991; page 59):

"In support of inclusive language, Elwyn Ewald (AELC, lay) moved to insert 'triune' for 'one' [God] and delete 'Father, Son and Holy Spirit' from the first sentence of the statement of faith. The sentence read: 'On the basis of sacred Scriptures, the Church's creeds and the Lutheran confessional writings, we confess our faith in the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit ....'"


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