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After Schism

After Schism


by Paul R. Hinlicky

Read the PDF
from LF Summer 2015

Why do I stay? I am asked that question regularly, including by readers of the first draft of this essay. I struggle to answer. My conscience troubles me. I worry that I stay because my spouse and I have been treated well in an “intact” synod, if I may borrow admittedly strong language from the Church Struggle in Germany in the 1930s for those regional Lutheran churches not taken over by the pro-Nazi German Christian party.

To be precise about this borrowing: I do not think that the predominant theology in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is Nazism, which equation would be an insult to those who really suffered under real Nazism. But I do think that our American Christian progressives—an approach that Bonhoeffer described as “Protestantism without Reformation,” and that has prevailed in the ELCA—theologize in ways significantly parallel to the German Christian party of that time. [1] Wanting desperately to be on the right side of history, as if history were God, the German Christians were quite willing to sacrifice the tradition of the gospel as embodied in Holy Scripture for some new thing that they thought the Spirit was doing. [2] I continue to find this parallel disturbing, as in the recent dust-up regarding the “radical hospitality” initiative, which would open holy communion to those not baptized as a matter of principle. (Thankfully, Presiding Bishop Eaton appears quietly to have quashed that, while making a point of teaching on baptism in her regular column on the back page of The Lutheran.[3])

Yet it also gives me pause when, on the other side, the right response to fellow Christians who are gay and lesbian is made into a church-dividing status confessionis rather than treated as a morally ambiguous ethical issue in a fallen world over which people of good will can and will differ. The change in American public opinion on gay marriage is, in any case, over-interpreted on both sides. If equal means equal—and equalization has been the imperative of American law ever since the Bill of Rights was appended to the Constitution—then also in respect to marriage law the change taking place today was inevitable. But it hardly means the arrival of the Beloved Community on earth; nor does it mean the return of sexual barbarism. So far as the desire for marriage is sincere, the gay marriage movement is in fact socially conservative, as anyone knows who remembers the wild celebration of gay promiscuity from the earliest days of the liberation movement.

The change in public sentiment, however, represents predominantly a tolerance of apathy, especially among the younger generation. It is the live-and-let-live indifference to sexual expression of a generation that sees rapidly shrinking prospects before them. In my view, this much broader slide into a night in which all cats are gray is what should concern all thinking Christians, if we are thinking at all, let alone thinking clearly. Our “Weimarization” is well under way, if the American dream cannot be sustained either economically or ecologically or both.

Anyway, that being a brief update on how I think about the social controversy that precipitated the biggest schism in American Lutheran history, I wonder if I stay only because it would be “out of the frying pan and into the fire” to leave. Or would I risk jumping if I suffered in one of the “broken” synods that I so regularly hear about? I hear from those who are ostracized, ridiculed, and otherwise personally and professionally abused for publicly holding to and consistently acting on one of the three positions, officially recognized in the 2009 Social Statement, more traditional than the fourth, unconditional blessing of homosexuality as God’s good creation.

In this essay, I am thinking out loud for those who may identify with my quandary. I will do so by way of a “look and see” at Lutheranism in schism since 2009. I won’t have much to say about the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, which is in a perpetual state of internal schism agitated by the Brown Shirt rag of Hermann Otten. Matthew Becker, an excellent theologian in the Bertram tradition at Valparaiso University, is the contemporary target of the more orthodox-than-thou crowd for the “heresy” of dissenting from the Synod’s policy that bars half of its baptized adults from the pastoral office. The LCMS’s ever-more-tightly-circled-wagons theology is just not an option for the rest of us.

Schism is what I predicted for the ELCA leading up to 2009, though I can hardly claim prophetic inspiration for seeing then what a child could see. It is graceless to say “I told you so,” but I will sin nonetheless on the side of clarity here. This is what I said: “bound conscience” is a fraud, bought at the incalculable price for a church body of selling out theological integrity; so the hypocrisy continues to extract pound upon pound of flesh from the bleeding corpse of the ELCA. Let’s take stock.

ELCA Disarray

We begin with the bleeding corpse. No one fully anticipated the accelerated decline of the largest segment of American Lutheranism. The ELCA counted 5.2 million members in 1987 when it was formed by the merger of about two-thirds of American Lutherans. Today it is well under the four million mark and still falling, having gone from 11,000 congregations to 9500. “From 2002 to 2012 attendance at ELCA churches declined by 28.9 percent,” The Lutheran acknowledged recently. Another recent study claimed that, on any given Sunday, more Lutherans were at church in Missouri and Wisconsin Synod congregations than in the ELCA. The numerical dive correlates with a financial plunge. Today many of the metropolitan synods survive financially by feeding off the carcass of church properties shut down and sold off, a practice that in a downward spiral incentivizes the shutting down of more struggling congregations.

In its first years, the national ELCA had an operating budget in the vicinity of $120 million annually (in 1989 dollars); today it struggles with about $50 million annually, not counting the money allocated from the ever popular Hunger Appeal to cover “administrative” expenses. This allocating, like the selling of church buildings to raise cash, has become habitual. The joint venture with the LCMS under the umbrella of Lutheran World Relief for treating malaria in Africa, for example, was scuttled for no apparent reason (other than, I surmise, that by running its own malaria campaign the ELCA could safely allocate from a new stream of donor generosity to fund “administrative expenses”). Suffice it to say that former Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson’s $200 million “save my legacy” campaign, more than half of which is dedicated to the Hunger Appeal, has dropped upon the dazed survivors of the recent unpleasantness like a lead balloon. As a synodical bishop observed to me, those who wanted change got it, but now they aren’t willing to pay for it. Speaking personally, I am certainly not willing to pay for it.

Even the figures of 3.8 million members and 9500 surviving congregations today are misleading. Sources from within the bureaucracy reveal that the denomination in fact reckons with about two million more-or-less active members. These years also saw countless ELCA congregations divided, and not only in the rural backwaters that the Hanson regime wrote off. In addition to those who left, hundreds more took votes to leave that failed by small percentages and so left in their wake demoralized shells. In countless congregations where votes were blocked, or the issues evaded, many individuals defected, not infrequently those most knowledgeable theologically and/or most committed churchmen and -women.

Among the other alienations was how the 2009 decisions violated just about every sacred conviction in the Lutheran tradition regarding how we should comport ourselves when we “come together as the church” (I Corinthians 11:18). The decade-long ramming operation, however, was just the culmination of a string of abuses of trust, belying any claim that homophobia is the secret energy of opposition within the ELCA. It is in fact the memory of lost Lutheran theology that energizes opposition in the ELCA. Steve Shipman, Executive Director of Lutheran core, accompanied by fellow ELCA pastor Cori Johnson, recounted this long list of grievances to Elizabeth Eaton in a recent visit, as reported in the core Newsletter.[4]

The collapse of trust, as Shipman described it, goes back to the formation of the ELCA with the establishment of the quota system in representation, allegedly in order to help move the ELCA to a 10% membership of people of color or whose primary language is other than English. The figure of about 2% in this regard has barely budged in twenty five years, not surprisingly as foreign and domestic evangelization work has plummeted while something like seven out ten ELCA mission-starts fail. Quotas function as a purely legalistic claim to a diversity that does not exist, preventing any real self-critique as to the ELCA’s actual cultural bondage to a false consciousness. And the erosion of trust begotten by the quota system only furthers the apathy of the people in the ELCA who, regardless of official voting rights, feel unrepresented and unheard at the infomercials that our synodical assemblies have become.

In corroboration of this claim, Shipman noted the lack of any response by ELCA hierarchs, let alone a constructive one, to the alarm raised by the popular outpourings—around one thousand involuntary attendance on two separate occasions—at the Call to Faithfulness conferences at St. Olaf College in the early 1990’s. Nor did former Presiding Bishop George Anderson keep his promise to meet with the framers of a document called “The 9.5 Theses.” Nor was there any acknowledgement of the criticism over how the Social Statement on abortion was officially “interpreted” to mean the opposite of what it seems to say. Nor any response to the vocal protests at the continued voting to approve same-sex relationships, assembly after assembly, until the “right” decision was made, followed by a corresponding volte-face ever since: the debate is now over and the subject is closed and it’s time to move on. (Here’s a bitter joke: Why does the ELCA-er keep attending synod assemblies? Answer: Because it feels so good to stop).

Bishop Easton was pressed, according to Shipman, on the ecclesiological questions. How will the ELCA create policies to protect pastors from bishops who disagree with them on the sexuality issue? How will congregations seeking pastors be treated by bishops if, under the “bound conscience” rationale, they do not believe that same-sex sexual relationships are something Christians can affirm? And legally, if pastors or congregations are accused of a civil rights violation for declining to participate in or host a same-sex wedding, what legal support can they expect from the ELCA in support of their bound consciences? Shipman reports that he and Johnson put the question sharply and concretely: “Is there a place for pastors such as us in the ELCA?” He reports that Bishop Eaton stated that she wants this to be the case.

But this wish does seem a bit like magical thinking. Shipman’s probing questions expose the fact that the “bound conscience” rationale of 2009 was an opportunistic expedient. There is no coherent way to come together as church with four incompatible theologies of sex, marriage, and family that are all supposed to be respected in the persons conscientiously holding them. The bleeding must flow again in a bold red rush as soon as the right of individuals to bless gay unions and ordain such to the ministry becomes the demand placed on others to recognize the ministries of the persons so united and ordained when we come together as church. Anyone can see this much and can see further that there is actually no basis within itself for rebuilding the squandered trust in the ongoing ecclesiological deficit that is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It has been from the beginning, sad to say, a denomination that no one loves and everyone uses for their own purposes. Still underreported in this regard is the alleged funding from the Soros Foundation that mobilized protestors at ELCA assemblies in the ramming operation up to the 2009 decision.

Hoping against hope, as Christians must, I nevertheless remain a pastor in the ELCA, where the Lord has placed me in a meaningful call for purposes mostly beyond my comprehension. As through a glass but dimly, I see staying as a way of holding the institutions to account, supporting the dissenters who remain, nurturing growing doubt about the sacred cows of the ELCA among those who are not yet open dissenters, and keeping a principled commitment not to repeat Luther’s error of demonizing theological opponents but rather to practice the Christian ethic of enemy love—which at times will take the form of sharp, rational critique of my sisters and brothers who ought to know better, treating them as church even when they do not act as church. So I will dissent in place until I am forced to shelter elsewhere.

I accordingly wish Bishop Eaton well, and I join my congregation weekly in praying for her. For hers is an impossible task. Like Shipman, I express appreciation for the new tone that she has set, affirming that “we are,” among other things, “church” and “Lutheran.” Precisely in making these affirmations, however, she has inherited a mess. She deserves hopeful support. Nothing less than hope will help, the hope that is not rational optimism based on a calculation of evidence and trends (which would lead instead to the rational pessimism that I have just laid out before the reader) but faith in the God of the gospel to open new doors where every human way forward seems shut.

One might correspondingly hope that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. There are bright spots, but the recent “transition” to Roman Catholicism of former Forum Letter editor Russell Saltzman (who asked me some ten years ago to support a status confessionis over homosexuality, which I declined to do) is symbol enough that things are not all well among those who have departed Pharaoh’s land only to wander in the wilderness. Saltzman had a leading role both in fomenting the exodus from the ELCA and in the formation of the North American Lutheran Church. His farewell to the NALC was accompanied by telling comments about his frustrating work as a dean in the NALC, beneath the dignity, no doubt, of a man who would might have been a bishop.

There is tension, moreover, in the partnership of these past six years between Lutheran core as a reform movement and the new denomination that is the NALC. CORE (full disclosure: I am contributing member and active participant) sees itself as a pan-Lutheran movement that in principle does not recognize as sacred the denominational boundaries within North American Lutheranism. For the same reason, I am comfortable teaching at the pan-Lutheran Institute of Lutheran Theology, the growing online seminary that is in the process of acquiring accreditation. But now the NALC, the birth of which was in part facilitated by CORE after the 2009 ELCA decisions, is in the process of seeking its niche in the smorgasbord of North American religiosity, thus inevitably in the process of erecting new denominational alliances and boundaries. CORE as a result has become uncertain of its pan-denominational mission in the face of the intensifying turf wars of renewed denominationalism.

The NALC wants core to play a stronger role in facilitating exodus from the ELCA, since “souls are at stake” (and, may I note, increased membership is desired). Since the NALC ordains women, there are limits on the other side of the denominational spectrum to its cozying up the LCMS.

The ELCA, covetous of that saleable church property, has in the meantime cracked down on the requirements for congregations seeking exit. The NALC thus has limited wiggle room to add to its present tally of 140,000 members in 370 congregations.

I stated my view in 2009 and it is, I think, known by now: we should all reject denominationalism and think instead of a christological realignment cutting across all the moribund labels, not just Lutheran. We could then make the schism work as an ecumenical catalyst for something better than the religion business as usual.

But in just this regard, the NALC leadership did itself a disservice by playing fast and loose with the truth in the process leading up to its now “pending” application for membership in the Lutheran World Federation. It rightly aspired to membership, not least of all to offer a balance to the present two-church region of North America (the ELCA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada) and to offer solidarity with African churches resisting the drift of the ELCA, theChurch of Sweden, and others. Yet LWF members regard themselves as being in altar and pulpit fellowship with one another, a hard pill for some in the NALC to swallow, since it would mean re-entering fellowship with the apostate against whom they had just shaken the dust from their feet. Because the NALC leadership minimized the altar and pulpit fellowship aspect in selling to its members the idea of joining the LWF, the LWF quite rightly hit the brakes, no longer sure if the NALC’s members fully understood what they were voting for, and so put the NALC’s application on pending status while the NALC gains clarity on its ecclesiology. It should be pointed out, contrary to impressions within the NALC, that the LWF has not simply nixed the NALC’s application but only put it on hold while some urgently needed clarity on its own self-understanding is developed. For this the NALC leadership might rather be grateful than petulant.

In this regard, one may reasonably hope in the theological leadership of the NALC’s new seminary, headed by Amy Schifrin and recently joined by David Yeago. Yeago was unceremoniously (if not cruelly, on the day he returned home from bypass surgery) purged from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary after a distinguished career of service. In the interim he taught with great success at the Institute of Lutheran Theology. His sin, evidently, was telling the truth that we in the ELCA are in a state of impaired fellowship. I cannot imagine that these two theologians of catholic persuasion and ecumenical commitment would fail, in the clarity of Christian freedom, to extend the right hand of fellowship across any and all human-all-too-human turf wars, actively disbelieving and publically discrediting any such fractional ecclesiological claims. I hope (remembering that hope is hope in God, not rational optimism) that under their theological leadership the NALC can arise to this glorious discipline of Christian freedom in our ecclesial wanderings through the present wilderness.

Yet, as it seems, the deep and unhealed wounds that follow church schism are inhibiting this freedom for which Christ has set us free, to be slaves to one another in love by disbelieving and disregarding the golden calf of denominationalism (I Corinthians 1:10–13). The church of Jesus Christ still exists in the ELCA, and no one in the NALC should deny that, or fail to discern and act on that truth. As a continuing member of that woebegotten denomination and as one of its “teaching theologians,” I claim my freedom in Christ to tell this truth openly: not only is fellowship impaired within the ELCA by the history of abuses of trust recounted above; not only is my ELCA a complacently heterodox church belying its own Confession of Faith in Article 2 of its constitution; but with the 2009 decision, it became de facto a federation of congregations and so has no rational way to come together as church now other than by coercing the 2009 position that blesses homosexuality unconditionally as a good willed by God.

Now if I am free to say that truth publicly and on the record, we can and should expect the theologians in the NALC to speak the truth about themselves. If the NALC can engage the conservative Evangelical group Navigators to assist in discipleship training, when there is manifestly no unity with these Evangelicals on the sacraments and what the sacraments must mean specifically for discipleship and evangelism, how is it principled to exclude parallel forms of discerning fellowship with the confused, culturally more liberal Lutherans within the ELCA?

When we turn attention to the larger grouping of those who have abandoned the ELCA, we come to the somewhat amorphous Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, numbering now in the vicinity of 850 affiliated congregations with somewhere between 300,000 and 350,000 members. Its exodus antedates the 2009 decision, growing out of opposition to the Concordat between the ELCA and The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the year 2000. Mention of this gives me opportunity publicly to acknowledge regret for the endorsement of the Concordat that I published in these pages in 1998. I still think that episcopacy in historic succession, taken as a sign and not as a guarantee of apostolic fidelity, is compatible with Augsburg Confession 28. Indeed, I think that such ministry of evangelical oversight that recalls the gospel in its historical tradition is acutely needed today in the chaos of the LCMC, rife as it is with spiritual enthusiasm and a nasty current of anti-intellectualism, as shortly to be reported. But I regret swallowing my profound reservations even at the time about the doctrinal apostolicity, or rather lack of it, in the TEC in order to endorse what turns out to have been a hollow symbol in this particular case.

Historically, the LCMC is rooted in the nineteenth-century Norwegian emigration to the prairies of western Canada and the north-central United States. Jonathan Sorum describes its constituency as twofold: the “radical Lutherans” who have been deeply influenced by the late Gerhard Forde’s theology of the “Word alone,” and the “Pietists” whom I see as descended from the Norwegian lay revivalist Hans Nielsen Hauge.

The radical Lutherans are manifestly more conscious of their Lutheran theological identity and of the need for theological education for the proper formation of pastors. Forde’s theological descent was of the old Norwegian Synod, with close ties to the Norwegian state church and the LCMS, historically in opposition to Pietism, especially on the question of election. Forde in fact described the spirit animating the “new Lutheran church” (as the ELCA was called in the period of its formation) as “decadent Pietism.” Sometimes characterized as “prairie populists” in their ethos, the still-vital Pietists, so far as they exhibit any historical memory at all, remain inspired by the figure of Hauge, who stood up to the Norwegian episcopacy for its coldness in spirit, laxity in biblical doctrine, and subservience to royal authority. They are devoted to Bible study, prayer, and evangelism, and thus are pulled towards indigenous American Evangelicalism. As I once heard one such Pietistic theologian say, “We all know that it is summer camp that makes Christians.”

The LCMC Convention in the fall of 2014 had somewhere between 1000 and 1100 in attendance. Mark Mattes gave the keynote address and received a standing ovation, which we may take to be a good sign, as he encouraged the audience to embrace its Lutheran theological inheritance. Yet here also, as in the NALC, there are disturbing developments in the inevitable decisions that must be made as those in exodus prepare for settled life in a new land.

The LCMC has two pastoral designations: contract pastors, who are called to a certain place, and certified pastors, who have mobility. The LCMC has required that certified pastors have “a M.Div. degree or its equivalent.” Yet the Board of Ministry of the LCMC is working with the following list of approved educational institutions: 1) traditional accredited seminaries offering M.Div. degrees, specifically Sioux Falls Seminary, Bethel, Fuller, and Faith Evangelical Seminary; 2) non-traditional non-accredited seminaries offering the M.Div, specifically the Masters Institute, the Institute of Lutheran Theology, St. Paul’s Seminary, and Niagara Seminary; and 3) institutions offering M.Div. equivalencies, specifically the Antioch School of Church Planting and the Beyond the River Academy.

Scratching beneath the surface, what this listing reveals is not reassuring, so far as the word “Lutheran” in Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ is supposed to have any definite and enduring meaning. Sioux Falls Seminary and Bethel are Baptist, Fuller is on the Evangelical- Pentecostal end of non-denominationalism, Faith Evangelical Seminary is not Lutheran. The Masters Institute’s M.Div. is quite different from a traditional seminary’s, and St. Paul’s and Niagara list neither curricula nor faculty. But the real problem comes with the Antioch School of Church Planting and the Beyond the River Academy.

The LCMC regards both of these as providing “M.Div. equivalencies,” thus allowing pastors full mobility upon “graduating” from these two schools. But what curricula do they have? Antioch has a number of modules through which students progress, on the model of continuing education hours for licensed property managers, real estate agents, or serve-safe food managers. There are no teachers, no lectures, and no interaction. Antioch seems to have purchased the program somewhere and is offering it through their website. Even more problematic for the future of the LCMC is the Beyond the River Academy. This is a group of “pastors teaching pastors.” Nobody has an advanced degree. There are six “courses” students must take, though none are interactive or have lectures. Students can read some books listed on a webpage and then can call the cell number of a pastor if they need help completing their assignments. There seem to be about four assignments per course. At the end of six courses, students take a test to graduate.

We can see why Beyond the River is appealing in a decadently Pietist sort of way. A student can take 1350 contact hours in a M.Div. degree program, plus perhaps 2500 hours of study outside class, or can take no contact hours at all with Beyond the River and attain the same status as a certified, mobile pastor within the LCMC. If the LCMC allows the Antioch and Beyond the River path to its certified roster of pastors, it will as a body have a very difficult time sustaining Lutheran identity, assuming that the LCMC is or even wants to be a “body.” Apparently that’s ok with some in the LCMC, who think that the more education a pastor has the less she can love Jesus. But church history teaches that if we give only our hearts to Jesus, our minds will soon default to the devil. [5]

Here I’m Stuck, I Cannot Do Otherwise

Ironically enough, then, the ELCA and the LCMC are inverse images of each other. Both are de facto federations of congregations. Both consequently are looking for effective leaders of voluntary organizations that have lost their churchly unity in a common understanding of the gospel’s mission to the nations, for the sake of which congregations ostensibly exist and need pastoring in the first place. Likewise, the NALC and the LCMS mirror each other in wanting a churchly existence and a learned ministry but are unable to consolidate and are rather forced perpetually to define themselves over against the heterodoxy of the feared other. The error here is the spiritual pride of thinking that orthodoxy is something we own as a settled possession rather than the Holy Spirit’s work in progress through the Word in a history not yet finished. We should accordingly extend the right hand of fellowship wherever we discern the intention to walk and talk true to the gospel, inculcating in this way a theological culture that can test the spirits to see whether they are of God (I John 4:1–3). [6]

The realization of these ecclesiological impasses across the American Lutheran spectrum is in part what led Saltzman to swim the Tiber, as it had already led so many others. I am happy to observe that those in this stream of full and consistent exodus from Lutheranism [7] will now encounter the reformist papacy of Frances; may God richly bless this breath of fresh air blowing through the Vatican, catching up at long last with the Lutheran Reformation! In a better world, I would, with Luther, kiss this pope’s feet if he would allow the gospel free course publicly to right history’s wrongs, also in sweeping clean the curia. But that better world still needs time, and in any event I cannot in conscience go where ordained sisters cannot likewise tread. So here I stay, I cannot do otherwise, a sad face in the sorry bosom of conflicted Lutheranism in North America. [8]

Paul R. Hinlicky is Tise Professor of Lutheran Studies at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, and the author most recently of Beloved Community: Critical Dogmatics after Christendom.

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1. Doris L. Bergen, Twisted Cross: The German Christian Movement in the Third Reich (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996).

2. Guy Christopher Carter, Confession at Bethel, August 1933—Enduring Witness: The Formation, Revision and Significance of the First Full Theological Confession of the Evangelical Church Struggle in Nazi Germany, Ph.D. dissertation (Marquette University, 1987). Paul R. Hinlicky, “Verbum Externum: Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Bethel Confession,” in God Speaks to Us: Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Biblical Hermeneutics, eds. Ralf Wüstenberg and Jens Zimmerman (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2012), 189–216, and Before Auschwitz: What Christian Theology Must Learn from the Rise of Nazism (Eugene: Cascade, 2013), 180–92.

3. For example, from the same “Special Synod Assembly Edition” as cited above: “But we must be clear that we are church first. We aren’t a non-governmental organization. We aren’t the government. We aren’t the American Cancer Society. Baptism makes a difference and makes us different. We are in Christ. Baptism means the death of our old self. This implies sacrifice. It should also mean that we as church do not fit in with the surrounding culture…[W]ithout understanding that God has brought about the transformation of justified sinners through the costly grace of the crucified Christ, then we are not church.” In her previous column she cited “theologian Robert W. Jenson.” That would not have happened in the previous twenty-five years!

4. Steve Shipman, “Rebuilding Trust,” Lutheran core Connection (December 2014): 3–5.

5. But this is also the place of critiquing Luther by Luther, since his end-of-life plunge into apocalyptic demonization of Jews, the pope, and Anabaptists represents his abandonment of theology for invective. See Paul R. Hinlicky, Luther and the Beloved Community: A Path for Christian Theology after Christendom (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), 379–85.

6. Paul R. Hinlicky, “Authority in the Church: A Plea for Critical Dogmatics,” in New Directions for Lutheranism, ed. Carl E. Braaten (Delhi: alpb, 2010), 123–54.

7. If I may recall here my quarrel from long ago: “Exodus from Lutheranism: An Argument with John Tietjen’s New Book,”Lutheran Forum 25/3 (1991): 26–32.

8. Paul R. Hinlicky, “Staying Lutheran in the Changing Church(es),” Afterword in Mickey L. Mattox and A. G. Roeber, Changing Churches: An Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran Theological Conversation (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012), 281–314.

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