ELCA Professor Ralph W. Klein is Christ Seminary-Seminex professor of Old Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. (see here)
In an essay called “Reading the Bible as Lutherans in the Twenty-First Century” (read entire essay here) Professor Klein shares with us some of his views on Scripture. He says,
“Our liturgical customs send out uncertain and potentially misleading affirmations about this “Word of God.” When we say at the end of the first or second readings, ‘The Word of the Lord,’ we are stating at best an incomplete truth. For these words just read, however much guided by the Spirit, are also written or spoken by finite men and women, children of their times, with their own limits, presuppositions and even biases, and they addressed the people and the questions of their own times.”
“. . . much of the Bible could be described as (very helpful) words about God rather than ‘the Word of God.’’’
“The affirmation of the gospel, which our predecessors referred to as the material principle, is finally what gives the Scriptures their authority.”
“The canon itself, finally, is not nearly so important for us Lutherans, as what many of the canonical books contain.” (Canon is defined as “the books of the Bible.”)
“As I read various Lutheran essays in preparation for this address, I was often struck by how clear the essays were about the central, gospel-based authority of Scripture and how ambiguous they were when talking about the Bible’s authority on other matters . . .”
“Part of a Lutheran approach to hermeneutics that locates the authority of the Scriptures in their central saving message means that at times we must accept the possibility that a position taken by a biblical writer is wrong or unhelpful.”
Professor Klein doesn’t seem to think God was involved in the writing of the Bible. Scripture says,
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” - 1 Corinthians 2:13
You choose who you want to believe.
When you read Professor Klein’s essay, keep an eye out for the following: feminine language for God - liberation theology - placing the world’s values over Scripture - dismissing Biblical statements on homosexuality based on his “Twenty-First Century” reading of Scripture/his own opinions.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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