Monday, May 12, 2008

Dr. Veith Exposes "Issues, Etc." Issues in "WORLD Magazine"

Expect another denial from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's (LCMS) President Kieschnick soon. Dr. Gene Edward Veith, LCMS member, Provost at Patrick Henry College, Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, and culture editor for WORLD Magazine, has written an article on Issues, Etc. in the May 17th edition of WORLD. The article, titled "'Issues' No Longer: Cancellation of LCMS radio show raises ruckus," questions the reasons why Issues, Etc. was canceled.

Here are the highlights:
So why did that administration suddenly eliminate what may be its best known, most respected, and most effective vehicle for evangelizing the lost, interacting with other Christians, and bringing Lutheranism into the public square?

...According to an official statement from the LCMS, the show was canceled because it was too expensive to operate and did not reach a big enough audience.

Fans of the show suspected another reason: The mode of outreach the current LCMS administration favors comes from the church growth movement, which Issues, Etc. consistently criticized.

Under church growth methodology, traditional worship styles, theological rigor, and denominational distinctives can be "obstacles" to church growth. Being "negative," as in theological polemics of the sort that Issues, Etc. was known for, "turns people off."

Though Issues, Etc. was careful to avoid intra-LCMS controversies, recent programs included hard-hitting critiques of Islam, women's ordination, and superstar preacher Joel Osteen. Such treatments could only be embarrassing for officials wanting to project a kinder, gentler Lutheranism.

But when news of the cancellation came out, the blogosphere erupted. An online petition to bring back the show collected over 7,000 signatures. Congregations and entire denominational districts registered their disapproval.

...Now the issue is whether the denomination will reject its theological identity to join generic megachurch Protestantism.

You just can’t buy publicity like this.

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