anon in the Throneroom of God

Recently the question of women writing theology has surfaced due to the book by Molly Lackey. Associated with it, the question of the authority of anon posters criticizing the publication of a theology book written by a woman. So far I can tell nothing uncouth was said of Mrs. Lackey, but unfortunately the conversations were deleted from Gottesdienst. While the Gottesdienst Crowd (sans Rev. Braaten) appears to oppose commentary by the anonymous, the discussion for the moment has been scuttled. Rev Braaten has been developing a set of theses which appear to be encouraging to set the tone for discussing a woman's role in theology, setting the stage for further discussion. 

On women writing theology: Rev Braaten's theses and the subsequent blog post capture the frame very well. I won't rehash it here, other than to say first, while advancements in technology create opportunities it does not require us to reinterpret Scripture in light of technology. We are not more enlightened than our forefathers. Technology narrows our experiences - our lives are curated relative to our ancestors - and that curation can be deceptive. We are more confident in the fact that we have all this stuff, all these experiences, and can mitigate risk. And second, the charge of 'pharisaism' against those who interpret God's law conservatively is misplaced. The Pharisees hedged God's law with man's law: as Dr. Koontz said, "The leaven of the pharisees is the leavening of the Lord's teaching with men's intention." Taking God at His literal word, and erring on the side of caution, is not pharisaism.

But being a token WELS guy, I must confess our synod has the same problem. Mrs. Naomi Schmidt has authored three theology books. NPH markets these books as "in-depth Bible study book[s] perfect for individual or group Bible studies," containing questions and answers and even dabbling in the Greek. While one may argue that "Proverbs 31" and "Ruth" are squarely aimed at women, her book on Philippians does not have the same feminine flavor. 

So with respect to anonymity. As the old saying goes, "on the internet nobody knows you're a dog." So on to the altar of souls:

"When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed." (NKJV, Rev. 6:9-11)

These souls are precious to their Savior and looking forward to the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. How long, O Lord? We don't know their names. We don't know how they made the good confession. They didn't line up for John like someone at a conference "My name is Mattias, council member of Resurrection Church in Smyrna, Bishop Thaddeus presiding." John knew them for their confession, and that was enough. In the resurrection we will know them by name and their works, and they will be rewarded (1 COR 3). We will have eternity to rejoice in their victories. But the fact that they are not named does not diminish their presence or their witness. 

So, why am I anon? I write for me in the sense that I want to get my thoughts out of my head. I don't write for the sake of recognition. I'm writing primarily to point out differences between what passes for Lutheranism particularly in the WELS and how it is at odds with historic Lutheranism and the church catholic. I'd rather appeal to our Lutheran fathers in the faith and the Bible and the Confessions. I'm just a layman. I don't need to get in the way.

Adolf Hoenecke wants his synod back.