Epiphany 2012, Volume XXI, Number 1
Table of Contents
(A feature article from the journal: Confessional Fidelity by Bo Giertz)
Ruben Josefson takes the designation “confessional” from those in the current debate concerning women pastors who have incorrectly taken the title for themselves, and gives it back to those who deserve to wear it.
So says Ingmar Strom in Woman, Society, Church concerning Ruben Josefson’s essay, “The Evangelical-Lutheran Position,” in the same book. Thus, those are truly “confessional” who find no opposition in the Bible or the Confessions to opening the office of the ministry to women. One who honestly desires to be faithful to the Confessions naturally listens with interest. More so, his own faith and work as a pastor stand endlessly in debt to the Confessions. If it is true that it can be shown with good reason that our Confessions represent a view of Christianity and biblical interpretation that naturally leads to introducing women pastors at an appropriate time, then this whole controversy can be ended — certainly a relief for all parties involved. What are the reasons, then?
I. LUTHER’S VIEW OF THE BIBLE
Josefson first presents the Lutheran view of the Bible. At all essential points, the view presented is in line with “Neo-Protestantism,” for lack of a better term. Luther, it is said, not only claimed Scripture as the authority against Rome, but also gave rise to a new understanding of the Bible: one that signifies a radical break with the view that the Bible is a formal authority. Scripture’s authority is contingent upon the content of the message about Christ as the Lord of forgiveness. The Bible and individual parts of the Bible have no authority simply because they can be traced to the prophets and apostles are authors, but rather they become apostolic and foundational for the church by conveying the message of Christ. “Whatever preaches Christ, that is apostolic.”
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