The grassroots met some theological fundamentals at the WordAlone Network's annual fall theological conference Nov. 12-14.
Farmers, retailers, homemakers and clergy were reminded they all were theologians during the WordAlone Network's fall theological conference at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fridley, Minn. Keynote speaker, Prof. Mark Mattes, Grand View College, Des Moines, Iowa, told them, "Luther taught us that all are theologians since all are Christians.
"Some are very good theologians and others not so good. But we are all condemned to be theologians in one way or another, and it is only through being damned that one is made into the best kind of theologian, a theologian of the cross."
Mattes, who teaches religion and philosophy, and Professor of Church History Walter Sundberg, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., each responded to eight propositions that Prof. Dennis Bielfeldt offered in the past year for consideration as fundamental to the theology of the WordAlone movement. Bielfeldt teaches philosophy and religion at South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D.
Bielfeldt, who is leading efforts to found a Lutheran theological house of studies, told the WordAlone members and friends at the conference that it was critically important in developing a house of studies to be precise about what theological position would be taught, communicated and what would be understood by it.
He stressed that adopting his proposed fundamentals was not something he could do on his own, but needed to be done on a "corporate level." The theological conference was planned as a working meeting so that those attending could discuss the proposals, provide feedback and help prepare WordAlone members to vote on fundamentals, possibly at next spring's convention.
After keynote speeches and formal responses to them, the conferees gathered in pre-assigned discussion groups to chew on the content of Bielfeldt's proposals. They were encouraged to take home to WordAlone chapters and members what they were learning and discussing.
Here are the proposals in very abbreviated and simple form: