The Old Ministry
Debate in the Synods of the Synodical Conference
And in the ELS Today
Rolf Preus, September 23, 2005
The topic assigned to me is quite
timely. The Evangelical
Lutheran Synod has been engaged in a debate about the ministry for some
time. The Doctrine Committee of the ELS prepared a document several
years ago that was debated, amended, brought to the 2001 convention of the
synod, tabled, brought to the 2002 convention of the synod, and rejected.
The DC Theses, as the document was known, was acknowledged by all
to represent the teaching of the Wisconsin Synod.
It would be a mistake, however, to assume that its rejection was a
rejection of the Wisconsin doctrine by the ELS.
The ELS was not prepared to embrace as her own confession the
official position of the Wisconsin Synod, but she was not prepared to
express official disagreement with the Wisconsin Synod position either.
Shortly after the 2002 convention, the newly elected president of
the ELS, the Rev. John Moldstad, Jr., appointed a committee of six men to
produce a new statement. The
Presidium’s Committee on Ministry, or PCM, was made up of both
supporters and opponents of the DC Theses that had just been rejected.
The first draft of the PCM document, called “The Public Ministry
of the Word,” was produced in May of 2004.
After discussion at the General Pastoral Conference the following
October, it was revised and a second and final draft was produced in
February of 2005 and proposed for adoption at the synodical convention in
June. After vigorous debate,
the document was adopted by a 62% majority with fourteen pastors and nine
laymen recording their negative votes.
The ministry debate in the synods
of the Synodical Conference is not exactly the same debate in which we are
presently engaged in the ELS. But
the Synodical Conference debate did establish certain points of
controversy that we in our day have been unable to overcome.
Therefore it will be necessary to review the old Synodical
Conference debate in order to understand what we are arguing about today.
Conference Debate on Church and Ministry
The church and ministry debate
between the Wisconsin Synod and the Missouri Synod during the first
decades of the 20th century was a debate about both form and
substance. Wisconsin argued
that God had not established in the Scriptures that the church or her
ministry should assume any particular form.
The local congregation and the pastoral office were the most
commonly recognized forms of church and ministry but were by no means the
only forms that the church and ministry could take.
It was unbiblical and legalistic to insist that this or that form
of church and ministry was divinely fixed.
Missouri argued that God had instituted the local congregation and
the pastorate of the local congregation.
There was no divine command to establish or join a synod.
To insist, as Wisconsin did, that the synod was a church in the
same sense that the local congregation was a church was to treat a human
institution as if it were a divine institution.
The Wisconsin Synod argued that whenever and wherever Christians
gathered around the word of God there the church must be and that to
insist that the church and ministry assume a particular form before it can
rightly be called church and ministry is to elevate form above substance.
Both sides argued that their
position agreed with Article VII of the Augsburg Confession which states:
“The church is the assembly of saints in which the Gospel is taught
purely and the sacraments are administered rightly.”
What kind of visible group should be regarded as church?
The Missourians argued that the only visible group that is to be
called a church is the local congregation because the local congregation
is, by definition, where the gospel is preached and the sacraments are
administered. Christ has
instituted the full use of the means of grace and this is what marks the
church. Missouri appealed to AC VII and asked where the gospel is
purely taught and the sacraments rightly administered. The answer was clear. It
was in the local congregation. Therefore,
the local congregation – nothing more and nothing less – is what
Lutherans confess as the church in a visible sense.
Wisconsin argued that the point of
AC VII is not to prescribe any external structure or form but to teach
that the actual preaching of the gospel and administration of the
sacraments will establish and identify the church.
Indeed, wherever and whenever the gospel is purely proclaimed the
church will be present regardless of whatever form it may assume.
While the local congregation is the primary and most obvious
manifestation of the church, we may not ascribe to it a character that
would imply that the form of the church in some way determines the
efficacy of the means of grace. The
word creates the church. The
church does not create the word. Therefore,
we must not define the church in such a way as to suggest that the word
could be present while the church is not.
August Pieper saw the ongoing
debate about the church and ministry as a continuation of Luther’s
debate with Rome. Rome
advocated externalism; Luther inwardness.
Rome promoted mediacy; Luther immediacy.
Rome favored the outward and legalistic while Luther favored the
inward and evangelical.
In his opposition to a divinely mandated permanent external form of
ministry for the church, August Pieper appealed to Luther’s famous words
in his letter to the Christians in Prague in which he argued that there is
no function of the public ministry that does not belong to every
individual Christian. Luther
was arguing not for a private or individual use of the keys in contrast to
a public use of the keys but rather that the office in its entirety and
everything pertaining to it belonged immediately to all Christians and to
every Christian. This was the
foundation of his argument that the Christians in Prague did not need to
accept pastors ordained by papist bishops.
The ministry belonged to the Christians and as Christians they had
the right to call ministers who would preach the pure gospel by which
sinners are justified through faith.
August Pieper understood Luther to be teaching that the only office
in the church is the spiritual priesthood and that the public ministry is
only another “phase” of the universal priesthood.
Here is how he interpreted Walther on this point.
When Dr. Walther then says in his first thesis on the Office of the Ministry: “The holy office of the ministry or pastoral office is a different office from the priestly office which all Christians have,” this dare not be misunderstood in this way as if it should have other functions than the spiritual priesthood; its difference rather lies merely in “a different use” of the same priestly office, solely in this that it is carried out in the name of, or with the consent of, all the other priests that are involved.
This virtual identification
of the preaching office with the priestly office of all Christians was
advanced as well by John Schaller who argued that the divine institution
of the New Testament ministry consists in the fact that God regenerates
people, making them Christians. All
true Christians are preachers of the gospel, not only potentially, but as
a matter of fact.
The Wauwatosa theologians believed that to teach the divine
institution of any external form of an office promoted legalism.
The public ministry of the Word consists in the delegation of
duties belonging to the private ministry of every Christian.
Through the lens of their concerns
about inner and immediate evangelical freedom, we can understand what
drove the Wauwatosa theologians. The
heart of the Wauwatosa Gospel is evangelical freedom.
This means there can be no legalistically mandated forms of gospel
ministry. The gospel creates
and establishes its own forms. The
official doctrine of the Wisconsin Synod on the ministry well summarizes
the Wauwatosa teaching on this matter.
specific forms in which Christians establish the public ministry have not
been prescribed by the Lord to His New Testament Church. It is the Holy
Spirit who through the gift of their common faith leads the believers to
establish the adequate and wholesome forms which fit every circumstance,
situation, and need.
the Stage for the ELS Debate
A second point to note is that the
debate about the office of the ministry was largely subsumed under the
debate about the form of the church.
It is our generation that is arguing primarily about the ministry.
The debate about whether or not the parish pastorate was the one
divinely fixed form of the ministry of the word was therefore a debate as
well about whether or not the local congregation was the one divinely
fixed form of the church. The
two issues were inseparable. There
can be no ministry without the church.
On that everyone agreed. If
the local congregation is specifically instituted by God in contrast to
every other gathering of Christians, then the pastorate of the local
congregation is specifically instituted by God in contrast to any other
form of office.
A third point is that neither side
in the debate appealed to the words Jesus spoke to His apostles as
recorded in Matthew 28, Mark 16, and John 20 as constituting the divine
institution of any particular office.
Instead, they argued over the meaning and application of passages
that dealt more with the transmission of the office than with its
institution. This is one
reason why the debate went on and on without any resolution and why it
remains so difficult for us in the ELS to resolve.
Finding themselves locked in a debate about how the office is
transmitted, they neglected to ground its institution in the words of the
Lord Jesus Christ who established the office in the first place.
We distinguish between the divine
institution of the preaching office and the divine call to the preaching
office. The divine
institution was then. The
divine call is now. But when
the Lord Jesus sent out His first ministers the divine institution and the
divine call were one and the same thing.
He sent out His first ministers as recorded in Matthew 28, Mark 16,
and John 20. He told them to preach the gospel and administer the
sacraments. That’s what
they did. That’s what
Christ’s ministers have been doing ever since.
Whenever God entrusts this office to a man He says to that minister
what He said to the original ministers.
Consider an analogy.
The baptism with which we are baptized takes place at a specific
time and place that is separated by time and space from Christ’s
baptism, passion, death, and resurrection.
Yet we know and we confess that our baptism joins us in a mystical
union with Christ in which time and space have been transcended.
Likewise, we distinguish between the divine institution of the
office then and there and the call into the office here and now but we
cannot separate them. The
call into the office here and now simply has no validity apart from the
divine institution of the office then and there.
To break the organic connection between Holy Baptism and Christ’s
passion and resurrection is to rob baptism of its power.
Similarly, to speak of a divine call into the ministry of the word
is meaningless unless the call that is extended through the church here
and now is the same call extended directly by Jesus then and there.
It was the Wisconsin Synod’s
Adolf Hoenecke who, among the Synodical Conference fathers, most clearly
recognized this. He wrote,
“The ordinary preaching office is the continuation of the extraordinary
apostolic office, a continuation God himself wants.
It is of divine institution in and with the apostolic office.”
Wilhelm Loehe also recognized this Christological foundation of the
pastoral office. But then
Loehe also held to what Walther and the Synodical Conference considered a
“Romanizing” view of ordination.
Here is where a certain reaction
set in. A theological
argument must be grounded in the Holy Scriptures.
Texts from the Bible are cited to prove what needs to be proved. When certain texts are repeatedly applied in a certain way to
make a particular theological argument an exegetical tradition is born.
That tradition often becomes as normative for the church as the
Bible itself, perhaps even more so. This
is what happened to the heirs of Walther’s theology in both the Missouri
and Wisconsin synods. Texts
to which the Lutheran Confessions appeal to teach the divine institution
of the pastoral office were no longer used to prove the divine institution
of the pastoral office but to prove instead that God gave the means of
grace to the whole church.
The attempt to safeguard the teaching that the office belonged to
the whole church resulted in undercutting the biblical foundation for the
Consider how the Lutheran
Confessions apply Christ’s words to His apostles as recorded in Matthew
28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; and John 20:21-23.
The Confessions never appeal to these texts to refer to what a
layman does. These texts are
cited to show the divine institution of the concrete pastoral office.
These texts are also cited in ordination rites of the church to
show the divinely assigned duties of the pastoral office.
Let us consider just one confessional citation.
We read in Augsburg Confession, Art XXVIII, par. 5-7:
But this is their opinion, that the power of the Keys, or the power of
the bishops, according to the Gospel, is a power or commandment of God, to
preach the Gospel, to remit and retain sins, and to administer Sacraments.
For with this commandment Christ sends forth His Apostles, John 20,
21 sqq.: As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. Receive ye the
Holy Ghost. Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and
whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.
Mark 16, 15: Go preach the Gospel to every creature.
Notice that the power of the
bishops or pastors is joined to the commandment Christ gave to the
apostles. Implicit throughout
the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope is that the apostles
were the first pastors of the church.
Melanchthon assumes as much as he cites such texts as John 20 and
Matthew 28 to refer to both apostles and pastors.
Both Luther and Walther insisted
that the preaching office belonged to the whole church and not only to the
preachers and that it was transmitted by God through the church and not
only by the preachers. Both
men also affirmed the divine institution of the pastoral office and found
its divine institution in Christ’s sending out of the apostles as the
first Christian preachers.
But when Missourians argued with
Wisconsin about the divine institution of the pastoral office they did not
appeal to the texts that recount its divine institution.
How could they? Those
texts had already been interpreted to refer to Christ giving the means of
grace to all Christians in opposition to the Romanizing Lutherans who
denied that the office belonged immediately to the believers.
Instead, Missourians argued from texts that assumed the divine
institution of the office but did not actually establish it.
Such passages as Acts 20:28, 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9 teach
that there were pastors who fed the flock with God’s word and who were
put into office by the Holy Spirit through the church but do these texts
record for us a specific divinely instituted form that the office must
take? Wisconsin argued no.
John Schaller argued that the requirements set forth in the Bible
for the office of bishop no more prove the divine institution of that
office than St. Paul’s commands concerning the treatment and behavior of
slaves prove the divine institution of slavery.
The Missourians were always at a disadvantage exegetically because
the best texts to prove the divine institution of the pastoral office as
the “divinely fixed form” of the office could not be used since both
sides appealed to these texts to prove that the ministry belonged
immediately to the priesthood of believers.
The polemical context of the
nineteenth century debates with the Romanizing Lutherans hampered
Missourians in their debate with Wisconsin during the twentieth century.
By neglecting the texts that prove the divine institution of the
pastoral office the Missourians were forced to rely on such texts as Acts
14:23; Acts 20:28, Ephesians 4:11, and Titus 1:5.
These texts teach the divinity of the call and the need for the
pastoral office. They don’t
deal specifically with the divine institution of the pastoral office,
however. In order that the
divine institution and divine call be properly joined, these texts should
be understood as further commentary on the meaning of the divine
institution of the pastoral office by Christ as recorded for us by Saints
Matthew, Mark, and John. In
this way the divine institution in the then and there and the divine call
in the here and now will be in agreement.
The point of controversy between
Missouri and Wisconsin is often stated in terms of forms.
Missouri insists on divinely fixed forms of both church and
ministry while Wisconsin insists that evangelical freedom prohibits any
such legalistic imposition. But
all this talk about forms simply obscures the real issue.
The more fundamental question is whether or not the Lord Jesus
instituted a concrete office of preaching the gospel and administering the
sacraments when He sent out the original apostles with instructions to
preach the gospel and administer the sacraments.
And if we deny that He did, are we not denying that there is in the
Scriptures a divine institution of any office at all?
What is a divine institution?
Is it something clearly described in the words of the Holy
Scriptures? If so, whatever
that is will be fixed according to how it is set forth in the written Word
of God. But if a divine
institution is something that the Holy Spirit may or may not lead the
believers through their common faith to establish, then whatever it is
will change according to the needs of the church.
Does Jesus form the divinely instituted office of the ministry in
words recorded for us in the Bible? Or
does the church, guided by the Holy Spirit through the gospel, determine
the forms it will take?
If it is Jesus who instituted a
concrete office the incumbents of which are given by God the
responsibility of preaching the gospel and administering the sacraments
then this must be a gospel institution.
To insist on teaching the divine institution of this form of an
office is no more legalistic than to insist on baptizing babies.
We baptize babies for evangelical, not legalistic, reasons.
Yet Christ commands us to baptize.
The mandatum Dei on which
the divine institution of the pastoral office is based is not legalistic.
Jesus did not institute a ministry of death but a ministry of
reconciliation. If Jesus did
institute specifically and exclusively the pastoral office then it must
have been for evangelical reasons.
and Office in the Norwegian Synod
and Wisconsin in the ELS
It was not considered divisive of
fellowship in the Missouri Synod, either.
Paul Zimmerman, who served as president of Concordia Lutheran
Junior College in Ann Arbor, as president of Concordia Teachers College in
River Forest, and as the chairman of LCMS President Jack Preus’ fact
finding committee that investigated the theology of Concordia Seminary in
St. Louis during the Tietjen administration, was a strong proponent of the
Wisconsin position and openly advocated it.
Missouri / Wisconsin Divide Deepens
shortcoming of many studies of this question, especially those originating
in the LCMS, is to focus too much on the office of pastor or elder.
Scripture does not say that a woman should not be ordained or that
she should not be a pastor or an elder.
It does say that she should be submissive and that she should be
silent in the church and should not teach or have authority over a man.
Brug goes on to say:
Lord’s Supper likewise is normally administered by the pastor of a
congregation. Therefore it
would not normally be administered by a woman.
It is conceivable that it might be administered by a woman in a
congregation which consisted entirely of women, such as a convent.
Brug’s opinion has found
expression elsewhere in the Wisconsin Synod in recent years.
Pastor Daniel Leyrer has written that “wherever authority over
men is not an issue, the office of pastor would be open to women. . .
There would be nothing unscriptural about a woman serving as a pastor or
chaplain in an all woman situation, such as a woman’s crisis center or
More recently, WELS Pastor Nathan Pope of Racine, Wisconsin, has
written a book, Feminism, in which he restates Professor Brug’s
position that a woman could serve as a pastor if she did not have
authority over men. Pope
that mean that a woman could commune another woman in a parish, provided
that she did so under the auspices or supervision of a male pastor?
Yes. Could that ever
happen? Perhaps, if the
parish to too large for one pastor to handle, the church may assign the
pastor a deaconess who would assist him in ministering to elderly
The argument is that since there
is no biblically defined office of pastor it is biblical for women to
serve as pastors of women including consecrating and distributing the
elements in a celebration of the Lord’s Supper.
This view has been met with strong opposition within the ELS.
Several congregations memorialized the synod at last June’s
convention to condemn this as false doctrine.
After debating whether to condemn this in convention or to refer
the matter to the synod’s Doctrine Committee it was referred by one
The matter of woman serving as
pastors to women and administering the Lord’s Supper brings into bold
relief implications of the Wisconsin Synod doctrine of the public ministry
that have not always been apparent.
Point of Controversy
The other definition of the office
of divine institution is that it is not a specific or concrete office.
It is a genus or category of offices.
It includes any office in which God’s word is taught on behalf of
the church. According to this
definition the pastoral office is divinely instituted but so is every form
of office in which the word of God is taught and/or the sacraments are
administered on behalf of the church.
This definition was what underlay
the Theses of the Doctrine Committee of the ELS that were rejected by the
2002 ELS convention. President
Gaylin Schmeling of Bethany Lutheran Seminary in Mankato and chairman of
the synodical Doctrine Committee was the primary author of the DC Theses.
He defined the public ministry as “any use of the means of grace
on behalf of the church and in the name and stead of Christ.”
The DC Theses represented the Wisconsin Synod teaching on the
ministry. In deference to
those within the ELS who believed in the specific divine institution of
the pastoral office the document did say that “a form like the pastoral
office is indispensable to the church.” Efforts to change the words “a form like the pastoral
office” to “the pastoral office” were unsuccessful.
To say that the pastoral office is indispensable to the church
would suggest that the pastoral office is specifically divinely instituted
and that would contradict the Wisconsin teaching.
In rejecting the DC Theses, the
ELS was not condemning them. It
was saying that they were too one-sided.
They failed adequately to harmonize the various views held within
the ELS. But then how could a
statement harmonize two mutually exclusive definitions of the divinely
instituted office? Is the
office of divine institution a specific office, a species of office, the
pastoral office? Or is the
office of divine institution a general category of offices, a genus in
which there are many species, with the pastoral office being only the most
comprehensive form of office but no more divinely instituted than any
other form? It would seem
that no doctrinal statement could possibly affirm both sides in this
But the document that was adopted
at the June 2005 convention of the ELS did precisely that.
“The Public Ministry of the Word,” (the PCM document) teaches
the Wisconsin position that the entire genus of offices that use the means
of grace on behalf of the church is divinely instituted. It teaches the Missouri position that the pastoral office is
divinely mandated. It defines
the pastoral office to include both the parish pastorate as well as
specialized offices whose incumbents are qualified to exercise a full use
of the keys. Other offices
that exercise what the document calls a “limited public use of the
keys” are divinely instituted, but not divinely mandated.
Such offices include the office of Christian Day School teacher
whose incumbents teach God’s word to the children.
Since the CDS teacher teaches God’s word of behalf of the church
he or she is “in” the divinely instituted ministry of the word and
should receive a divine call in accordance with Romans 10:15 and Augsburg
Confession, Article XIV. It
is by human right that the office of CDS teacher is established.
The church establishes this office in her freedom to do those
things that are neither commanded nor forbidden by God’s word.
But it is by divine right that CDS teachers do their work on behalf
of the Christians through whom the call has come.
“Divine Call” for the Parochial School Teacher
The PCM document takes the
Wisconsin position on the “divine call” of the parochial
schoolteacher. Instead of
extracting the office of parochial schoolteacher from the pastoral office,
both the pastoral office and the office of parochial school teacher become
species of the same genus. The
genus is “the public use of the keys.” As the document states, “This public use of the keys is the
Public Ministry of the Word.” Those
who “preside over the churches” must have the scriptural
qualifications for a “full use of the keys.”
A presiding office is indispensable for the church.
The genus also includes offices that exercise a “limited public
use of the keys.” This is a
reference primarily to the office of parochial school teacher.
What necessitates the divine call is not that one holds a specific
position in the church that is of divine origin, but that one is using the
keys on behalf of the church.
It is only fair to point out that
several ELS pastors who opposed the DC Theses but supported the PCM Theses
(even if they would have preferred not to adopt them so quickly) argued
and still argue that the PCM document does not teach the divine
institution of a limited public use of the keys.
They argue that since the limited use offices are not mandated but
rather established in Christian freedom they are not divinely instituted.
This argument applies a traditional Lutheran definition of a divine
institution to a document that has adopted the Wauwatosa definition of a
divine institution. Traditionally
Lutherans have identified the divine mandate with the divine institution.
What is neither commanded nor forbidden in Scripture is not
divinely instituted. This
document, however, clearly teaches the divine institution of offices that
are neither commanded nor forbidden by God.
This is in accord with the Wauwatosa Gospel that all offices in
which the word of God is taught on behalf of the church are divinely
instituted because the divine institution does not pertain to any
particular form of the office. The
PCM document puts it this way: “It is by human right that the church
separates a limited portion of the office to one individual.
But it is by divine right that one exercises that work on behalf of
the Christians though whom the call has come.”
Two things go together: the divine
call of the parochial schoolteacher and the divine institution of a
limited public use of the keys. While
it is unlikely that the Synodical Conference fathers could have envisioned
the evolution that has taken place with respect to the so called “divine
call” of a parochial school teacher, the logic of its evolution is
inescapable. How can you have a divine call to an office that is not
divinely instituted? If we
are issuing “divine calls” to schoolteachers such a practice will
sooner or later necessitate the teaching that the schoolteacher is in the
divinely instituted office. The
logic of divine call and divine institution being joined together is too
powerful to ignore. The
divine call of the schoolteacher drives the doctrine.
Since they have divine calls they are “in” the public ministry
of the word and since they are not “in” the pastoral office we must
define the public ministry of the word as being broader than the pastoral
office. This is what has
The “divine call” for the
parochial school teacher is a tradition based on a doctrinal deduction
that has been set aside. No
longer extracted from the divinely instituted pastoral office, we need to
find a biblical foundation for it. But
there is none.
In explaining the limited public use of the keys the PCM Theses
extent to which one is authorized by the call of the church to exercise
the keys publicly is the extent to which one is in the Public Ministry of
the Word. Authorization to
exercise a limited part of the Public Ministry of the Word does not imply
authorization to exercise all or other parts of it (1 Corinthians 12:5,28,
Romans 12:6-8, Philippians 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:8, 5:17).
These texts allegedly address the
matter of the church calling someone to exercise a limited part of the
public ministry of the Word but none of them does.
Nowhere does the New Testament speak of the church assigning the
responsibility of teaching God’s word to someone who is forbidden to
preside over the congregation, preach publicly, and administer the
sacraments. What the specific
duties of the deacons were is uncertain, but the Scriptures nowhere say
that anyone taught God’s word but was not permitted to teach the entire
congregation. Simply put, the
very concept of a limited public use of the keys as this is set forth in
the PCM document is foreign to the Scriptures. Nevertheless, these texts are cited as biblical proof that
“the extent to which one is authorized by the call of the church to
exercise the keys publicly is the extent to which one is in the Public
Ministry of the Word.” Being
“in” the Public Ministry of the Word to this or that “extent” is
quite impossible if this office is the concrete office of preaching of the
gospel and administering the sacraments.
Whereas the texts cited to prove a
limited public use of the keys in the Bible don’t teach this, these
texts do show that the Holy Spirit moves freely in giving His gifts to
men. The Wauwatosa Gospel
teaches that it is the evangelical activity of the Holy Spirit here and
now in the hearts of Christians that constitutes the divine institution of
the office in whatever form it may take.
Here we see the Wauwatosa influence on the PCM document.
John Schaller put it this way: “For whatever the Christian
congregation decides upon to further the preaching of the gospel it does
at the instigation and under the guidance of the Spirit of Jesus
The PCM document puts it this way: “But it is by divine right
that one exercises that work on behalf of the Christians through whom the
call has come.”
What is divinely instituted is
representative ministry in whatever form it may take.
When I argued at the microphone during the convention against
applying Romans 10:15 (“how shall they preach unless they are sent?”)
to the calling of a parochial school teacher I said that nowhere in the
New Testament is a woman told to preach.
The President of the Synod took issue with me and cited Mark 16:15,
words that were spoken to the “eleven.”
But the exegetical tradition to which we have become bound insists
that this text teaches the giving of the means of grace to all Christians.
The fact that nowhere in the New Testament is a woman told to
preach must yield before this tradition.
The fact that AC XIV refers to the call of men who are ordained and
hold the concrete office of preaching the gospel and administering the
sacraments must be reinterpreted to accommodate the new definition of the
 “Legalism Among Us” by J. P. Koehler. The Wauwatosa Theology, Volume II, Curtis A. Jahn, Editor. Northwestern Publishing House: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1997, pages 229-282.
“The Wauwatosa Gospel and the Synodical Conference: A Generation of
Pelting Rain,” by Peter M. Prange. Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology, Volume XII,
Number 2, page 43. (Emphasis in the original)
 “Luther’s Doctrine of Church and Ministry” by August Pieper. The Wauwatosa Theology, Volume III, pages 145-147.
 American Edition. General Editors, Jaroslav Pelikan and Helmut T. Lehmann. Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1958, Volume 40, pages 7-44. See also “The Office of Prophetess in the New Testament” by Rolf Preus. Feminism and the Church, John Maxfield, Editor. Luther Academy, 2003, pages 173-177.
 August Pieper, Wauwatosa Theology, pages 192-193.
 Wauwatosa Theology, Volume III, page 78.
 “Theses on Church and Ministry” at www.wels.net
 “An Evaluation of Walther’s Theses on the Church and Ministry” by Carl Lawrenz, Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Volume 79, Number 2, Spring 1982, pages 126-130. A frequently debated issue is the meaning of Walther’s theses on the ministry in which he appears to identify the divinely instituted preaching office with the pastoral office. The first thesis reads: “The holy ministry (German: Das heilige Predigtamt), or the pastoral office, is an office distinct from the priestly office, which belongs to all believers.” The second thesis reads: “The ministry (German: Das Predigtamt), or the pastoral office, is not a human ordinance, but an office established by God Himself.” (Dau translation) Does this mean that Walther identified the preaching office with the pastoral office? Lawrenz and the Wisconsin Synod argue that Walther did not with these words intend to identify the holy ministry with the parish pastorate as Missouri claimed. Rather, Walther was using a synecdoche. He was identifying a genus by referring to a species of it. Walther’s intent was not to say anything about forms. This is the view as well of some theologians in the ELS.
 Evangelical Lutheran Dogmatics, Volume IV, Adolf Hoenecke, Translated by Joel Friedrich, Paul Prange, and Bill Tachmier, Northwestern Publishing House, 1999, page 192.
 See as examples Francis Pieper, J. T. Mueller, the Brief Statement, the 1943 Catechism, and the 1987 Catechism.
 Concordia Triglotta
 This exegetical tradition was followed in the little Norwegian Synod as well. See Ylvisaker, The Gospels, page 780.
 Wauwatosa Theology III, p93
 After giving the paper, “Did Jesus Institute the Pastoral Office” (see christforus.org) at the 2002 Walther Conference I was accused by men in Wisconsin, Missouri, and the ELS for advocating the doctrine of Loehe because I taught that the words of Jesus to His apostles as recorded in Matthew 28, Mark 16, and John 20 constituted the divine institution of the pastoral office. Since these texts are used to prove that the ministry belongs to the whole church, to use them to prove the divine institution of the concrete pastoral office is taken as a denial that the ministry belongs to the whole church.
 “The Legacy of Herman Amberg Preus,” by Rolf David Preus, Lutheran Synod Quarterly, Volume 44, Number 1, page 22.
 Ibid, pages 28-29.
 Grace for Grace: Brief History of the Norwegian Synod, S. C. Ylvisaker, Editor, Lutheran Synod Book Company, Mankato, Minnesota, 1943, page 139.
 The 1907 Edition of the Norwegian Synod Catechism by Dr. Johann Conrad Dietrich. Part V is available at http://ibnabraham.tripod.com/doctrine/catechismframe.html
 “The Call to the Office of the Ministry” by George Lillegaard, Newton, MA, February 6, 1946)
 “The Lutheran School – Minister of the Church” Paul A. Zimmermann, Paul G. Grotelueschen Lecture of 1980.
 “Application of the Scripture Principles Concerning the Service of Women in the Church” 1990 by John F. Brug, available at www.wels.net.
 “Women in the Church: Drawing the Line Between Truth and Tradition” 1991, by Daniel P. Leyrer, available at www.wels.net.
 Feminism, by Nathan R. Pope, Milwaukee: Northwest Publishing House, 2004, pages 242-243.
 Ministry in Missouri Until 1962 by John C. Wohlrabe, Jr. 1992, pages 12-13.
See, for example, "The Office of a Pastor as School
Overseer" by C.A.T. Selle translated by Mark Nispel from:
"Das Amt des Pastors' als Schulaufseher" Evang.-Luth.
Schulblatt 4 (January 1869) no. 5.
This lecture, highly praised by C. F. W. Walther, received much
attention during the recent debate in the ELS on the ministry.
Indeed, members of the PCM said that it served as a guide as
they attempted to explain the relationship between the office of
parochial school teacher and the ministry of the word.
However, the PCM document parts company with Selle in a
significant way. It does
not extract the office of parochial schoolteacher from the pastoral
office as Selle did.
The February 10, 2005 version of the PCM document says: “This
divinely instituted Public Ministry of the Word includes both a
narrower sense (a presiding office; see II A) and a wider sense
(offices that have a limited public use of the keys, see II B).” This was revised at the convention to read: “This divinely
instituted Public Ministry of the Word includes both a narrower and a
wider sense. The narrower
sense refers to a presiding office that is indispensable for the
church; see II A. The
wider sense refers, in addition to a presiding office, to offices
having a limited public use of the keys, offices that the church, in
her freedom, may establish; see II B.”
 “Does the Bible Teach a Limited Public Use of the Keys?” by Rolf Preus www.christforus.org
 Wauwatosa Theology, Volume III, page 94
Rev. Rolf D. Preus