Here‘s Tim Townsend in the STL Post-Dispatch on “Issues, Etc.” and the Missouri Synod.
Here’s David Strand continuing to attempt weak justifications for pulling “Issues”:
Strand also said the program’s audience was too narrow. —”‘Issues’ was a strong show, but where we stand now in terms of listenership, it seems wise to try some news things to broaden our reach,” he said.
The church currently produces seven religious shows, one of which is a replacement for “Issues, Etc.” The new program, called “The Afternoon Show,” is different from “Issues, Etc.,” said Strand, in that “it doesn’t dwell largely on Lutheran apologetics at a sophisticated level. It still takes its Gospel proclamation seriously, but it finds new ways to capture attention.”
Come on. “Issues” took Lutheran teaching seriously, but either Strand is saying Lutheran theology is too sophisticated for regular people, or he’s saying the people are dumb. Either way, it’s not flattering. “Capture attention…” Dancing bears capture attention, too.
Strand said politics had nothing to do with the decision to pull “Issues, Etc.” “This was a financial decision. All 2.5 million of our members would call themselves confessional Lutherans, so I’m not sure where this idea of division comes from,” he said. “Like most denominations, we have differences of opinion on things … but Dr. Kieschnick wants a deeper sense of peace throughout the church.”
I think Mr. Townsend knows better than Mr. Strand what “confessional” means. Having read the Confessions is at least a minimum requirement for bearing the word confessional. I’m guessing that not quite 2.5 million even know what the Augsburg Confession is, let alone have read it. I’m guessing it might be a minority of pastors who have even glanced at the Lutheran Confessions since seminary. “I’m not sure where this idea of division comes from.” Mr. Strand, you might want to spend a little more time out in the Synod’s congregations; perhaps where the idea comes from might come more clear. Unless, of course, differences ranging from open to closed communion, whether women should serve in the services of the Church, and whether we can adopt wholesale worship styles and content from foreign theologies are mere “differences of opinion.” We all want a deeper sense of peace, we all do, but it ain’t gonna come from pretending that there is no division. Saying “peace, peace,” where there is no peace is not a good idea.