quod pro nobis traditum est

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fr. Fenton and the Liturgy

Fr. John Fenton recently resigned as a LCMS pastor in order to join the Orthodox Church. His statement of resignation of October 29, 2006 is available at his blog: I encourage you to read it and, after digesting the ramifications of his resignation from the Lutheran pastoral ministry and his congregation, ponder his theological reasoning.

There are difficulties, loss and sadness involved in his departure, especially for his former congregation in Detroit. Fr. Fenton has also had a great influence beyond the congregation especially in the area of liturgics. Many pastors, seminarians, undergrads and laity have benefited from the St. Michael Liturgical Conference, his speaking engagements, articles in print and discussion of the liturgy on various e-mail lists. He will be missed.

It may be argued convincingly by Lutherans that he has abandoned Lutheranism. Nevertheless his contribution toward our understanding and appreciation of the liturgy remain. It is harder to argue that he has abandoned the Faith. God grant His healing and blessed guidance to those who rebuild and to John and his family in all that lies ahead.

Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace:
Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum
Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum:
Lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.


Allan said...

Pastor May,

I am dumbfounded by your statement that "It may be argued convincingly by Lutherans that he [Fenton] has abandoned Lutheranism." May have? How could there be any doubt about it? He openly stated in his letter of resignation that "I am convinced that the Book of Concord contains defective or deficient doctrines not in accord with the faith of the apostles." What more can a man do to abandon Lutheranism?

Rev. Timothy May, M.Div. said...

Agreed - The key word here is "convincingly." Or, said differently, the former "Fr. Fenton" is no longer Lutheran and this is clear by his statement regarding the Book of Concord. Thank you for seeking clarification.