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Refuting Libel Against Concordia Publishing House

November 15th, 2008
Marketing Advertising Blog — VuManhThang.Com

I've been pondering whether or not to respond to defamatory libel printed in Christian News
now several times recently. For years the editor of this weekly
publication has printed spurious nonsense about yours truly, which I
have, and will continue, simply to ignore, not dignifying it with any
sort of response. That is of no concern to me. But lately he has taken
to accusing Concordia Publishing House of ignoring and violating a
Synodical convention resolution because we have published an edition of
the Synodical Explanation of the Small Catechism using the English
Standard Version for the proof texts. This assertion is a lie.

The facts are these: at the same convention that adopted the Lutheran Service Book
hymnal there was specific convention action to make sure that the translation of words from the Bible in Martin Luther's Small Catechism, the Enchiridion, would not be
changed when it was printed in the hymnal. And they have not been
changed, neither in the hymnal nor in any printing of the Small
Catechism since the convention. The Enchiridion remains word-for-word
the same as it has been since the translation was approved by the Synod
in convention in 1986. The editor's typical "shoot first, ask questions later"
approach to his so-called "journalism" has again resulted in his
publication of falsehood in his newspaper.

What the editor foolishly fails to distinguish, in his zeal to
trash-talk Concordia Publishing House, is that there was no such
resolution concerning the Synodical Explanation of the Catechism, and in light of
literally hundreds of pastors asking us for an ESV edition of the
Explanation, this is what was published. The editor of Christian News
is printing defamatory assertions concerning the Missouri Synod's
publishing company, and doing so repeatedly.

It would be nice
to think that the editor would print, without equivocation or
qualification, a forthright statement of retraction and an apology to Concordia Publishing House.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 15th, 2008 at 14:46 | #1

    It strikes me as a common misconception that the synodical Q&A are the Small Catechism. Tragic, but typical.
    I have no advice, but I will say that we will gladly order and make use of the ESV Q&A version of the SC. Thanks for the work.
    McCain: Thanks, Todd. The editor of Christian News knows full well the distinction, since he publishes his own edition of the Explanation using his favorite Bible translation. You make a good point. The Explanation of the Catechism is very commonly confused with the actual text of the Small Catechism, which Luther wrote.

  2. Bill H.
    November 15th, 2008 at 15:17 | #2

    I appreciated your response to the charges in “Christian” News. The editor is of course relying on the fact that most people make no distinction between the two parts of the book: the Enchiridion and the Explanation. For most it’s all one book, obviously all written by Martin Luther. But I think the real underlying “beef” is that you did not,and have not, printed an editon with HIS approved translation of the Bible.

  3. Rev. Rick Stuckwisch
    November 15th, 2008 at 17:16 | #3

    Thank you, Paul, for correcting the persistent and libelous error in Christian News, and for clarifying the facts of the matter. What you say is quite right.
    It is true that people commonly confuse the synodical explantion of the Catechism with the Small Catechism itself, it would have been simple enough to ascertain the resolution of the 2004 convention. And, if one is inclined to publish criticisms (especially repeated criticisms), then it ought to be expected that the facts of the case will be checked and verified first.
    As a matter of further clarification, it was not even so much that the Convention forbid a new translation of the Catechism; it simply voted down a resolution to adopt a new translation.
    McCain: Rev. Stuckwisch, thanks for your remarks. The convention action was that another Bible translation should not be used in the text of the Small Catechism. It was not a vote on whether or not there should be a new translation of the Small Catechism, per se, but on whether or not the Bible translation should be retained that is in the present translation. The proposed resolution was 585 in favor of keeping it the same, 580 against. Later in the week, when the vote to adopt the LSB was taken, it was made clear to the voting delegates that the ESV translation would be the translation of choice for all worship materials for the hymnal, this after years of study and discussion of this choice throughout the Synod. The vote to adopt the hymnal was a 1,014-130 vote of delegates, in favor of adopting the new hymnal as an official hymnal of the Missouri Synod.

  4. Rev. Gerson Flor
    November 19th, 2008 at 14:50 | #4

    Interesting… as a parish pastor I have oftentimes been given that “from what planet did this guy come” look by people who quoted the Q&A in the explanation of the Small Catechism as if they were quoting the Confessions. Unfortunately they are, for most of our laity, our confession. It might be a good idea to clarify that misconception in future editions of this useful little book. For the sake of the church.
    Concerning the defamation of CPH, let me assure you that God in heaven is being praised by many faithful in many places for the outstanding and faithful work of CPH in the last several years. I’ve heard of pastors being accused of turning God’s house of prayer into a market place for constantly encouraging their parishioners to avail themselves of a new CPH resource. In these evil days, what a miracle that we can still do so!

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