Wednesday 6th July, 2011

Discussing Calvin on Method

by Matt Frost

The recordings we have of the Lectures on Theological Method skip over session 5, which is also Calvin (but for which Joe was at Notre Dame), so today’s lesson is the second set of Friday class discussions, this week on Calvin.  And since I’ve been doing what we call “summaries” for these recordings, I’m going to include the Summaries Document entry for today after the recording this week.  Who knows, maybe it’ll catch on.  ;)

More Luther/Calvin comparison today, as one might expect from a Lutheran teaching Calvin to Lutherans.  Also quite a bit of Barth in this Calvin discussion.  Quite a number of important pieces here for any discussion of creation.

Session 6, 1974-10-11 — Calvin (continued): discussions

Session VI, Friday, Oct. 11: Calvin, continued.  59 minutes.  (1 tape, 2 copies)  Prof. David also present today; Sittler presenting.  “The Necessity of the Revelation” (book I, chapter 6) in the Institutes as a clear methodological section.  Beginning with the Word of God, interpreting it as law.  More Calvin vs. Luther.  Calvin attempting to fill the authoritative role of the teaching office of the church in all the questions it answered, in its waning, with the Bible.  [Skips in the recording throughout group discussions.]  Calvin as pedagogical, not ontological, in his discussion of the nature of God – which is how he can go quite so long before he gets to Christ, who focuses the doctrine as mediator.  Doing theology “from God through Christ to the Holy Spirit.”  Discussion of Calvinist presuppositions in reading Christ into the Old Testament as misreading the Old Testament.  Kierkegaard and The Concept of Dread; origin of evil – as Barth says, “das Nichtige” – in the freedom of being and its possibility for its own negation.  Ontological dizziness and the “why not?” imagining the no as well as the yes.  [Skip to whole class discussion.]  A question about the natural (in)capacity for the good, and a reminder to keep in mind the questions and issues that Calvin is trying to answer.  Calvin’s “massa perditionis” vs. Luther’s “tincture of sin in all that man does.”  Whether man must be free to be faithful, or faithful to be free – the dialectical necessity of both.  Repetition of Kierkegaard material.  [Tape sides overlap with no lost material; recording ends before Sittler is done.]

Monday 4th July, 2011

Comparing Luther and Calvin on Method

by Matt Frost

The next installment of the Methods course begins the class’ study of Calvin.  And having gone through Luther’s 95 Theses and touched on the Heidelberg Disputation last week, the class gets a lecture today about what makes for the differences in Luther and Calvin, as well as follow-up on what it means to be an “occasional” theologian.

Interesting to note, in connection with the Bicentennial Reflections sermon I posted this morning, that here we see a lot of the material Joe uses there in development as a commentary on the influence of Calvinism on American society.

Session 4, 1974-10-07 — Calvin: intro and Institutes


Monday 4th July, 2011

A Sermon for the Fourth of July

by Matt Frost

I think it’s fitting on this day, July 4, 2011, to post Joe’s bicentennial sermon from July 4, 1976.  It’s a great meditation on love of country for the sake of the beloved and for the sake of God’s purposes in it, and I commend it to you here:

Joseph Sittler, “Bicentennial Reflections,” July 4, 1976

n.b.: This isn’t a fresh transfer of the original on our good equipment, since I don’t have the tape to hand here at home.  It comes from our testing rig, and has been noise-filtered to make the non-decoded Dolby B go away.  But for all that, it’s quite good, if a little choppy in places.


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Saturday 2nd July, 2011

More Theological Method audio

by Matt Frost

Just finished with session 3 of Joe’s 1974 Lectures on Theological Method.  The last two were Monday and Wednesday of the first week of the fall term, and this one is Friday, in a bit of a different format.  And because of that, where the last two were under an hour, the third is 1:30.  Since the audio breaks across sides were overlapping on these two tapes, I’ve given this one the full treatment — spliced together where possible, and basic noise removal to clear the tape hiss and a bit of the background white noise.  Makes the questions easier to hear, and has the fringe benefit of cutting down the size.  Unlike the original hour-long tapes, this is divided where the audio breaks, at about 45 minutes, so we have two relatively equal pieces.

Session 3, part 1, 1974-10-04 — Luther (continued): lecture

Session 3, part 2, 1974-10-04 — Luther (continued): question and answer



Monday 27th June, 2011

Audio, starting with the 1974 LSTC course in Theological Method

by Matt Frost

Well, with the basic space upgrade required to post MP3 files, we’ve got 8GB of storage here.  With the current conversion rate of our 96kHz, 24-bit raw files to MP3, that means we can host up to 118 hours of audio before we need to upgrade.  So, while our primary audio hosting is done over at the main Archives page, there are a few things that are works in progress that will start off here.

The first thing to be hosted here is going to be Joe’s Fall 1974 course in Theological Method, taught as part of LSTC’s core curriculum while Carl Braaten was off on sabbatical.  Rob is eagerly awaiting these, and perhaps he’s not the only one, and they’re good stuff, so here we’ll have them as I get them done.  The first two sessions are posted below; you can either click on the links or use the streaming player.  I’d be glad to get feedback about which is preferable; I know my particular browser and OS combination doesn’t always play well with the embedded player here.

Session 1, 1974-09-30 — course introduction and definition of terms

Session 2, 1974-10-02 — Luther: intro and the 95 Theses