An essay I wrote for a pastors’ conference in January 2006, and expanded for another presentation in October 2007, has just been published in the Fall 2008 edition of Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly (105:4, pages 248-284). The essay is titled “Proclaiming the Gospel in Worship” and deals with the gospel content and message of worship in  the structure of worship,  the symbolism used in worship, and  the songs or music incorporated into worship. The subscriber base of the Quarterly is made up of WELS pastors along with other interested Lutherans, WELS and others. Copies of Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly can be purchased through Northwestern Publishing House. A link to the essay is at the bottom of this post.
This week I received two email comments about the essay from other pastors, but I didn’t actually get my copy in the mail until today. As I read through the published essay tonight, I found paragraphs that weren’t supposed to be in the essay. After checking the printed version with the final version I submitted, there were also other paragraphs missing from the final version I submitted.
In spring, the editorial committee responded to the original version I submitted, and I replied with a message that explained some of my statements. The editorial staff reworked my responses and inserted them as additional paragraphs in the essay, then sent the revisions to me for my thoughts. I indicated that I’d like to rework those sections myself, and I submitted the actual “final” version with additional paragraphs to address the editorial committee’s suggestions. However, it was the second-to-last version with editorial revisions that was published, not the version I intended to be the final draft. I think that either the final version was lost in transmission (which would have been my fault for not following up more carefully), or the editorial staff inadvertently mixed up the two versions and the actual final version was not used (which could have happened quite easily because multiple versions of the essay were in their files).
There’s nothing that needs to be retracted as far as content or meaning is concerned. But there are casual-sounding paragraphs of email communication (with a couple of grammar mistakes) included in the printed version of the essay, and the cleaned-up paragraphs didn’t make it in. I have no doubt that it was an honest error. Being the perfectionist I tend to be, I would have preferred that informal responses to the editorial committee would not have become part of the main body of the essay–especially since this is the first time I have had something published in a venue such as this. (Additional comment added 10/24/2008: Since the essay’s publication, I’ve had a number of pastors tell me that they didn’t notice any odd stylistic issues with the paper, so perhaps my worries are much ado about nothing).
What I can do is offer the “correct, final” version here on-line. Strike-out text was meant to be deleted. Underlined text was meant to be added. With a couple of minor exceptions, the corrections are primarily in part two of the essay. The bracketed and yellow highlighted numbers indicate the page numbers for the version published in the Quarterly.
Additional comment added after the original post: The following posts elsewhere on this blog are either directly or indirectly connected to the essay’s subject matters, and might be worth reading as supplements to the essay:
- Let’s Be Clear
- Luther, Liturgy, and Christian Freedom
- Think You Don’t Like Ceremony? Think Again!
- WELStock Keynote Address
- Where’s Jesus? Horton Answers