I've suggested before that I think the whole quia/quatenus thingy is rather broken in our churches. What I mean is, when you talk "quia" (I subscribe to the Confessions BECAUSE they agree with the Word of God), this all the way back to Walther (and maybe earlier than he) has been rendered rather useless by saying: "I mean, of course, the doctrinal content of the Lutheran Symbols."
Okay, well, what do you do when what's doctrinal content to X is not doctrinal content to Y, and both are claiming "quia subscription"? Some turn to the statements in the AC about what our churches practice regarding the Lord's Supper and say: this is our Confessions; this we do. Others dismiss all such statements as "descriptive not prescriptive." In other words, that was a description of then; it need not be taken as a confession of how things ought be now. This gets messier and messier.
No, I'm not even talking about things like perpetual virginity of Mary! I'm thinking of the fact that the CTCR could declare that "in the absence of any Scripture to the contrary" it was okay to suspend AC XIV - "no one is to teach, preach, or administer the sacraments without a rightful call." Doctrinal content or not? Well, it's among the DOCTRINAL articles, no? But that seems not to matter too much to some. Similarly with the bold statement in the doctrinal article that follows - that our churches teach (that would be the doctrine word, no?) that human ceremonies that can be kept without sin ought to be kept. "Practice" we are told; "not doctrine."
A wag friend of mine once made the frustrated comment: here, let me hand you my Book of Concord so that you can highlight the parts for me that I'm not subscribing to. And surely even as soon as I post this, someone will be writing about magnets and garlic to prove the point that we don't subscribe to anything but the doctrinal content of the Symbols. Sigh.
Do you see why I think we need a rethinking of this whole area? I am a rather simple man and my approach to the Symbols is to take them as they stand as the Confession of my Church. When I hear a "we" in them, I want myself and my parish to be included in that we. If it doesn't seem to describe us at the moment, it sure gives us something to work towards. That's how a standard functions, no? If we keep slicing and dicing the standard to justify current practice and thinking and never allow it to challenge what we've become, what on earth good is it anyway?
Fire away, folks.