Thanks to Pastor Alms for tipping me off to the very objective review of this summer's convention by Peter Speckhard.
I wasn't familiar with him, but he's obviously a very good writer, and captures the paradox that is the LCMS with great concision. Some samples:
At times the lack of controversy made the whole convention take on the aura of an infomercial for Ablaze!.... For those who haven’t heard, Ablaze! is the official LCMS evangelism campaign, designed by someone who apparently majored in Pep Squad. Few people have anything against the evangelism goals of it; but many people object to the trappings of Evangelicalism associated with it, so it has taken on a certain political quality.Commenting on the near unanimity of the convention on social issues (abortion, homosexuality, embryonic stem-cell research), he observes:
It seems that on social issues at least, the people of the LCMS believe in the official Roman Catholic position even more univocally than Roman Catholics do.
Yet social issues are perhaps the only area where the LCMS is growing closer to the Roman Catholic Communion. Evangelical Catholics are increasingly outnumbered by the Just Plain Old Evangelicals in the LCMS. The Ablaze! campaign with all its trappings could easily be adapted for use by Baptists, Assemblies of God, and various independent evangelical megachurches, but would stand out like a kazoo in an orchestra pit in an Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, or high-church Anglican or Lutheran setting.You can read the whole piece here.