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Monday, February 1, 2016

Copernicanism – Intro (for “Josh”); Table of Contents


     Today marks the first anniversary (from 2/1/2015) of the LC-MS/CTCR online publishing of their report "In Christ All Things Hold Together - The Intersection of Science and Christian Theology", (Blog intro, web page, download) On page 20, it gives all teachers in the LC-MS not only an allowance but essentially a directive "to reject the geocentric paradigm in favor of a heliocentric one".  Any teacher who violates this rejection is officially on notice.  I will return to this document later.  But in "honor" of this publication, I present the following series of blog posts.  In reality this series is dedicated to "Josh".
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    This series of blog posts was prompted by 2 events that occurred recently:
  1. correspondence arrived from a very astute young person regarding the matter of Geocentrism.  I will call this person “Josh” although that is not this person’s real name; and,
  2. while proofing Franz Pieper’s Christliche Dogmatik, Vol. 1b, I arrived at his footnote regarding Copernicanism on pages 577-578 (English edition pages 473-474).  
Without the emailed note from “Josh”, I probably would have bypassed this subject as I had already covered it sufficiently in my first 2 blog posts.  “Josh” is the main reason for this series, along with the young boy of my youth.  But Josh’s letter (by email) not only contained some surprises, it also showed that this youthful writer was quite perceptive in reading my prior posts on “Geocentrism”. —  
    Josh said he was a member in the LC-MS, not long out of higher education, accepted the Copernican system, but considered himself to be truly following Christian doctrine, was well aware of Luther’s position supporting geocentricity and the old Missouri’s anti-Copernicanism stand.  He had been taught in the LC-MS that it could be taught from Scripture that Scripture does not literally teach geocentrism.  (We see that the LC-MS/CTCR statement now formally teaches what had actually been taught for a long time.)  But Josh had been researching this matter for some time (he did not ridicule or counter me!) and he had a very direct question for me.  
    What question?  Josh detected a possible weakening in my position regarding Geocentricity as I reported Franz Pieper’s teaching.  The writer noted that in my second blog post I stated: “Pieper did not doubt the verity of the Copernican Theory, he knew it was wrong where it taught that the earth was not the primary planet in the universe.”  He then wondered that either I (or maybe even Pieper) had softened Walther’s strong stand against Copernicanism.  What did I believe?  And indeed, as I read the letter, I recalled that I did have a few moments of doubt about Pieper’s own position.  This moment of weakening then almost overtook me this time, for I have not been without temptations to drop all this “Geocentricity” stuff and just fall back on what Walther calls an “optical” viewpoint of Joshua’s Long Day.  Why?  Because I have a degree in engineering from a well known state university.  That means I have had considerable science training… indeed I have what I would call a “love” for science.  I truly enjoyed the teaching on the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and Entropy.  I also believe it is the Reformation that spawned the great outbreak of science ever since that century.  So naturally I enjoy learning true science!
    And what about Pieper?  Here was the difficult part for me – it seemed as I had earlier read him that he may have weakened Walther’s teaching, as his final words did not seem to directly affirm Walther.  … I had some very anxious moments!  Why?  Because as a young boy I BELIEVED the account of Joshua and the Sun Standing Still!  I BELIEVED IT!  I BELIEVED THE SUN STOOD STILL BECAUSE THE BIBLE TEACHES THIS!  So to soften on this point of Scripture would mean that I would have to be able to tell that believing young boy (of my youth) that I was naive!  And the faith that God granted me as I returned to my Christian faith (a faith that I do not deserve) yelled out NO!  Do not go that way!  Stay with what the Scripture teaches!  And Luther and Walther were right there with that boy of my youth!  Indeed, it had to be that the truth of Joshua 10:13 had to give me a priori confidence in its truth because God said so!  I could not rely on science to confirm it… it must be true first because God said it.  And if science did not confirm it or would reject it, then that science was only so-called “science”, or “science falsely so-called”. (1 Tim. 6:20).
    And so I again studied Pieper’s teaching anew to see if my fears were correct.  And I realized my earlier fears regarding him were unfounded, and his teaching revealed truly Christian counsel.
    But before I publish my translation from the German original of Pieper’s Dogmatik on Copernicanism, I want to touch on one of the first websites a Google search presented me: Dr. Danny Faulkner of AnswersInGenesis.

⇒ To “Josh”:
You shared with me more than I have described above, but I hope in the ensuing series some things will be clarified for your consideration on this matter.  Perhaps you might even smile at the pseudo-name I have chosen for you.  Also be aware that I am not only responding to you, but to the “schoolboy” of my youth.

[Please note: I am pausing my project of proofing Pieper’s Christliche Dogmatik books to address the above subject that has come up.  I will return to that project after this series.]
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Table of Contents (to be updated periodically)
Part 1 – Intro (this post)
Part 2 – Dr. Danny Faulkner
Part 2 – Pieper’s teaching in his Dogmatik
Part 3 – TBA
...
Part X – LC-MS/CTCR statement on Science & Theology

    Still to come: several old (German) Missouri teaching sources against Copernicanism: Der Lutheraner, Lehre und Wehre, J.C.W. Lindemann (senior and son Friedrich), Pastor F.E. Pasche; Pastor Knak’s stand against Copernicanism (Germany 1868) and fallout; German/English/American ridicule of geocentrists of 19th century (including Andrew Dickson White of Cornell); Martin Luther’s Table Talk; today’s “science” commentators: Bob Schadewald, Glenn Branch - NCSE;  today’s Christian commentators, i.e. Owen Gingerich, etc.; Wernher von Braun and space program; various creationist organizations & “fundamentalists”, Baptists, etc.; Malcolm Bowman and his YouTube videos; Drs. Gary North/ Michael Martin Nieto; Drs. Gerardus Bouw and James Hanson and their Biblical Astronomy/Geocentricity;  Synodical Conference; Profs. Tappert and Arand, and current LC-MS/CTCR statement on Science and Theology...

In the next post Part 2, I cover an article by Dr. Danny Faulkner against Geocentricity...

Friday, January 29, 2016

Response to comments on Geocentricity

My last blog post elicited 2 comments for which I am responding below.
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To “Carl Vehse”:

I knew that you would want to comment on this subject… I have known that you proclaim me as a “Geocentrist”.  And I have seen your comments elsewhere that flatly deny Geocentricity with scientific (and other) arguments.  I had planned to forewarn readers that I will not publish comments from those who deny Geocentricity.  But I was remiss in getting this warning stated in my first blog post, so I have published your 2 initial comments on my previous post – without commenting on them there.

But let all who would want to deny Geocentricity know that it was first an ELCA “Lutheran” pastor who first responded to me … in private… not by a public comment, but private email.  And it ended with several uninvited private messages invoking NASA and casting slurs such as “Franzie baby” at me.  I take particular pride in his invectives, just as Pieper took pride in being described as in “theological diapers”.  There is NO doubt that anyone today who would believe that Joshua’s Long Day actually physically happened as described in the Bible will receive the same ridicule.
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But this series is not intended as primarily a response to “Carl Vehse” or the ELCA pastor, but rather another person, which will become clearer later.  And so it will not be interrupted by negative comments.

So let me repeat:
All further comments which deny Geocentricity will not be published on this blog and they will not be read by me.  Other comments may be considered.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Walther for troubled Christians today; Sun's orbit

     This blog post repeats a portion of a sermon C.F.W. Walther delivered for the 7th Sunday after Trinity and was published in his book of sermons Gnadenjahr or Year of Grace.  My purpose for bringing this will become clear in an upcoming series.  But more about that soon...
     The whole sermon may be found here (beginning on page 230) or read directly here (see last 2 paragraphs on page 233).  What follows below is only an excerpt (from Pastor Donald E. Heck's translation)... for a reason.
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     HOW GOD YEAR AFTER YEAR PERFORMS THE. MIRACLE OF MAKING MUCH OUT OF LITTLE
     He who believes that God only idly watches the course of the world, who therefore lacks the confidence that there is a divinely wise, righteous, and gracious Providence who rules and regulates everything in the world, who therefore supposes that animate and inanimate creatures and hence he himself also are the playthings of a blind chance, such a faithless person is certainly most unfortunate.
...
     ... For if the sun would not hold just that position which it has held for almost six thousand years, and if it would not have just that orbit which it has, it would destroy more than it gives life to. If the sun would have been closer to us, it would have in a short time burned the earth into a huge brick; on the other hand, if its orbit would be further away, the earth would soon freeze solid in an eternal winter.
     Now how does it happen that for the past six thousand years the sun has never wandered away from its boundless path? how does it happen that sometimes it rises higher, sometimes, goes lower, but at a definite point regularly turns about, so that the necessary change of seasons takes place upon our earth?
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     I would encourage the Christian reader who could use some Christian comfort to read this sermon in its entirety... I did.  No Reformed preacher (and certainly not C.S. Lewis) could match Walther when preaching or speaking on The Providence of God.
     Ah, but what was one of the examples Walther used in this sermon? ... reading the section in bold above, Walther preached on the movement of the Sun in its orbit about the Earth.  What?  ... I thought... oh, well, you know... what today's "science" teaches as objective truth on the movement of the Earth about the Sun... or whatever.  But will any Lutheran preacher today use the same example as Walther did?... hmmm —
     So why bring this specific sermon to the fore today?  The last part of the excerpt above gives the clue, for this is an introduction to a series of blog posts on...

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Our thoroughly modern world… loathes Luther (so many scholars!)

      Continuing my project of presenting the full text of Franz Pieper's original Christliche Dogmatik.... (Vol. 1a fully proofed, proofing Vol 1b...)
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      In Pieper's section presenting and defending the doctrine of the Trinity, he quotes Luther's strong defense of the Christian teaching of the Trinity against false teachers (page 512 German edition, page 421 of English edition).  And it is striking how vehement Luther and Pieper are in their defenses.  Luther:
"We see that in these last times the devil switches his tail, as though he would incite to all manner of new heresies."
And Pieper appends his footnote #1335 to this:
"In our day the devil is doing more than only 'switch his tail'.  As one said at the time of the Arian struggle: 'The world has become Arian", so one can say about our time that by modern theology the so-called Protestant world has become Unitarian."
Even today's LC-MS is marginally included in this -- see this Unitarian's pronouncement on it.   Dear God!... if the Protestant world was essentially Unitarian in Pieper's day (~ 100 years ago), then how much more thoroughly has modern theology "advanced" our world today!

And so the words of the Lutheran martyr that I published 1 year ago have rung in my ears... ever since I published Peter Spengler's words from the Reformation century:
"Oh who yet could have thought that so many scholars, admirable people for so many years had erred from the purpose of the true doctrine and had put in so many terrible mistakes?  Indeed, who yet would have supposed that the Holy Scriptures would have been darkened and defiled through man’s trinkets, that by so few people the righteous way would have been understood?"
By so few people would the righteous way be understood today!  What "few people"?  See my masthead...

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Walther's Pastoral Theology delayed 1 year by CPH (but a good alternative available)

C.F.W. Walther’s Pastoral TheologyThe reader today will find that the book is very practical and helpful, and not out of date.  Why?  Because Walther’s book is not a “how to” book for developing skills…but truly a pastoral theology.” –Dr Robert Preus
Pastoral Theology
by C.F.W. Walther
trans. by John Drickamer

      As I occasionally check the latest offerings of Concordia Publishing House, I recently noticed a change in their projected release of the new translation of Walther's Americanisch-Lutherische Pastoraltheologie, or Pastoral Theology.  For some time, it had been announced to be released in "early 2016".  But a recent check of their "Walther's Works" web page revealed a rather startling change for those anticipating a more complete translation than the previous abridged one by Dr. John Drickamer 20 years ago by "Lutheran News".  They have pushed the deadline back to "early 2017"!
      This is a surprise because this book has long been known to have been translated by Pastor Christian Tiews.  Tiews had also translated the previous Law & Gospel book for CPH.  So why the 1 year delay?  Hmmm...
      One could speculate as to why there is a whole year's delay... surely it is not because their professional editors are so tongue-tied by Walther's Christian counsel as to be speechless?  Could it be they are still trying to formulate some "Just sayin'" comments to counter Walther in many of his "hard sayings"?

      In any event, Drickamer's abridged version is not without value.  And there is a very good alternative (here and now!) to learn exactly what Walther taught in his Pastorale – Franz Pieper's Christian Dogmatics series (or his German Christliche Dogmatik).  As I have progressed in my project of presenting Pieper's Dogmatik online, I am quite amazed how many times Pieper refers to Walther's book.  Sometime I might give an exhaustive cross-reference chart, but when I bought Drickamer's translation, I made a little chart on the inside of the front cover.  I am presenting my little chart here as a beginner's help:


This chart does not yet cross-reference to Pieper's German edition, only the English edition.  I may update and expand this chart later.

Again, do you want to know what Walther taught for pastoral counsel?  Read the many places that Pieper references to Walther's Pastorale in his Christian Dogmatics and you will have gone a long way in understanding the Christian counsel of Walther.  Also get Drickamer's abridged edition.  You don't have to wait for CPH's delayed translation.

Friday, December 25, 2015

"Here I Stand!" (4th witness blunder), Part 3 of 3

      This concludes from Part 2 regarding the controversy surrounding the historicity of Luther's famous phrase "Here I Stand...".   But what I had originally planned as a 4th witness for the defense of the phrase turned out to be a blunder on my part.  I had to completely rewrite this post.  But in my error, I take comfort because I realize that my 4th witness is actually a true witness in a perverse way – but who is the culprit?... (Hint: I should have known.)
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 Andrew Pettegree for the defense?
Andrew-Pettegree-243x366.jpg
Andrew Pettegree,
author of
Brand Luther
      Andrew Pettegree is the author of the new book Brand Luther (reviewed in this blog post). From Wikipedia: Pettegree is “...one of the leading experts on Europe during the Reformation. ... He is also the founding director of the St Andrews Reformation Studies Institute.” — Andrew Pettegree is hardly a friend of Martin Luther or Lutheranism. After describing the events of Luther’s burning of the papal bull, Pettegree judges Luther (page 131):
“In many respects this was the most unfortunate of the dramatic set-piece events of the Reformation.”
At least Pettegree does not deny that the burning of the papal bull happened! This statement is only one of many examples where Pettegree shows his unfriendliness to Martin Luther’s Reformation.  However Pettegree shows a modicum of ability in judging history when he defends the account (or “myth”) that Luther actually nailed the Ninety-Five Theses to the Wittenberg castle church door on October 31, 1517 (ref. pages 12-13).
But how will Pettegree report the controversial phrase "Here I Stand"? Will he now also take the opportunity to take another shot at Luther’s legacy by mentioning this controversy of the historicity of Luther’s “Here I Stand…” phrase, and so give it credence?  It would be a good opportunity for him to gain added stature as one who can stand over Luther and over Lutheranism, as he does in many other places.  Hmmm, no controversy is even mentioned at this point by Pettegree. (Why doesn't he even mention the controversy?) Rather he quotes Ernest Schwiebert's book Luther and His Times, (pages 504-505) verbatim without comment.  And what does Schwiebert record of Luther at this critical time of the Reformation? He says:
"... I am bound by the Scriptures adduced by me, and my conscience has been take captive by the Word of God, and I am neither able nor willing to recant, since it is neither safe nor right to act against conscience. [omitted "Here I stand" text here] God help me. Amen."
At this point I made an error. In my haste, when I saw "God help me. Amen", I thought that Schwiebert (and Pettegree) had included the "Here I stand..." phrase. But as I was about to publish this blog post, I double checked my sources and discovered my blunder. How stupid! How embarrassing! ... or is it?
  • Who is this Ernest Schwiebert that he should boldly omit the "Here I Stand" phrase? And who published his book that strips one of the best known phrases ever recorded of the sayings of Martin Luther? ... and gives Pettegree free license to do the same and thus embarrass true Lutherans that they should be so encouraged by this actual phrase of Luther? One could say that this historian "Schwiebert" was no friend of Luther or Lutheranism, just like Pettegree who praises papal indulgences and criticizes Luther's burning of the papal bull.
  • Who is it that published "Ernest George Schwiebert"?... it is the great Concordia Publishing House and the LC-MS!! Oh! What? ... Concordia Publishing House? I thought they were supposed to be friends of Luther and his Reformation...? Hmmm, seems that is in question now. (I found my culprit!)
  • And what is this? I notice that the American Lutheran collaborators for the 1953 Martin Luther film were the great theologians Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan and Oswald C.J. Hoffmann of the LC-MS, and Theodore Tappert of the opposing LCA synod, an American synod that was highly liberal. But wait! Did they contradict Schwiebert's judgment and left the controversial phrase in the Luther film? Really? Pelikan, Hoffmann and Tappert opposed Schwiebert? Surely not!
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Conclusion
In the end, neither Schwiebert or Pettegree or “Diarmaid MacCulloch” or Dr. Scott Hendrix or an editor of the Weimar Ausgabe or any other “church historian” of today could convince me one way or the other if this phrase was actually spoken.  No, it is C.F.W. Walther, it is Pastor Hermann Fick, it is Prof. Franz Pieper who strongly convince me that this possible “myth” substantially happened.  And even if this phrase were a “myth”, no screenwriter could have done a better job of putting words into Luther’s mouth.  I believe that, on this matter, it is C.F.W. Walther, NOT Ernest George Schwiebert, who is the best judge of those other recorders of Luther and the Reformation, of those who recorded that Luther actually spoke these words.  It is C.F.W. Walther who understood Martin Luther better than anyone since the Reformation century.  And it is C.F.W. Walther who will be the best judge of those who recorded the Reformation writings of and about Luther, including George Rörer.
      No, I have to say... would to God! that CPH sold more than just socks with this phrase, but much more, sold framed artwork, screen-printed pencils, embroidered table cloths, whatever... so that Christians are constantly reminded of what they stand on, the same as Martin Luther, whether he said those exact words at the Diet of Worms or not!  That phrase is the perfect summary phrase for the Reformation!
      So to anyone who would be stubborn on this “controversy”, I will point them to Pelikan, Hoffmann and Tappert's allowance for this phrase in their 1953 film, even in the face of Schwiebert's (and CPH's) 1950 attempt to mythologize the phrase. Pettegree’s report even cements Schwiebert's place among "modern historians", surely because Schwiebert was published by CPH  But to true Lutherans, I will say: Walther, Fick, and Franz Pieper report this phrase "Here I Stand..." and much more, as not only “fact” but all the events surrounding it as one of the top defining moments in Reformation history... in true Church History. Let the naysayers chatter and cackle!
      And surely we don’t want to deprive Queen Elsa, Disney Pictures, the Frozen movie, and the songwriters of “Let It Go” their rightful glory in this phrase “Here I Stand!”, do we?
Here I Stand!... with Luther, Walther, and Pieper -- on God's Holy Word! (sola Scriptura) Here I Stand, on God's Grace (sola fidei), by God's Grace Alone! (sola gratia) Amen!

"Here I Stand" controversy (3 witnesses), 2 of 3

      Continuing from Part 1 (of 3) regarding the controversy surrounding the historicity of Luther's famous "Here I Stand..." phrase. Now I will present my 3 witnesses to the truth of the "Here I stand" controversy.
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1) C.F.W. Walther
The quote I gave in my original post was from a Reformation sermon of C.F.W. Walther.  And Walther presented an insightful essay in 1887 entitled “The Fruitful Reading of the Writings of Luther” (English translation in Matthew Harrison's At Home... book, pgs 333-343, reference my blog post here) where he counseled his Lutheran pastors and laymen to read first what Luther himself wrote, then what others wrote about him or what he said.  Walther clearly valued Luther’s own account of the Reformation above all others.  So in this current controversy, it appears that perhaps Luther himself did not report his own speech but left it to others.  –  But this did not cause Walther to hesitate to report this ending phrase in his Reformation sermon.  Walther was convinced that by the available accounts and their sources sufficiently attested, he could confidently report this “controversial” phrase of Luther in not only this Reformation sermon, but in multiple places – actually 6 places in Baseley's translation:
"Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen!"
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2) Pastor Hermann Fick
And I consulted again Pastor Hermann Fick's book Life and Deeds of Dr. Martin Luther (see this blog post for full text.). On pages 107-110, Pastor Fick gives a thrilling account of the happenings at the Diet of Worms. And on page 110, Fick reports Luther's final sentences:
"Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise; God help me! Amen."
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3) President Franz Pieper
Franz Pieper presented an essay in 1921 to the North Dakota-Montana District entitled "What do we learn from Luther at Worms?" (German language text of essay available here). And in the past year, an Australian Lutheran pastor has published his translation of this magnificent essay that prepares one for a true celebration of the upcoming Reformation anniversary. He added pictures and helpful footnotes for reference. Below is an HTML based excerpted document reproduced from a DOC file. In this process, the handy footnotes normally at the bottom of each page were reformatted and hyperlinked to the end of the document. For some reason the normally word-wrapped pictures came out "in-line", but I like the HTML version for its handy footnote links. To download the original full 26-page PDF file, click here. Again, it comes from Australia, with love:

In this excerpt, "The Twentieth Century Luther" explains further that Martin Luther not only stood on Scripture, but mainly on the doctrine of Scripture: grace alone, through faith alone, not by the works of the Law. On the second page of this issue of "Morsels", Pastor Winter translated Pieper's quote of Luther
without a footnote, i.e. no footnote needed:
Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.
If I get time, I may publish the whole series of Pastor Winter's translation of this masterful Lutheran essay. Would to God that some publication of the LC-MS would republish it for the upcoming Reformation anniversary!! (sigh)
In the concluding Part 3, I bring a different kind of witness regarding this controversy on the historicity of Luther's "Here I Stand..." phrase.

"Here I Stand" historical controversy (response) (Part 1 of 3)

      A comment came in on my last post that I could not let pass by:


Carl Vehse has left a new comment on your post "Luther–Walther–Pieper: Scripture rule, not Frozen ...":

Like a number of other "quotes" attributed to Dr. Martin Luther, the legendary "Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise." (also available on socks from the CPH) may not have been said by Luther at the 1521 Imperial Diet of Worms. Different publications include or don't include that statement, as noted in a March 4, 2014, comment elsewhere.
Historian Diarmaid MacCulloch claims Luther’s “Here I stand” quote was later added by Georg Rörer, the editor of Luther's collected works.
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I was aware that there is some controversy about whether Luther actually said these words to the 1521 Diet of Worms.  One of the commenters to the 3-minute YouTube video clip pointed this out.  “Valteron8” asserts:
“...to most historians, Luther never said ‘here I stand’ at this meeting.”

“Valteron8” even goes further than your comment where you only mention one historian, and you sort of admit that it “may” be true; no, “Valteron8” says “most” historians disagree with this account.  Surely we would not want to appear uninformed on this important matter.  I had to burst out laughing when a subsequent response to this assertion came from “Syler Womack”:
“Meh, neither did Elsa…" [i.e. Queen Elsa (Disney) from Frozen’s song “Let It Go”.]

And a recent corroboration of your comment comes from James Reston’s similar report in his book Luther’s Fortress on page 39:
“The widely quoted, famous phrase “Here I stand. I can say no more,” which is often attributed to Luther at the end of his speech, is now largely discounted by modern historians.”

And again, another naysayer was published by Fortress Press, 1981. Dr. Scott Hendrix is quoted by Christianity Today as saying: "The earliest printed version of Luther's address added these words, which were not recorded on the spot. It's possible they are genuine, but for almost a half century now, most scholars have believed they were probably not spoken by Luther." (Note that Hendrix allows that it is possible. It is interesting that Hendrix says "for almost a half century now"... hmmm, that would be just about when Franz Pieper died in 1931.)
Although I was originally sad to receive your comment, now I am glad to have been given the impetus to further consider this issue.

I must say that on the face of it, the claims of a “legend” or “myth” seem quite preposterous.  Why?  Because this event was witnessed by perhaps the widest and most prolific audience in all of the world in its day.  So it would seem that if someone, such as George Rörer, inserted and published this phrase “Here I stand…” when it was not actually spoken at the Diet of Worms in 1521, then it would have been reported as such by other Lutherans.  Have any “modern historians” actually found this to be the case? ... or is it such that only “modern historians” are reporting this as a myth or legend?
As I reviewed again the words that the actor for Luther spoke in the film, I wonder now that the American Lutherans Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan, Theodore Tappert (and Oswald C.J. Hoffmann) largely referred to the translation of Ernest George Schwiebert to be the English language screenplay for this 3-minute scene of Luther standing before the Emperor Charles. CPH published Schwiebert 's well-known work Luther and His Times in 1950, 3 years before the film was released.
Now I will present my 3 witnesses to the truth of the "Here I stand" controversy... in the next Part 2. ... and a fourth witness tacked on in the concluding Part 3.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Luther–Walther–Pieper: Scripture rule, not Frozen (2 of 3) - "Here I Stand"

      Continuing from Part 1, I wanted to bask in the light of Franz Pieper's masterful recounting of one of the key tenets of the Reformation and THE Reformer, Martin Luther: his stand on Scripture.  I did some searching of one of Luther's most famous phrases, "The Word they still shall let remain" which turned up a Reformation sermon by C.F.W. Walther that I cannot pass by and must reprint a small portion:
Luther never boasted of the judgment of his reason. “The Word they still shall let remain,” was the only thing that turned this man into steel and iron. He himself made this known as he concluded his declaration, standing before the Emperor and the council: “Because my conscience has been taken captive by the Word of God I cannot and will not recant. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen!” – C.F.W. Walther
After reading this, another Internet search turned up the short 3 minute clip from the 1953 film "Martin Luther" (YouTube here; I own the full VHS tape) as he spoke his most famous phrase "Here I Stand...":


The full version of this film is now available on YouTube here:

The 3-minute clip can be viewed in the full version at the interval from 1:14:35 to 1:17:36; it has better sound quality.  —  The film has its problems – it was a unionistic production.  One of the screen producers, Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan even left the Lutheran faith.  Nevertheless, there is quite enough merit to recommend this film as mostly faithful to Luther's life, especially for those being first introduced to Luther.
      The clip covers one of the greatest moments in church history since the days of the New Testament.  This fact is not lost on today's Walt Disney Pictures and its songwriters for they use Luther's words "Here I Stand" in their Frozen movie 2013 theme song "Let It Go".   Indeed, I can thank the Disney's Frozen producers and songwriters... not for their words that turn Luther's words into their opposite meaning (and in reality anti-Christian meaning), but rather to remind us all that it is Luther's words that STAND, and Frozen's use of Luther's phrase proves it.
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      But now I must return back to Franz Pieper's textbook teaching presented in Part 1, a teaching that perfectly follows THE Reformer, Martin Luther.  In the next Part 3, I ask some pointed questions concerning the relation of the LC-MS to Franz Pieper...  How come...?