As I continue my blog series, I am reminded that Dr. Franz Pieper highlighted the Lisco-Knak Affair of 1868 and how it illustrated divisions among men. At the heart of this "Affair" was Pastor Gustav Knak, of which we have heard in several previous blog posts. But now I want to publicize just how much Pieper himself was acquainted with not only this "Affair", but also Pastor Knak. This information comes from a source I had overlooked previously – the essay series "Memories of Dr. Franz Pieper" (Erinnerungen an Dr. Franz Pieper. PDF file here) published in Der Lutheraner by Ludwig Fürbringer after Pieper's death. I had previously extracted "Dr. Franz Pieper's Last Words for the Missouri Synod before he died" in a blog post, but there was much more that Fürbringer wrote about that I had yet not translated.
|Pastor Gustav Knak|
==>> A full scan of this book is available for download as a PDF file here (34 MB). The Google Doc text file is available here.
As mentioned in the "Memories" excerpt above, Pastor Knak was a well-known hymnist, (see also here) and involved in missions. He defended against the horrible rationalism sweeping over Germany. But I could not leave this post without recounting more of the "ridicule of Knak", something that Fürbringer seemed to avoid. Wangemann recounts the sordid details in his book, pages 385-409. This was partially translated in Fritz Braun's / J.H. Tonn's book:
"To the public mockery was such added in private letters and telegrams. The letters carried by express messengers, were frequently addressed to the practical sun pusher, and head sun pusher, master, pastor and soul-brother Knak. They contained greetings from Galileo and Copernicus and requests for 'please stop the sun' because one wanted to be together a little longer for wedding, requests for change of weather, ...Added April 25 -- I have decided to publish the complete excerpt from Braun's book below:
Yet this movement continued and grasped even more serious circles. The president of the city council, Mr. Kochmann called a meeting of notable representatives of the city council and science in order to consult what steps would have to be taken against the general stupifying due to the statements of Knak made at the Friedrich-Werner-Synode which had so openly shown this terrible danger looming. The cream of Berlin’s intelligence came together.... 119 famous names, among them professors, city counselors, and private counselors, agreed to accept a resolution the top paragraph of which stated: 'The Holy Scripture, the book of religious life, is not relevant to the laws of natural science. The earth is revolving around the sun!'...
And how did Knak himself go through this difficult time when he was often forsaken by his friends and heaped with reproaches and given up by his enemies to a purgatory and mocked and blasphemed and ridiculed? I have admired him that he did not retort when as a Christian he carried his heavy cross. When he was scolded he prayed for his enemies and was not even mad at his friends. The strongest remark to his enemies was a telegram which he sent to a mocker which only contained the words of Galatians 6:7, 8. [Be not deceived; God is not mocked...]"
Lutherans in Africa
And so it is that Pastor Gustav Knak was not forgotten in Pieper's day, neither is he forgotten today... neither is Franz Pieper forgotten! They have received their crown of glory! May Knak's public confession of "Yes, I believe the Holy Scripture!" ring out today!
In the next Part 15, I move back to our present day. I recall in my anxious moments wondering about our space program... and what about its most famous proponent -- the German-American Werner von Braun? As I learned more of him, there came some sadness, and some surprises... In some ways he is an embarrassment to NASA and NCSE.