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Friday, November 13, 2015

Why German edition Christliche Dogmatik important (Why I am a Lutheran)

      Continuing my project of presenting the full text of Franz Pieper's original German edition of his Christliche Dogmatik.... (Vol. 1a, 1b, 2b, 3a, 3b are polished; proceeding on Vol. 2a)
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      I finished polishing Vol. 3b and have moved on to Vol. 2a.  So many times I run into Pieper's teachings and want to run to my blog to highlight the clearest Christian teaching in the 20th Century.  Here is another.  On page 22 of the German and English editions, Pieper hammers home what makes the Lutheran Church Lutheran: UNIVERSAL Grace.  This is why it is the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  And so why is the German edition even greater than the English edition in some respects?  It is because Pieper and the Lutheran Confessions emphasize their words (bolding or underlining or italics) over and over with emphasis that is missing in the English edition of Christian Dogmatics.
      What follows is my translation of Pieper's teaching with its corresponding footnote # 61 (previously quoted in this blog).  All bold/underlined words are Pieper's and that of the Lutheran Confessions.  Hyperlinks are mine.
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The gratia universalis is the doctrine of the Lutheran Church. The Lutheran Confessions maintain the universality of saving grace in its full extent. They teach the threefold universalism of the love of God, the merits of Christ and the earnest effectiveness of the means of grace in all hearers of the Word. (Footnote # 61)
(Footnote 61): Formula of Concord, Solid/Thorough  Declarations, § 28 – 42 [Triglotta, pgs 1071-1077 (XI. Of God's Eternal Election)]:  “We must in every way hold firmly and sturdily to this, that, as the preaching of repentance, so also the promise of the Gospel is universalis, that is, applies to all men. [Luke 24:47]  Therefore Christ has commanded 'that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations.'  For God loved the world and gave His Son to it. [John 3:16] Christ bore the sins of the world, John 1:29, gave his flesh for the life of the world, John 6:51, His blood is 'the propitiation for the sins of the whole world,' 1 John 2:2. Christ says: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’, Matt. 11:28. God has concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy on all, Rom. 11:32. The Lord does not want that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, 2 Peter 3:9… [§ 29]  This call of God, which is made through the preaching of the Word, we should not regard as jugglery, but know that thereby God reveals His will, that in those whom He thus calls He will work through the Word, that they may be enlightened, converted, and saved.”
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The emphasis of words shown above is missing in the English edition, but I want to restore the emphasis here to highlight The Lutheran Difference of the Lutheran Church... the one that Prof. Franz Pieper emphasized his whole life.
Q: Who was the confessional Lutheran teacher for the 20th Century (also here and now)?
A: Franz Pieper

Monday, November 9, 2015

Unionism & LC-MS swan song to Synodical Conference (Pieper's Dogmatik vs. Carl S. Meyer)

      Continuing my project of presenting the full text of Franz Pieper's original German edition of his Christliche Dogmatik.... (Vol. 1a, 1b, 2b, 3a are polished; finishing Vol. 3b)
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      As I first read through the Christian Dogmatics series over 20 years ago, I recall arriving at Pieper's section on heterodox churches and the subject of Unionism.  This became critical for my restored Christian faith as I was faced with fellowship questions.  And so I made a lot of markings and notes on Dr. Pieper's teaching.  These portions can be found in the German edition: Vol. 3, pgs 488-492: Heterodox fellowships:  here:  Unionism:  here.  In the English edition, these are covered on pages 423-427.
      What were some of the major points Pieper makes? (Translations by BackToLuther)
1) Pseudo Reformers
"As severely as Luther fought Carlstadt, Zwingli and their comrades due to their deviation from God's Word, nevertheless he admits that children of God have made common cause with these pseudo reformers without knowing about the evil thing."
2) Christians also in Heterodox fellowships:
"There are more Christians than orthodox Christians in all parts.  ... So great he [Luther] fought the papacy and expressly called it a foundation of the devil, yet he did not doubt that God has also preserved under the papacy at all times a Christianity, indeed the 'paragon' of Christendom...  Whoever binds salvation to the fellowship with any visible church thereby knocks over the article of justification of a poor sinner before God alone through faith in Jesus Christ."
3) Charity and Love misused by false teachers:
"It is known to us, that because there are children of God in heterodox churches is given as the reason for the basis that it is right, indeed demanded by love, to have fellowship with heterodox churches.  Scripture teaches the exact opposite, namely "avoid them!" The unionist argument is of course unreasonable. ... For to invoke love, is an abuse of the word. The love for God and for the brethren calls for exactly the opposite. He who loves Christ, loves the Word of Christ, and Christ's words heard most of all?... the word of avoidance of all those who teach something other than the Word of Christ. And to this practice also belongs, before all things, that to love the brethren means that we do not join with them in error and sin, but that we try to get them free from error and sin."
4) Unionism - a topic much covered in the past.  And what does Pieper say?:
"The disobedience to the divine command which forbids Christians to fellowship with false teachers and false doctrine is called in ecclesiastical parlance 'Unionism', 'Religionsmengerei' [mixing of religions to achieve a stabilization or an association], 'syncretism', etc.  Unionism is actually the cause of divisions and the rise of heterodox churches in Christendom. ... because the unity of the Christian church is a unity of faith and confession, so Unionism is a caricature of, indeed a mockery of,  Christian unity."
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And how do I add an exclamation point to the fact that the LC-MS broke fellowship with it's brethren in the Synodical Conference?  Along with the volumes of historical evidence (see my Timeline), I want to add the last major essay presented to the Synodical Conference before it completely collapsed, an essay presented to its 1956 Convention (44th).  Who gave that essay?  The "great" church historian of the LC-MS, Dr. Carl S. Meyer.  (See my listing of essays here, scroll down to last essay.)  Carl Meyer gave a 58-page impassioned essay outlining a myriad of events, people, and works of the Synodical Conference, pleading with the WELS and ELS to not break away even in the face of all the doctrinal aberrations.  Meyer called on Luther, Jan Hus, Walther, Pieper, Hermann Sasse, Werner Elert, ... to name a few.  But what was Meyer's great plea to the brethren ... what did all his efforts boil down to?  It was this (pg 15):
"This unity is a unity in love..." - Dr. Carl S. Meyer
But Franz Pieper quotes 1 Cor. 1:10 and says (pg 491, English ed. pg 426):
"Here is called for a uniformity in speech (λέγειν) or in the confession of the Christian doctrine." - Dr. Franz Pieper
      So I want to publish below what I call the "last gasp" or the final plea or "swan song" by the LC-MS to the hemorrhaging Synodical Conference in 1956 -- the 58 page essay presented by Dr. Carl S. Meyer.
OCR'd by BackToLutherPage headings retained. Highlighting is mine.  PDF scan of essay available here.

Carl Meyer would not have been oblivious to all the unionistic actions among the teachers in his own fellowship.  He may have appeared to support the teaching of "objective justification" in his essay, yet, these actions belie what so worried Franz Pieper and caused him to give his Last Words to his "dear Missouri Synod" and warn against a "mixed theology".
      And so it is that I put forth this blog to show the LC-MS where the truth is, where it has left the path of pure teaching or "orthodoxy" so that it might once again speak the truth in love.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Reformation Day, 2015 (498th Anniversary); LC-MS, brown paper bags & Halloween

I grew up in a devout LC-MS family.  And how did we celebrate Reformation Day?  My mother took brown paper grocery bags and cut out holes for our eyes, nose and mouth and we went "trick or treat"ing in the evening.  I don't blame my mother for instilling Halloween instead of the Luther's Reformation in our young minds... I blame today's LC-MS.

So how can true Lutherans recognize that the struggle of the Church of the Reformation is no different than in Luther's day?  Leaders of the Roman Catholic church remind us of this regularly.  Here is another reminder among my other reminders (herehere and here).  As the reports of the "Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification" (JDDJ) spread, I recall reading (probably in Christian News), a news item that I had copied and taped to several places in my home office:
Asked by a reporter whether there was anything in the official statement contrary to the Council of Trent (The Roman Catholic Church's 16th-century response to the Reformation),  Cardinal Cassidy said,
'Absolutely not,
otherwise how could we do it?  We cannot do something contrary to an ecumenical council.  There's nothing there that the Council of Trent condemns.'
      The LC-MS is attempting to put itself at the head of the celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation to be held 2 years from now, but I think their teachers should all take brown paper grocery bags, cut out holes for their eyes, nose and mouth and parade through the streets of St. Louis... for the LC-MS is no longer the "Synodical Conference", no longer the old (German) Missouri Synod, no longer a church of the Reformation as it was.

But for true Lutherans, they should purchase and read the true account of the Council of Trent, the one by the chief author of the Formula of Concord, Martin Chemnitz: Examination of the Council of Trent.  Here you will read what His Eminence, Edward Cassidy, ACPresident Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity declared to be just as official today as it was when it was held in the Reformation century.  And so I taped a copy of the above news item to the spine of my copy of this book.

Yes, I think brown paper bags over the heads of the LC-MS teachers would be appropriate for their celebration of the Reformation, just as I did 50+ years ago today.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pieper's disgust: Reformed against Means of Grace (Revival & silent meetings - Negros & Quakers)

      Continuing my project of presenting the full text of Franz Pieper's original German edition of his Christliche Dogmatik.... (Vol. 1a & 1b text is polished; working on Vol. 3a text)
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      While polishing the text of Volume 3a, I ran across Pieper's comment regarding "revival meetings" of blacks (Negros) and whites and how they were ridiculed...  Pieper expressed his "hard saying", a "concession", his disgust, and a strong defense against the Reformed error in our modern world and its own idea of "God" and how to reach Him... and I decided to present my translation of this entire section because it certainly speaks to our modern world... here and now:  This is an extract from pages 188-190 here (English ed. pgs 159-160).

(Translation by BackToLuther. Underlining by the author. Highlighting is mine:)

If one wants to call our judgement a “hard saying” that the Reformed doctrine of the direct effect of the Spirit reduces personal Christianity to human subjectivism and amounts to self-deception, then we feel compelled to first make a concession.  We confess that from the natural-human point of view, all efforts to gain the grace of God, the Holy Spirit, and personal communion with God, except and beside the means of grace arranged by God, instill a certain respect, if these efforts give the impression of natural religious seriousness.  One can truly not fail to have a natural respect for monks who strive, as Luther did, in the ways of monasticism with complete earnestness for inner communion with God. One brings the same natural respect automatically to serious Quakers even in their extreme, the "silent meetings”.  Also we are not won over to only scoff at the revival meetings of the Negroes, when they seek to attract "the Holy Spirit" with wild cries and repulsive gestures.  The ridicule poured out by the unbelieving journalists over the revival meetings of Negroes and whites, fills us with disgust.
But all natural respect for these humanly serious efforts towards the Spirit and fellowship with God must not tarnish our Scriptural judgment, that each communion with God and each personal fellowship with God other than and in addition to the means of grace rests on self-deception.  From Scripture it is clear that the Holy Spirit is not involved in a direct action to faith. The Holy Spirit does not depend on the Fidei Ratio of Zwingli, where this gives the reminder of him that He (the Holy Spirit) needed no vehiculum.  The Holy Spirit stays with his vehiculum because He has declared through his tool, the Apostle Paul, that He will be received through the preaching of faith.  The Holy Spirit does not depend on [Reformed, Calvinists] Shedd, Hodge and Böhl who instruct Him that efficacious grace does not take place by the means of grace, but directly.  The Holy Spirit also is quite resistant to the "silent meetings" of the Quakers, because He wants to be effective not by silence, but by the preaching of the Gospel.  But He is immediately there when the Quakers, in contradiction with their own principle, diligently read the Bible, ie the outer word.  The Holy Spirit gives nothing over the often very noisy meetings of the revival preacher. He does not come through shouting and noise.  He is also nothing to drums and flags.  But he is immediately there even if in these meetings Christ, who was crucified for the payment of the sins of the world and faith in Him as the way to salvation, is proclaimed.  In short, the Holy Spirit uses His vehiculum. If one shoves aside this vehiculum, not the Holy Spirit is there, but a product of another spirit and one’s own spirit is evoked, which one mistakenly believes to be a product of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit Himself. Luther's judgment on the efforts of all those who accept an immediate action of the Holy Spirit is Scriptural: "You must, they say, have the Spirit; but the way that I can have the Spirit, they will not let me. Now how can I come across to the Spirit and believe if one does not preach the Word of God and give the sacraments to me? I must have the means; because faith comes from hearing, hearing but by the spoken Word, Rom. 10:17." (St. L. III: 1693-1694, paragr. # 83; not in American Edition )
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The enemies of the old (German) Missouri Synod will at times attempt to paint it as unfriendly to blacks (or Negros in Pieper's day).  But we see by this quote from Franz Pieper that he was rather sad to see so many deceived by the erroneous Reformed doctrine of the immediate working of the Holy Spirit... as we see so much of in today's "black churches".  And what was Pieper's "disgust" aimed at?... it was against the unbelieving journalists who ridiculed their "revival meetings", and against the effects of the false Reformed doctrine... not against the "Negros" themselves.  But Pieper hardly confines his comments to blacks as he also highlights the other extreme in the Quakers and their "silent meetings" intended to have the same effect as the "revival meetings".
      But what strikes me perhaps the most is that even the Quakers and revivalists can finally have the Holy Spirit when Christ crucified for the sins of the world is preached and read (as President Obama once mentioned)...  the Holy Spirit does not turn His back when the true Means of Grace, God's Word, is brought to bear in contradiction to the principles of these Reformed followers.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Great Disconnect – Psychology/Sanctification/Love cutoff ("Broken cisterns", Dogmatik, vol. 3)

      Continuing my project of presenting the full text of Franz Pieper's original German edition of his Christliche Dogmatik.... (Vol. 1a & 1b text is polished; working on Vol. 3a)
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"...without me ye can do nothing" John 15:5
      In my faith journey over 20 years ago, I broke free from secular counseling by professional Psychiatrists and Psychologists, also so-called counselors of various types.  I "graduated" to a "Biblical Counseling" program.  This was sponsored by one of the Reformed sects and was based largely on Jay Adams' "Nouthetic counseling".  Jay Adams is a committed Calvinist and I recall somewhere in his books that although he claims to have "strictly biblical approaches" to counseling, yet he taught Calvin's doctrine that God elected some to damnation – a thoroughly unbiblical doctrine.
      So the subject of "psychology", particularly as it is used to counsel people with personal problems, is close to me – I spent some years in it, was prescribed some drugs.  So when Franz Pieper uses the word "psychological" in his theology, I sit up and listen closely.  In the first few pages of Volume 3, at the section headed "The Relationship Between Justification and Sanctification in the Narrow Sense", (German here, English ed. pgs 7-13) I hit paydirt!  Franz Pieper spoke about a "psychological connection" („psychologisch vermittelt").  What "psychological connection"?  Between

Justification and Sanctification!

Now Pieper admits that the world knows something.  He says:
There is even an analogy available for us in the field of natural life.  Proven love begets reciprocal love.
This is what our natural knowledge knows, what Psychology is based on – reciprocal love. That we are supposed to love someone so that we may be loved... such as our spouse (e.g. "marriage counseling") or someone we are having problems with.  But what worldly Psychology does NOT know is the message of the Bible... only when I knew that God the Father actually loved me in Christ did the scales come off my eyes and I could see a "Father's heart".  Only then (upon hearing the Gospel) could I have the power – by faith! – to be sanctified and produce truly good works!  And here is where "Christianity" (in name only) and Christianity part ways.  Here is where "counseling" from the world is no counsel at all, no matter how good it may seem to our worldly way of thinking.  And here is where Franz Pieper stood, to defend against those false teachers who would have us make "The Great Disconnect".  This "Disconnect" then puts worldly counsel, e.g. "Psychology", in place of Sanctification or "Love" that is brought about by faith in the only Saviour of the world.  This is what was meant by the saying of the Reformation: Sola Fide!  The world's counseling says: "LOVE!", the Bible says: "God so loved the world...", only now can you love, now you can love!"

      Now Pieper brings in why we can take this connection to our grave – Bible passages to remember on our death bed:

  • John 3:16 – For God so loved the world,...
  • 1 John 4:10 – Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us...
  • Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
      I will leave it to the reader to follow Pieper's whole section starting here (English ed. pgs 10 ff.).  It is Franz Pieper who restores the field of "Psychology" to its rightful place, and shows that the world's "Psychology" is only "Broken cisterns":
Jeremiah 2:13 – For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
And so it is that
...without me ye can do nothing. – John 15:5

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Evil angels, spiritual possession (Dogmatik by F. Pieper)

      Continuing my project of presenting the full text of Franz Pieper's original German edition of his Christliche Dogmatik...
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     While working towards polishing the end of the text of Volume 1b, I ran across one of the most sobering sections of teaching that Pieper ever brings to us.  In the Dogmatik Volume 1b, it is located on pages 614-615 (English ed. pgs 508-511).  It has stuck with me ever since I studied the English version of his Christian Dogmatics 20 years ago... and I will never forget it.
     There are two Latin phrases used in this section.  Below I give the translation from Prof. David Scaer's Glossary (Amazon):
A quote from Pieper on the first term has remained with me for 20 years:
"It is Scriptural to designate the status of all those who do not believe that only Christ's blood cleanes us from all sin, as obsessio spiritualis."
I knew that the world is filled with "those who do not believe"... but it was hard for me to now look at them and realize they were possessed by and in league with... Satan.
      The subject of demonical or bodily possession was covered also in this section and Pieper draws on Walther's Americanisch-Lutherische Pastoraltheologie for content and counsel.  And so Concordia Publishing House's upcoming new translation of Walther's book will provide truly Christian counsel on this subject.
      I will leave it to the reader to finish Pieper's writing on this subject... where he speaks of the French Revolution, Communists, Socialists, World Wars, statesmen, newspaper editors, and "science" that frantically assails the Christian Church and God's Word.  Some, like David Scaer, like to say that Pieper is out of date.  But Franz Pieper (The Twentieth Century Luther) speaks especially for our time, ...  here and now.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Why Trinity & Christology are important…

      Continuing my project of presenting the full text of Franz Pieper's original German edition of his Christliche Dogmatik...
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      As I am working towards finishing the polishing of the text of Volume 1b, I reached the end of Pieper's defense of the doctrine of the Trinity.  He concluded this on page 570, or page 463 in the English edition.  And his concluding paragraph struck me as it clearly and succinctly put into words why the Doctrine of the Trinity and its corresponding "Christology" are important:
The triune God  is a gracious God, as demonstrated in detail. With the denial of the Holy Trinity, Christ is not the eternal Son of God, the eternal Son of God did not become man in the fullness of time, there is no vicarious satisfaction, no justification through faith by which we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, but we remain under the obligation and curse of God's law.
Prof. David Scaer attempted to displace the real reason why the true doctrine of the Trinity and Christology are important by saying "All Theology Is Christology".  But Scaer's teaching clearly displaces the reason why these are important, even though Scaer attempts to deny this.  And I will add to Pieper's strong statement by saying that
All teaching of the Trinity and Christology without the right Doctrine of Justification is... nothing.
So much for Scaer's teaching.  But Franz Pieper's section on the Trinity (pages 445-570 or pages 371-463 in the English edition) did nothing but renew and strengthen my Christian faith, and my mind goes back to the hundreds of times the Apostles Creed was recited in the worship services of my youth.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Not physical, medicinal but judicial, FORENSIC (Pieper's Dogmatik)

      Continuing my project of presenting the full text of Franz Pieper's original German edition of his Christliche Dogmatik...
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      In Volume 2b, Pieper discusses the dividing line between Christianity and "Christianity"... the act of Justification.  You can go to this position in Pieper's German edition in Google Chrome, turn on Google Translate, and read about it (pages 630-640).  It is also in the English edition from pages 524-531.
     In this section you will read about the great debate involving Luther, Andreas Osiander, Martin Chemnitz... about Romanists, Unitarians, Mennonites & Quakers, Armenians, synergists, "Catholicizing" Lutherans, modern theology... about Article III of the Formula of Concord... about the validity of general confession and general absolution. [Note: I have hyperlinked all references to the Formula of Concord to their place at the website]

Do you want to know whether you are a Christian or not?  Then read this section from Pieper and you will realize that you are not to look inside, but rather outside... extra nos, objectively, to God's "ungodly" act (Rom. 4:5), to His forensic, judicial act of Justification.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Luther's Uncertainty Monster: “honoring” Halloween

      Continuing my project of presenting the full text of Franz Pieper's original German edition of his Christliche Dogmatik (volume 2b is now mostly polished), I ran across Pieper's discussion on Luther's phrase monstrum incertitudinis, or the "monster of uncertainty".  This can be found in Volume 2b, at this location. This can also be found in the English edition, page 445.
      Pastor Martin Noland, a well known figure in today's LC-MS, disputes Pieper's writing and turns to a Jewish philosopher to find his ultimate "certainty".  But here is Pieper's teaching based solely on Holy Scripture – the following is my own translation from Pieper's German (emphasis in original):
In the Preliminary Survey it has already been shown that faith of its object, namely, the grace of God, is certain, and indeed is divinely certain, because the grace of God is the object of faith and the seizing of this object is a divine effect in the human heart. The monstrum incertitudinis [monster of uncertainty] can only teach that faith should take its object, i.e. the Gospel, and set in its place the Gospel and Law or the whole of Scripture, or that faith is not a divine action, but a human self-determination, human self-decision, moral act, proper human behavior, etc.  In fact, doubts can be found next to faith which remain in the hearts of Christians.  But this doubt arises from the flesh that still clings to Christians, and is not to be praised with the Papists and synergists as a virtue, but rather as a sin to punish and to fight, 1 John 5:10. "He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son." (footnote reference: Chemnitz, Loci, De iustif., p. 270 f.)
We see in this that Pieper also draws on the writing of another Martin, Martin Chemnitz.  So Pastor Noland is not only refuting Franz Pieper but also Martin Chemnitz, the chief author of the Formula of Concord.
      My translation varies only in minor ways from the English edition, but is perhaps more forceful... as Pieper is at his best in presenting the truly Lutheran teaching of the Certainty of Salvation.  And the source of our certainty?... it is outside of us, it is "objective"... it is based entirely on God's certain promise that He had written down so that we might believe... and be certain.  Do you like to be called a liar?......  neither does God.
      This is how I console myself during the worldly "celebration"of Halloween... for I know who the real monster is, ... the real monster is far more deadly than any dreamed up monster of this world.  And 1 John 5:10 is the perfect Bible verse to recite to oneself to destroy this monster!  No amount of assurance that Pastor Noland dreams about can fight the true monster of uncertainty, rather God's Word is our sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17).

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Walther's complaint — over "Lutheran Orthodoxy" (from Pieper's Dogmatik

      As I continued my project with Pieper's Christliche Dogmatik and neared the final pages of Volume 2, it struck me how close Pieper was to C.F.W. Walther's core teachings.  On page 652 (English ed. p. 540), Pieper discusses what I would call "Walther's complaint" against some later Lutheran dogmaticians who "clouded" the doctrine of justification by setting the object of faith to be Christ's merit, but not the remission of sins or justification.   Pieper had access to Walther's personal copy of his Baier-Walther Compendium and published Walther's personal notes which complained of some (but not all) of these later Lutheran teachers:
"The means of grace – the promise – is missing in the whole presentation" 
What is particularly surprising is that Pieper (and likely Walther) even included the great John Gerhard among those complained against. (See note # 1526 or note 71 in English ed.) I have commented previously about the weaknesses of John Gerhard, but this point concerning believing God's "forgiveness of sins", i.e. Justification, struck Walther particularly hard as The American Luther revitalized the Lutheran Church for our modern times.  This subject reminds me of the often repeated Apostles' Creed passage that I spoke in my youth: "I believe... in the forgiveness of sins."
      Walther wrote an essay in "Lehre und Wehre" in 1876 entitled "Is Absolution to be Pronounced Categorically or Hypothetically?".  In this essay Walther expressed his concern (i.e. his complaint) against several Lutheran dogmaticians and I am making the German language text available in a Google Doc for easy translation within the Chrome browser ... here.  Pieper referred to this essay more than once in his Dogmatik.  Walther had to go past the age of "Lutheran Orthodoxy" to fully "gather the luminous rays of the Gospel"... he had to go
Back To Luther!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pernicious (and fatal) — erring in Justification (Pieper’s Dogmatik / Dogmatics)

      As I continue my project of presenting the full text of Franz Pieper's original German edition of his Christliche Dogmatik, I ran across the section concerning the Doctrine of Justification in volume 2, specifically about erring in this doctrine.  As I viewed the Google Translate version, the text kept jumping off the page... I compared this with the English edition text.  And I had to stop and present another blog post for Pieper to present his heart, the heart of Martin Luther, and the heart of all Christianity... in a nutshell.
      The section is entitled Die Schädlichkeit des Irrens in der Lehre von der Rechtfertigung.  You may click here to go to the exact location in the German edition.  Again it's best to use Google Chrome with Google Translate.   The subject is The Doctrine of Justification.
==>> But more to the point, what is the effect of erring on this doctrine?  <<==
  1. In the German heading (here), it is called "Schadlichkeit" or perniciousness.  
  2. In English edition (v. 2, p. 518) it is translated "Disastrous Results"
  1. In the German body text, it says that one who trusts in his own works for salvation is ausgeschlossen or excluded from the membership in the Christian church.
  2. In the English edition (again p. 518) it says "But error with regard to justification is in every case fatal". 
In other words, if you err in this doctrine, you are not a weak Christian, rather you are not a Christian, no matter what other circumstances remain with you.

      The other point to be made is that Pieper calls this erring a "perniciousness".   And I think this word adds the notion of subtleness about this error... one does not even realize what is happening when they fall away from the Christian faith... it comes on them like a thief in the night.
      If time permits, I may add another post where Pieper quotes Martin Luther on this point...

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pieper’s Dogmatik 1: Cross Ref English <-> German; How many religions in the world? ONLY 2! (p. 9)

     This is a continuation from the previous post publishing a hyperlinked Table of Contents that cross references the English edition to corresponding sections of the original German edition.
      I will never forget from the time I started reading Pieper 20 years ago how he simplifies all theology into only 2 religions in the world: (1) the religion of the Law, i.e. works, and (2) the religion of the Gospel, i.e. the Christian religion -- click on the highlighted section # 3 below, and translate it.  How those who err in theology hate this simplification!  But this is exactly what our Saviour meant when he said:
John 14:6 – I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Hmmm... that sounds like a good theme for a book titled Mere Christianity, a book which is  "often described as the most important defense of Christianity in the twentieth century" (search this phrase on Amazon review here).  But did C.S. Lewis, who is often credited for explaining Christianity, simplify it this way?...   no, I don't think so.  Could it be that C.S. Lewis's Christianity isn't quite as simple as Franz Pieper's Christianity?
     Here now is a directory for the cross references for all 3 of Pieper's volumes:
Volume 1  —  Volume 2a   —   Volume 2b  —  Volume 3
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Christliche Dogmatik, Volume 1
by Dr. Franz Pieper
The Nature and Character of Theology
(De Natura et Constitutione Theologiae.)
1. Our Position, p. 3  —  1. Die Verständigung über den Standpunkt, S. 1.
2. Religion in General, p. 7  —  2. Über Religion im allgemeinen, S. 6.
3. The Number of Religions in the World, p. 9  —  3. Die Zahl der Religionen in der Welt, S. 8.
4. The Sources of the Two Existing Religions, p. 19
5. The Cause of the Divisions Within Visible Christendom, p. 21
6. Christianity the Absolute Religion, p. 34  —  6. Das Christentum als absolute Religion, S. 36.
7. Christian Religion and Christian Theology, p. 40
8. Christian Theology, p. 41  —  8. Die christliche Theologie, S. 44.
11. Divisions of the Christian Doctrine, p. 76
A. Law and Gospel, p. 76  —  Gesetz und Evangelium, S. 84.
B. Fundamental and Non-Fundamental Doctrines, p. 80 — Fundamentale und nichtfundamentale Lehren, S. 89.
Primary and Secondary Fundamental Doctrines, p. 85  —  Primäre und sekundäre Fundamentallehren, S. 95
Non-Fundamental Doctrines, p. 91  —  Nichtfundamentale Lehren, S. 102.
C. Open Questions and Theological Problems, p. 93  —  Offene Fragen und theologische Probleme, S. 104.
12. The Church and Its Dogmas, p. 96  —  12. Die Kirche und die kirchlichen Dogmen, S. 168.
13. The Purpose of Christian Theology for Man, p. 103
14. The Means by Which Theology Accomplishes Its Purpose, p. 105
15. Theology and Science, p. 106  —  15. Theologie und Wissenschaft, S. 119.
16. Theology and Certainty, p. 110  —  16. Theologie und Gewißheit, S. 123.
17. Theology and Doctrinal Development, p. 129  —  17. Theologie und Lehrfortbildung, S. 147.
18. Theology and Doctrinal Liberty, p. 134  —  18. Theologie und Lehrfreiheit, S. 154.
19. Theology and System, p. 138  —  19. Theologie und System, S. 158.
20. Theology and Method, p. 149  —  20. Theologie und Methode, S. 172.
21. The Attainment of Theological Aptitude, p. 186  —  21. Die Erlangung der theologischen Tüchtigkeit, S. 228.
Holy Scripture
Die Heilige Schrift. (De Scriptura Sacra.)
1. Holy Scripture the Only Source and Norm of Christian Doctrine for the Church Today, p. 193
2. Holy Scripture Identical with the Word of God, p. 213
3. The Verbal Inspiration of Holy Scripture, p. 217
4. The Relation of the Holy Ghost to the Holy Writers, p. 228
5. Objections to the Doctrine of Inspiration, p. 232
6. On the History of the Doctrine of Inspiration, p. 265
7. Luther and the Inspiration of Holy Scripture, p. 276
8. A Brief Critique of Modem Theology in So Far as It Denies the Inspiration of Scripture, p. 298
9. The Consequences of the Denial of the Inspiration of Holy Scripture, p. 303
10. The Properties of Holy Scripture, p. 307  —  10. Die Eigenschaften der Heiligen Schrift, S. 371
1. Authority, p. 307  —  die göttliche Autorität, S. 371
2. Efficacy, p. 315  —  die göttliche Kraft, S. 381
3. Perfection, or Sufficiency, p. 317  —  die Vollkommenheit, S. 383
4. Perspicuity, p. 319  —  die Deutlichkeit, S. 386).
11. The Witness of History for Scripture, p. 330  —  11. Die geschichtliche Bezeugung der Schrift, S. 398
12. The Integrity of the Biblical Text, p. 338  —  12. Die Integrität des biblischen Textes, S. 408.
13. The Original Text of Holy Scripture and the Translations, p. 343
14. The Use of Scripture in Deciding Doctrinal Controversies, p. 349
15. The Authority of Scripture and the Confessions, p. 354
16. Holy Scripture and Exegesis, p. 359
The Doctrine of God
Die Lehre von Gott. (De Deo.)
1. The Natural Knowledge of God, p. 371  — 1. Die natürliche Gotteserkenntnis, S. 445.
2. The Christian Knowledge of God, p. 376  —  2. Die christliche Gotteserkenntnis, S. 451.
3. The Trinitarian Controversies, p. 381  —  3. Der Kampf der Kirche um die christliche Gotteserkenntnis, S. 457
[A. The Christian Church and Unitarianism, p. 382]  —  Der Kampf gegen die Leugner der drei Personen, S. 459.
[B. The Christian Church and Tritheism and Subordinationism, p. 384]
4. Objections to the Unity of the Godhead, p. 387
5. The Doctrine of the Trinity in the Old Testament, p. 393
6. The Trinity and Human Reason, p. 398
7. Ecclesiastical Terminology and the Christian Knowledge of God, p. 406
8. God’s Essence and Attributes, p. 427
A. The Relation of the Divine Essence to the Divine Attributes and of the Attributes to One Another, p. 428
B. Classifications of the Divine Attributes 4, p. 434
(1. Unity, p. 437 - die Einheit, S. 536; 2. Simplicity, p. 439 - Einfachheit, S. 538;  3. Immutability, p. 440 - Unveränderlichkeit, S. 540;  4. Infinity, p. 441 - Unendlichkeit, S. 542; Omnipresence, p. 442 - Allgegenwart, S. 543; Eternity, p. 445 - Ewigkeit, S. 547)
(Life, p. 447 -  Leben, S. 549;  Knowledge, p. 447 - Wissen, S. 549;  Wisdom, p. 452 - Weisheit, S. 556;  Attributes of the Divine Will, p. 453 - Verstand und Wille in Gott, S. 557;  Holiness, p. 456 - die Heiligkeit Gottes, S. 561;  Justice, p. 457 - die Gerechtigkeit, S. 561;  Truthfulness, p. 458 - die Wahrhaftigkeit, S. 563;  Power, p. 459 - die Macht, S. 564;  Goodness, p. 460 - Gottes Güte, Barmherzigkeit, Liebe, Gnade, Sanftmut, S. 565)
The Creation of the World and of Man
1. The Record of Creation, p. 467  —  1. Die Erkenntnisquelle der Lehre von der Schöpfung, S. 570
2. The Definition of Creation, p. 467  —   2. Wesen und Begriff der Schöpfung, S. 571
3. The Hexaemeron, p. 468  —  3. Der Zeitraum der Schöpfung, S. 572
4. The Order Observed in Creation, p. 469  —  4. Die Ordnung im Schöpfungswerk, S. 572
5. The Work of the Six Days, p. 470  —  5. Das Schöpfungswerk im einzelnen nach den Tagen, S. 574
(Dichotomy and Trichotomy, p. 476).  —  Dichotomie und Trichotomie, S. 581
(The Unity of the Human Race, p. 477). — Die Einheit des Menschengeschlechts, S. 582
(Special Questions Regarding the Biblical Account of Creation, p. 478).  —  Einzelnes zum biblischen Schöpfungsbericht, S. 583
(The Ultimate Purpose of the World, p. 479).  —  Der Endzweck der Welt, S. 585
(Closing Remarks, p. 479)  —  Schlußbemerkungen, S. 586
Divine Providence, or the Preservation and Government of the World
(De Providentia Dei.)
1. Definition of Divine Providence, p. 483  —  1. Der Begriff der göttlichen Vorsehung und Einwände dagegen, S. 587.
2. The Relation of Divine Providence to the Causae Secundae, p. 487  —  2. Das Verhältnis der göttlichen Vorsehung zu den causae secundae, S. 592.
3. Divine Providence and Sin, p. .489  —  3. Die göttliche Providenz und die Sünde, S. 595.
4. Does God Permit Men to Sin?, p. 490  —  4. Die göttliche Zulassung der Sünde, S. 596.
5. Divine Providence and Free Will, p. 491  —  5. Die göttliche Providenz und die menschliche Freiheit, S. 597.
Die Engel. (De Angelis.)
1. The Existence of Angels and the Time of Their Creation, p. 498  —  1. Die Existenz der Engel und die Zeit ihrer Erschaffung, S. 603.
2. The Name "Angel”, p. 499  —  2. Der Name der Engel, S. 603.
3. The Nature and the Properties of the Angels, p. 500  —  3. Beschaffenheit und Fähigkeiten der Engel, S. 604.
4. Number and Ranks of the Angels, p. 504  —  4. Zahl der Engel und Unterschiede unter denselben, S. 609.
5. Good and Evil Angels, p. 504  —  5. Gute und böse Engel, S. 610.
6. The Good Angels and Their Activity, p. 506  —  6. Die guten Engel und ihre Verrichtungen, S. 611.
7. The Evil Angels, Their Activities, and Their Eternal Punishment, p. 508  —  7. Die bösen Engel, ihre Verrichtungen und ihre ewige Strafe, S. 613.
The Doctrine of Man
Die Lehre vom Menschen. (Anthropologia.)
A. Man Before the Fall, p. 515  —  A. Der Mensch vor dem Fall (De statu hominis ante lapsum.)
1. Man Created in the Image of God, p. 515  —  1. Die Erschaffung nach dem göttlichen Ebenbilde, S. 617.
2. What Constituted the Image of God, p. 516  —  2. Der Inhalt des göttlichen Ebenbildes, S. 618.
3. Image of God in the Wider and in the Proper Sense, p. 518  —  3. Ebenbild Gottes im weiteren und eigentlichen Sinne, S. 621.
4. The Relation of the Divine Image to the Nature of Man, p. 520  —  4. Das Verhältnis des göttlichen Ebenbildes zur menschlichen Natur, S. 622.
5. Immediate Consequences of the Possession of the Divine Image, p. 521  —  5. Unmittelbare Folgen des göttlichen Ebenbildes im Menschen, S. 624.
6. The Purpose of the Divine Image, p. 523  —  6. Der Endzweck des göttlichen Ebenbildes, S. 625.
7. Woman and the Divine Image, p. 523  —  7. Das Weib und das göttliche Ebenbild, S. 626.
B. Man After the Fall, p. 526  —  B. Der Mensch nach dem Fall (De statu peccati).
a. On Sin in General, p. 528  —  Die Sünde im allgemeinen (De peccato in genere)
1. Definition of Sin, p. 528  —  1. Der Begriff der Sünde, S. 631.
2. The Divine Law and Sin, p. 529  —  2. Gesetz und Sünde, S. 633.
3. How the Divine Law is Made Known to Man, p. 531  —  3. Die Erkenntnis des göttlichen Gesetzes, das alle Menschen verbindet, S. 635.
4. The Cause of Sin, p. 533  —  4. Die Ursache der Sünde, S. 638.
5. The Consequences of Sin, p. 535  —  5. Die Folgen der Sünde, S. 641.
b. Original Sin, p. 538  —  Die Erbsünde (De peccato originali)
1. Definition of Original Sin, p. 538  —  1. Der Begriff der Erbsünde, S. 645.
2. The Effect of Hereditary Corruption on the Mind and Will of Man, p. 543  —  2. Die Wirkung des Erbverderbens auf den Verstand und Willen des Menschen, S. 652.
3. The Negative and the Positive Side of Original Corruption, p. 547  —  3. Die negative und positive Seite des Erbverderbens, S. 656.
4. The Subject of Hereditary Corruption, p. 550  —  4. Das Subjekt des Erbverderbens, S. 659.
5. The Effects of Original Corruption, p. 551  —  5. Die Folgen des erbsündlichen Verderbens, S. 661.
c. Actual Sin, p. .557  —  Die Tatsünden, S. 669
1. Definition of Actual Sin, p. 557  —  1. Name und Begriff der Tatsünden, S. 669.
2. The Causes of Actual Sin, p. 559  —  2. Die Ursachen der Tatsünden
3. The Scripture Doctrine of Offense, p. 561  —  3. Die Schriftlehre vom Ärgernis, S. 672.
4. The Scripture Doctrine of Temptation, p. 563  —  4. Die Schriftlehre von der Versuchung, S. 674.
5. Classification of Actual Sins, p. 564  —  5. Einteilungen und Benennungen der Tatsünden, S. 675
(The Relation of Peccati Actualia to the Conscience, p. 565)  —  b. die peccata actualia im Verhältnis zum Gewissen, S. 677 ;
(Sins Against God, Against the Neighbor, and Against Oneself, p. 566)  —   c. Einteilung der Sünden nach dem Objekt, S. 678 :
(Grievous and Less Grievous Sins, p. 567)   —  d. Einteilung der Sünden nach dem Grad, S. 678 ;
(Moral Sins and Venial Sins, p. 568)   —  e. peccata mortalia et venalia, S. 680 ;
(Dominant and Non-Dominant Sins, p. 569)  —   f. herrschende und nichtherrschende Sünde, S. 681 ;
(Partaking of Other Men’s Sins, 569)  —   g. die Teilnahme an fremden Sünden, S. 681 ;
(Sins Crying to Heaven, p. 570)  —   h. himmelschreiende Sünden peccata clamantia), S. 682 ;

(The Sin Against the Holy Ghost, p. 571]   —  i. die Sünde wider den Heiligen Geist, S. 683).
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      Just a reminder for those less familiar: Pieper's Dogmatics have been one of the standard textbooks for "Missouri Synod" seminarians ever since they were published – in German originally, then in English when translated.  So today's LC-MS pastors are familiar with these textbooks and either they follow them,... or more likely, they don't... and even scoff at them... like they do the Brief Statement.
      For anyone using these cross reference listings, they should be aware that I consider them an improvement on the original Contents listings for both the English and German editions.  I plan to use these listings for future references and have created a new label for them: "Christian Dogmatics".