As I read the quotes of Prof. Grau, I could not help but see similarities to writings and comments made by a professor of today's Concordia Seminary, Jeffrey Kloha, currently the provost. Anyone who thinks Kloha's position on Holy Scripture is harmless (such as Daniel Preus and Pres. Matthew Harrison), should read and digest... George Stöckhardt.
I do not know if the publication which this came from is available anymore from Concordia Theological Seminary Bookstore (I bought it ~ 15-20 years ago), but one could call them to find out. There are 3 other essays included in the full booklet. I will extract some quotes following this presentation which is only 14 pages long. The full document may be viewed here.
Stoeckhardt defends against Grau's attacks on the Bible's teachings that touch on not only creation, but also "cosmological, astronomical, chronological concepts". Grau specifically states:
"The purpose of the Bible is not to give directions and set goals or to apply curbs, to decree on the basis of Joshua 10:13 that the earth and the sun should stand still." – Prof. GrauBy directly attacking Joshua 10:13, Grau also implies Copernicanism. His attack takes several forms, such as this:
"I am also acquainted with a faith, ... legalistic ..., a faith which is of the opinion that all is lost if one page is torn out of Holy Scripture."So for Grau, it is "legalistic" to hold to the inspiration of the whole Bible, to hold that "Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35). Stoeckhardt masterfully responds saying
...whoever frees himself from the restraints of the Word and criticizes and censures Scripture, his disposition and frankness are nothing but carnal arrogance, his zeal and piety basically nothing else but godlessness and enmity against God; his Christ is a creature of his own thoughts or a specter of the Devil.Later Stoeckhardt makes the all important point of Scripture's demand on our faith:
And if now some of these things [on creation] can be demonstrated from nature and history, they are and remain, insofar as they are content of Holy Scripture, object of faith. For everything that God says in His Word is presented for us to believe. Modern theologians have reached the point that they see in the simple faith of a Christian, who accepts in his heart everything that is written as the dear Word of God, nothing but sensual enchantment, as once the Pharisees exhibited.Stoeckhardt is one of the lost and forgotten great teachers of the old (German) Missouri Synod by today's LCMS. Although Concordia Publishing still sells one of his books, yet Stoeckhardt wrote many wonderful books, books of exegetical studies of the books of the Bible, and also dogmatic works. Books such as:
- Christ in Old Testament Prophecy – CPH could bring that back to compete with popular author David Limbaugh's The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament.
- Exegetical Lectures on the Revelation of Saint John, – Revelation commands a lot of attention and needs a true Lutheran exegete among the crowd of Reformed (and other) commentators.
Stöckhardt was highly revered among his students. So why are his many books not competing with the multitude of Reformed commentaries on the Bible? Could it be that the LCMS essentially buried him in their fall away from orthodoxy, their slipping away on the doctrine of Inspiration?