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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Letters to a Fort Wayne LC-MS professor - Eugene F. Klug (Part 3)

In Part 2, I started my cautions to Dr. Klug who was perhaps the closest man in the LC-MS to the true heart of the old (German) Missouri Synod.  This last letter is a bit more harsh towards him than my third letter in Part 2 since he showed some tendencies towards the practices of the modern LC-MS.  But I believe he is with the believers in the Lord now as he passed away since this letter was written.  Here is my final letter to him:

Dr. E. F. Klug
6600 N. Clinton St
FortWayne, IN  46825-4996

Now I must address to you a matter that is evident to all.  It is there for all to see- the other name on the cover of the books Sermons of Martin Luther - The House Postils- 3 volumes is “Baker”.  Any Lutheran taught in the former members of the Synodical Conference would most likely know that Baker is unfamiliar to Lutherans as a Lutheran book publisher (Concordia, Northwestern, Lutheran Synod Book Co., Bethany Lutheran College).  I know that Grand Rapids is home to largely Reformed Church activities.  Perhaps you could tell me their background.  Another publisher in this category would be Eerdmans.

Do the leaders of these publishers believe as you do - world/universal justification  (i.e. that the resurrection of Christ was the actual absolution of the entire sinner world)?  Do they believe this is the very heart of the Gospel, the true message of Easter? alone which opens the Holy Scriptures? alone which distinguishes Law from Gospel? alone without which there is no true comfort or peace?

Have they said to you: “You are right, Dr. Klug, not only did Christ’s work on the cross pay for the debt of all mankind, but the Father actually absolved all sinners, even Judas and all those sweating in hell, and that the proclamation of the Gospel is nothing other than to announce an already existing pardon.  We were wrong in either limiting justification to only the elect or “persevering believers”,  or to those who have “made a decision for Christ” in our synergism.  You are right, Dr. Klug, we have wrongfully limited the grace of God by saying that the pronouncing of the forgiveness of sins (absolution) cannot actually be a powerful imparting of the same, not just bare repetition of man.  We have cut off the power of the Word of God by saying your assurance must come from your own feelings, that the “Spirit” must do that and thereby cutting off the only source of assurance available to man, God’s gracious means of grace in His Word and the Sacraments.  Yes. Dr. Klug, the doctrine of universal justification is correct and we want to start publishing this truth to all the world by publishing your books of translations of the sermons of Martin Luther.  We want to stop publishing books that call into question any of this truth.  In fact, could you lend us a copy of your Lutheran Confessions and see for ourselves these things?  Also, we will publish in our preface to your books that we hold to these doctrines and explain to all Lutheran readers that their Lutheran small catechism was a wonderful way to understand this truth.”

Perhaps you think I am being facetious about these things.  No, it is a “matter of life and death” - Franz Pieper, Synodical Conference, 1912.

You remain in a synod that tolerates doubt on this doctrine.  How so?  By the discounting of this doctrine in dealings with other church bodies- unionism.  What would Luther say?  “Monstrous!” - monstrom incertitudinis.

Signed, Xxx Xxx
I can tell you that life for Dr. Klug was not easy.  How can I be certain of this?  Because he saw his beloved Missouri Synod deteriorate from the certainty of Holy Scripture to the uncertainty of human reason.  And it almost dragged him down with it...

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