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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pieper & Walther... on uniqueness of Luther (Part 8)

In the last post of this series (continued from Part 7) on Pieper's article in CTM volume 1, page 84 is the subject of the uniqueness of Luther:
Walther says the following about the unique importance of the writings of Luther in comparison to all other theological writings in his Pastorale (page 13): “Luther's works are an almost inexhaustible goldmine for all branches of theology; they are so rich a treasury that they probably alone substitute for a great library, but can be substituted with no collection of books, no matter how large it is.”  It has become gradually also with us a custom that gifts are given for young pastors with their ordination and public introduction.  Under suitable gifts are also to be named Luther's writings.  From our own publishing company [Concordia Publishing House] is a comprehensive issue in 23 volumes, “D. Martin Luthers Sämtliche Schriften” [St. Louis Edition] which is to be recommended as the best one for general use.
How different this sounds from the LC-MS condemnation of Luther:
...we deplore and disassociate ourselves from Luther's negative statements about the Jewish people,
This LC-MS statement only leaves a bad taste for Luther and so one wonders that Luther's "goldmine" of writings are tainted.  But the LC-MS is wrong... and Walther (and Pieper) are the ones to listen to.  Luther's writings are indeed above all other theological writings.

Here is a Table of Contents for this series on Luther's writings:
Part 1 – The Reformer of the Church, selected by God, foretold in Scripture
Part 2 – Germany's theologians ignore Luther
Part 3 – Luther's Polemical Writings
Part 4 – Luther's Repetitiveness
Part 5 – Misuse of Luther
Part 6 – Diligent Reading of Luther
Part 7 – Use of Luther for Difficult Theological Questions
Part 8 – Unique Importance compared to all others

So ends this series on The Fruitful Reading of Luther's Writings.  Walther and Pieper are as fresh today as when these were written 140 years ago and 82 years ago.  Go back... back to the old (German) Missouri Synod and
Back To Luther!

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