I began this series of posts with a letter of inquiry (in 1995) to Prof. Kurt Marquart of the CTS Fort Wayne Seminary. I asked his basis for assuming that the author of the essay to the founding convention of the Synodical Conference was F.A. Schmidt. But my eyes were opened by faith and it became increasingly clear that Marquart's assumption was incorrect. And so I used the evidence I gathered in letters with others (in 1997 and 1998) whom I considered having fellowship with. Here is the portion of my letters:
... Oh how Kurt Marquart has to clear his throat when he tries to defend the doctrine of Sasse on Scripture! Oh that Kurt Marquart would turn back to the old ways and preach/teach Objective Justification not as if it were F.A. Schmidt's doctrine that can be questioned, but Christian doctrine, the doctrine preached from the heart of C.F.W. Walther! It was C.F.W. WALTHER who wrote the Thesis on Justification for the first meeting of for the Synodical Conference in 1872. It was not F.A. Schmidt as Marquart (the translator) suggests and Larry Darby follows. It was C.F.W. Walther! How do I know this? It is not stated directly in the report itself who wrote it. It is stated somewhere (I think Ohio's Kirchenzeitung) that Schmidt read the paper. Then how do I know this? How do I know it was C.F.W. Walther who wrote this paper? How can anyone know for sure? BECAUSE THIS WAS THE HEART OF C. F. W. WALTHER! THIS DOCTRINE IS THE ONE GOD TRULY BLESSED AMERICA WITH!!!Indeed, all Christianity falls when this Doctrine of Justification falls. Your salvation and mine depends on it.
- - Franz Pieper reveals unequivocally in his "Walther as Theologian" article in the section on Walther's doctrine on Justification (CTM December, 1955) that it was Walther himself who wrote SCR 1872. page 924: “This justification pertains to all individuals, or to the whole world. ‘If the question is raised whether or not it is right to say that the whole world has been absolved but not all individual persons, we must reply: Through Christ, God has reconciled with all men and with every individual person.’ (SCR, p. 32) This doctrine of the general justification of all men before they believe is not a theological construction but a Biblical doctrine.” This whole article caused a constant stream of “PRAISE GOD!” from my lips. Here was Pieper telling me: “Yes, I know it will be stated that general justification will be called a theological construction (eg Larry Darby, Walter A. Maier, Jr.). But don’t you dare ever doubt this doctrine. It doesn’t matter if the whole world is against it. If you even question it, you are lost!”
- - Walther’s -essay delivered at Addison, IL in 1859 “The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification” (translated in Vol. I of CPH Essays for the Church. One quote (so many to choose from) from page 58: “Furthermore, why is there disinclination to private absolution as if one does not believe that all are already redeemed, even those who are sweating in hell, and that all that is needed now is that you know and believe this...”
- - Walther himself admits the beauty of this doctrine for all those who "covet their souls salvation" in Der Lutheraner vol 28, page 184, September 1872. This in reference to Synodical Conference Report of 1872 on Justification.
- - George Stoeckhardt [error - this was Prof. Gunther] article in Der Lutheraner, Vol. 30, 1874, page 47: (translated:) “Whoever a composition of the most beautiful testimonies of Luther over this thing covets, we recommend that the report of professor Walther: The Lutheran Doctrine of the Justification.” - the 1859 report of Luther’s quotes on justification.”
- - Engelder’s article in CTM Vol. VII, No. 11, November 1936, page 801-815: “Walther, a Christian Theologian”. In this article at the top of page 807, Walther is identified as the author of SCR 1872.
- - Walther's sermon for Easter Day printed in Brosamen, page 138 (translated in ELS’s book “The Word of His Grace”, page 229ff.).
- - Walther’s Epistle Sermons, page 211.(page 217 in Donald Heck English translation)
- - where else did Dr. Walther proclaim this in writing? Everywhere! Walther himself states the doctrine of the Trinity and Persons of Christ are meaningless without the Doctrine of Justification. What does it matter about Church, Ministry, yes, even Scripture itself if this Doctrine of Justification falls? The Confessions clearly state that the Bible cannot be understood without it.
In the following parts, I will give some details of a controversy that developed in the mid 1990s over the the doctrine of Universal, Objective Justification.