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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Justification – Darby Situation (Part 6a – Rolf Preus)

In the previous Part 5, I finished presenting my correspondence and notes directed at Larry Darby, a layman who attacked the Doctrine of Universal, Objective Justification (UOJ) in a very deceiving and elaborate way.    (See Part 1 for Table of Contents)  Dear God! how could my faith withstand such an attack that seemingly turned Walther, Pieper, and Luther into devils who would cause me to doubt my faith.  It truly was a miracle from God Himself, that through the working of the Holy Ghost through the divine Word, He would not let me go into despair, but rather I could hold onto His promise for dear life!  His Word sustained me.  (Actually this dramatic scenario is true for all Christians.)

Because God strengthened me in faith, a faith that knew He was gracious, and that indeed the Gospel was Good News, I turned my attention to other participants in the "Darby Situation" who seemed to defend the chief article of Christianity.  Perhaps the foremost public defender of this doctrine today is Pastor Rolf Preus.  He was a regular contributor to Herman Otten's Christian News weekly newspaper and had written an essay in 1997 strongly defending Objective Justification and refuting attacks against it.  At that time I was corresponding with Pastor/Professor Sheldon Twenge of the LCR about this doctrine and fellowship matters ... so much that I decided to write to Pastor Rolf Preus and use a quote of that correspondence as the basis for my letter to him.  I am splitting this long letter into 2 parts – Part 6a and Part 6b:
Rev. Rolf Preus
XXXX X Xxxx Xx
Racine, WI  XXXXX
Rev. Preus:
I just finished reading the printed copy of your essay on Objective Justification in the Christian News.  Your essay is quite amazing to me.  Who else teaches openly this doctrine today in today’s LC-MS?  Perhaps you could tell me.
Here is a clipping of a letter I sent to Pastor/Professor Twenge of the LCR, January, 1996:
********************* beginning of excerpt *****************
In answer to your question, I did receive from Larry Darby his essay on "Historical Development of Objective Justification".  I typed out several pages of an index and cross-reference to this but I haven't finished it yet.  If you have read it, you may have noted his claim that his doctrine was that of Pieper and Walther.  Rather, Larry Darby’s  paper was a direct attack on my Christian Faith!  A few weeks ago, I read Walter A. Maier Jr.’s paper on Justification by Faith and thought it was Larry Darby who was the author.  It was striking how similar the 2 documents were!  If either of these men are right, I'm GOING TO HELL!  I have written several pages, but wondered more about Walther - did he teach Objective Justification?  It seemed he did - I thought so.  Then I found a translation in December 1955 by J. T. Mueller of Pieper's "Walther as Theologian".  This translation was only the portion on Walther's doctrine of Justification.  LO AND BEHOLD!  This was the confirmed it in NO uncertain terms!  Objective/Universal/General  Justification/Reconciliation/Redemption was the heart of Walther’s teaching.
You mentioned McLaughlin translated all of Pieper's series on "Walther as Theologian".  I am interested in this and would gladly pay for it.  If not all of it is available, I was soon planning on entering it into computer for machine-translation.  ...  Perhaps others have better translations than I do.  At this point, that does not matter so much to me.  I am not so interested in a perfect, or even good translation. I would say that the translation work that I am doing is not primarily to a) learn German or b) show who can find the most untranslated material or c) see who's the fastest or best in translation work or d) who has the fastest computer.  No, it is because if Jesus didn't die for the sins of the whole world and ALL of the sins of the sinner-world, then I am going to hell.
What I am interested in is what Larry Darby claimed about Walther (and Pieper).  You see, Walther is known as "Mr. Law and Gospel".  Every Missouri Lutheran likes to say that Law and Gospel must be preached (thereby calling on Walther's name).  I am saying to all so-called Missouri followers to switch to calling C.F.W. Walther as "Mr. Universal Justification" after Martin Luther.  THIS was the doctrine that was the light for the proper DISTINCTION between Law and Gospel. He could not have expounded so eloquently on this distinction had his major teaching of Universal/General Justification not been in the foreground.  This doctrine is clearly taught in this book.
As for P.E. Kretzman, his action was right in leaving the Missouri Synod, but I still can't find that it was for the right reason.  Yes, he upheld the biblical engagement/marriage doctrine.  But that isn't the heart of  Christianity.  Larry Darby calls on PEK in his essay to support his "Historical Development".  I largely passed over this section because I could see there wasn't a strong defense of what Engelder was fighting for: Objective Justification.  Here was THE battle.  At least Engelder wasn't fighting with a RUBBER sword.
Where was THE sword (Objective/General/Universal Justification) used and who used it?
1) C.F.W. Walther - again uncovered it like Luther (this time in America)
2) Franz Pieper - who carried that sword until the day he died
3) George Stoeckhardt - Oh! the slander this name has endured for the sweet teaching of Allgemeine Rechtfertigung (General/Universal Justification)!  I have bought every book I could find by this beautiful teacher of the Missouri Synod!  This man was cited so favorably by Franz Pieper in his Christian Dogmatics because he knew by Stoeckhardt's writings his love for the truth!  Where did the comment originate that Stoeckhardt was faulty in his "exegesis"??  Show me where this man was faulty in his doctrine!!  I love exegesis because it is what George Stoeckhardt did!  Here was an expert on the Bible - God's precious Holy Word!  Oh, read his "Christ in the O.T. Prophecies".  This man saw Christ everywhere in the Bible!  He was a beautiful student of  C. F. W. Walther!
4) Adolph Hoenecke - Wisconsin Synod leader; and J. Schaller’s Biblical Christology page 107.
5) G. A. M. (who was he??)  - Lutheran Witness, Vol. 8, No. 20, March 21, 1890: A beautiful defense against the error of Ohio Synod denying Universal Justification (essentially denying truth  of 1872 Synodical Conference Report [SCR] which they earlier accepted).
6) Frederick Bente - beautiful defense in "Lehre und Wehre" 1905 of General Justification against the error of Ohio Synod.
3) Theodore Engelder - he defended it like Pieper.  Edward Fendt did not reveal who was the man who left the room when prayer was offered among LC-MS and ALC committee men.  I wonder if it was Engelder.
4) S. C. Ylvisaker of the ELS  (Grace for Grace pgs 161-165)
5) C. M. Gullerud - of the ELS, Confessional Lutheran publication Vol. 41, page 28; and eventually CoLC.
6) J. Buenger - Confessional Lutheran articles clearly defending Objective Justification and pointing out the clear position of ALC and others against it.
7) George Schweikert in Confessional Lutheran - beautiful defense of Objective Justification
8) Theo. Dierks - in  CTM, Confessional Lutheran and books written.
9) Wallace McLaughlin - We All Believe in One True God (surely a glory to the True God!)
10) Siegbert Becker - his paper on Universal Justification came from the light of Old Missouri - Walther.
10) Kurt Marquart - CNE page 1106 - 1108 (universal will of grace) and Translator's Notes to his translation of 1872 Synodical Conference Report (in spite of his suggestion of Schmidt's authorship).  If only he had used Triglotta instead of Tappert!  On page 2 of his translation, he substitutes Tappert’s Apology Article IV which leaves out the following in Triglotta page 121 “Of Justification”:  [which is of especial service for the clear, correct understanding of the entire Holy Scriptures, and alone shows the way to the unspeakable treasure and right knowledge of Christ, and alone opens the door to the entire Bible].  Oh! those beautiful words of the Confessions.
11) Kenneth K. Miller - paper “The Justification of the Whole World” - 1982.
12) Ken Schurb (now assistant to A. L. Barry) in his paper “Does Lutheran Confessions Emphasis on Subjective Justification Mitigate Objective Justification?” [download here] - although he presents it as a question (certainly reflecting today’s LC-MS), he nevertheless strongly states that Objective Justification is the heart of the Confessions.
13) Sheldon Twenge in personal communication and in preaching and teaching
14) Jeffery Kinery - LCR document: The Lutheran Churches of the Reformation (A Synopsis); though not an exposition of Objective Justification, it does lift it up as central doctrine.
I have often wondered: How was it that so much light was coming from the ELS (little Norwegian)?  Why this tiny body?  Why even more so than the Wisconsin Synod?  Now I know.  It was Franz Pieper!  His book Zur Einigung (For Agreement) was one of the most masterful publications pleading with the Norwegians that it was not Lutheran to teach intuiti fide.  The result?  Oh, a beautiful response on the part of the faithful leaders who started the ELS.  Yes! to Walther's old teaching: objective justification;  yes! salvation is NOT in view of faith!  Here was a group that was the loudest at warning the Missouri Synod of its unionism.  They did not seriously warn Missouri until Franz Pieper had died.  Then the unionistic tendency had almost free reign.  Theodore Engelder was not taken seriously (although he was highly praised for his labors,  essentially flattery).  Then the warnings were in order - there was no Pieper as head of the seminary to bring God's Word to bear.  Oh, read the ELS history of their communications with the Missouri Synod during the storm of unionism.  Here is true church history!  They spoke the truth - the Synodical Conference was a true visible church
Even today, the ELS is the most "conservative" of the former 3 Synodical Conference members.  Unfortunately, it seems they have forgotten their own warning of "the footsteps terrify".  Today the ELS honors who?  Franz Pieper?  I haven't seen it.  Who? Dr. Hermann Sasse.  In the September 25, 1995 issue of Christian News it was reported "Hermann Sasse and the Path of Confessional Lutheranism in the mid-20th Century" was the topic for the 28th Annual Reformation Lectures of Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, Minnesota.
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. ...  

(see this previous post for the balance of my correspondence with Professor Twenge that clearly shows Walther as the true teacher of Objective Justification)
****************** end of letter excerpt to Pastor Twenge ******************
 My next post Part 6b continues this letter to Pastor Rolf Preus with my comments directed to him.

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