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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Justification – Darby Situation (Part 7b – Drickamer)

In the previous Part7a, I gave the contents of my first letter to Dr. John M. Drickamer, a warning against slipping on the doctrine of Objective Justification.  (See Part 1 for Table of Contents)  My second (and last) letter to him was in response to his followup article (published in Christian News of January 5, 1998) responding to my personal letter to him.  The gist of his article was a loud protest against my warning and that I should not create a strife over words.  This will become clear in my letter:
Dr. John M. Drickamer
XXX Xxxxxxxx Xx
Dr. Drickhamer:
Wonderful words to read:
“The Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed and the Third Article of The Augsburg Confession are not in doubt.”
“Biblical doctrine is simply too clear!”
“But the main point is the meaning, not the vocables.”
Indeed, Dr. Drickhamer, the main point is the meaning.  And I did not hear in your article (CN 1/5/1998) that you misunderstood my meaning on this doctrine.  “Doctrine is heaven, life is earth.” – Martin Luther.
I must cling to this doctrine for my spiritual life, because it is heaven itself.  My prayer is that the Lord Jesus would grant His grace to me as to Thomas Cranmer who put his right hand in the flames before he burned, condemning it as the hand that wrote the damnable 7 recantations.  For I have denied my Lord more than this - thousands upon thousands of times.
Unfortunately, there was a  point that you did not respond to in your article.  Fellowship.  Could this be the source of your struggle with practical issues?  It must be so.  I will leave you with a quote of Luther on Erasmus from the book A Life of Luther” by Oskar Thulin, Fortress Press,  page 50:
“It is true that he uses refined words, like ‘the dear, holy Christ,’ ‘the saving Word’, ‘the holy sacraments’, but in reality he considers them to be very cold matters.
… Carefully and intentionally he says everything in a tone of doubt; his words are ambiguous and he can interpret them as is expedient to him.
… Erasmus of Rotterdam looks upon the Christian religion and doctrine as if they were a comedy or a tragedy, in which all the events described therein never actually happened or really took place, but were fabricated with the sole purpose of instructing the people in a good external conduct and life and preparing them for worthy obedience and discipline.” (WA,TR 2, 2420; TR 1, 699, 797; TR 2, 2170)
Why have I brought in this quote?  Substitute for the name “Erasmus of Rotterdam” the name “today’s LC-MS” and you have my word for the LC-MS, the fellowship you are in.
May the Lord Jesus grant you His grace.
[Signed] Xxx Xxx [BackToLuther]
PS: Since you saw fit to only respond to me in the publication of Herman Otten, I will no longer respond to you by personal letters.
I continued to follow articles written by Drickamer in Christian News and found the May 25, 1998 article on church fellowship to quite beautiful (see copy here). When I learned of Dr. Drickamer's death in 1999, I was greatly saddened, and yet felt certain that he clinged to His Saviour, that he stuck to his teaching that defended Objective Justification – the Gospel, that he had not forgotten what Walther taught him so well.

I have already published my letters to 2 professors in the LC-MS here and here that related to this situation.  These professors stated they believed Objective Justification, but I had to warn them about the fellowship they were in.  But now I turned my attention to another defender of UOJ, a member of Larry Darby's LC-MS congregation, Trinity Lutheran Church of Bridgeton, Missouri. In Part 8 I will review that correspondence.

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