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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pieper & Luther: No public ministry now? (Paul McCain) (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series, I quoted Franz Pieper and Martin Luther about a possible time when the Public Ministry of external Christendom preached only from unbelief, false doctrine or as Luther put it, "epicurean outrage".  Pieper and Luther stated that the pure Gospel would only then be taught and held by the fathers of the household.  Indeed, heads of the household have the final responsibility given by God to see to a true Christian education for their children.

I then proposed that that time has arrived. The pure preaching and teaching of Christian doctrine, doctrine that has it's basis in Universal, Objective Justification (UOJ), is largely gone from external Christendom.
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To bring this up-to-date, there is a current affair emanating from the Wisconsin Synod (WELS) that again brings to the fore the doctrine of Objective Justification.  According to some reports, a pastor has been suspended from the WELS and other reports indicate it was because of false teaching against "Objective Justification".  As stated before, whenever this topic comes up, I immediately sit up in my chair and investigate.  Why?  Because of my hope that there will be true supporters and defenders of it, not only detractors. And because it is the true Gospel.

And what do I see?  Paul T. McCain is defending against false teaching against Objective Justification.  Hmmm, let us see about this. Rev. McCain is the Publisher of Concordia Publishing House (CPH) of today's (English) LC-MS.

Yes, it was Paul T. McCain who commented on my lack of attending a church and rebuked me when he said:
If you are not attending the Divine Service of Word and Sacrament, all these blog posts are useless to you, and for you.  Repent and return to Christ.
McCain's rebuke loses it's bite when seen in the light of what Luther and Pieper said in my blog post Part 1.  McCain implies his LC-MS does not preach "epicurean outrage", especially himself who rebukes a pastor in a forum for teaching against Objective Justification.  Although I am glad to see this of McCain, yet his synod is a fellowship where not all the pastors are preaching this pure Gospel, that is Universal Justification and Objective Justification (UOJ).  And his rebuke of me indicates he is also weak on this doctrine, for he places the Public Ministry above this doctrine, the doctrine that I believe, the Gospel... the Gospel message that brought me back to the Church, the Church of believers.

And now I see reported that the WELS has evidently suspended this pastor that was teaching false doctrine, teaching contrary to UOJ.  One wonders how this came about... did McCain inform the WELS about this false teacher or were they aware of it themselves?

My response to Paul T. McCain is this: 

1)   If the LC-MS is so orthodox in it's teaching on Justification, then why has the LC-MS not rebuked Herman Otten on this same basis? ... for Herman Otten is definitely weak on this doctrine for he does NOT preach it... yes, he may even hold to the same error as this false teaching pastor in the WELS.  Otten confirmed it again when his advice for the WELS on this matter was to "Cool it". (Christian News, Oct. 15, 2012, pg 6, col 3).  Cool it?  Otten is telling the WELS to "cool it" on the Gospel!  To be sure, the LC-MS has rebuked Otten many times and for many reasons... but not for the main reason – his great weakness on the Doctrine of Justification.  Not even President J.A.O. Preus II rebuked Otten for this reason as he should have, since he was a defender of Universal, Objective Justification (UOJ).  Nor did your leader, conservative President A.L. Barry, rebuke Otten for this reason.  Again, what reason?  The teaching and preaching of the pure Gospel – UOJ! (Steve Stranghoener, a layman, did rebuke Otten.)
  •   *** Update Nov. 6, 2012: My statement on President J.A.O. Preus II may need retraction as I reviewed this article in Christian News, March 3, 1997, top of column 4.)
2)   If the LC-MS is so orthodox in it's teaching on Justification, then why does CPH value so highly the endorsements of heterodox teachers such as these in it's Endorsements for the New Series of Luther's Works
  • Mark U. Edwards, Jr. – Academic Dean, Harvard Divinity School (Unitarian?)
  • Carter Lindberg – Professor of Church History Emeritus, Boston University School of Theology (United Methodist)
  • James Estes – Professor Emeritus of History, Victoria College, University of Toronto (United Church of Canada – Methodist, Congregational, Presbyterian)
  • Amy Nelson Burnett – Professor of History, University of Nebraska—Lincoln (who knows what denomination?)
  • Scott H. Hendrix – Professor Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary (Presbyterian)
  • Jane E. Strohl – Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA (Jane?)
  • David M. Whitford – Professor of the History of Christianity, United Theological Seminary, Trotwood, Ohio; Associate Editor, Sixteenth Century Journal (United Methodist)
  • Paul R. Hinlicky – Tise Professor of Lutheran Studies, Roanoke College (ELCA)
  • Susan R. Boettcher – Department of History, University of Texas at Austin (state school, non-denominational)
  • Kirsi Stjerna – Associate Professor of Reformation Church History, and Director for Institute of Luther Studies, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA (ELCA)
  • Mickey Mattox – Associate Professor, Theology Department, Marquette University (Jesuit, Roman Catholic)
  • Robert J. Christman – Assistant Professor of History, Luther College, Decorah, IA (ELCA)
  • Knut Alfsvåg – Associate professor of systematic theology, School of Mission and Theology, Stavanger, Norway (non-denominational, originally Lutheran)
  • Cornelis P. Venema – President and Professor of Doctrinal Studies, Mid-America Reformed Seminary, Dyer, Indiana
  • Randall C. Zachman – Professor of Reformation Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana (Roman Catholic – papist)
  • Joel R. Beeke – President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Jeannine E. Olson – Professor of History, Rhode Island College (state school); Visiting Professor, Boston University (United Methodist)
... or these endorsers of some of your "current peer review titles" that CPH  lists on page 15 of it's "Professional and Academic Resources 2012-2013 Catalog":
  • David F. Aune, Walter Professor of New Testament & Christian Origins, Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame (Roman Catholic)
  • Stephen Burnett, Associate Professor of Classics and Religious Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (state school, Jewish sympathy writings along with Amy Nelson Burnett)
  • Robert B. Chisholm Jr., Dallas Theological Seminary ("Evangelical"?; "Bible conference movement")
  • Kirk Freudenburg, Department of Classics, Yale University (Congregationalist beginnings, non-denominational?)
  • Michael S. Heiser, Academic Editor, Logos Bible Software (Reformed?; non-Lutheran)
  • Dennis H. Magary, Chairman, Department of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Evangelical Free Church of America -  free from Lutheran roots?)
  • Eugene H. Merrill, Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary; Distinguished Professor of O.T. Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Nicholas Perrin, Franklin S. Dyrness Chair of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College Graduate School (Reformed?, Methodist?, Presbyterian?, "Evangelicalism?")
  • Andrie du Toit, Emeritus, Professor of New Testament, University of Pretoria; Former President, Societas Novi Testamenti Studiorum (non-denominational - Anglican?)
Rev. McCain, what do these endorsers (scholars!) say about the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification - a justification that is Objective (apart from our works or our faith), a justification that is Universal – for everyone?  If these endorsers do not teach and preach Universal, Objective Justification, then why are they so important to you and your LC-MS?  I tell you, Rev. McCain, that all these endorsers preach or teach an "epicurean outrage" in theological matters.

3)   If the LC-MS is so orthodox in it's teaching on Justification, and only some "lovable" knuckleheads are causing such general unbelief and confusion, then why do most Lutheran forum pastors (let alone laymen) either not get the message of the Gospel, or indeed fight against it?  Even the forum moderator is weak since he had the offending sermon posted on the web.  Does he preach the Doctrine of Universal, Objective Justification (i.e. the Gospel) himself?

I could go on questioning the orthodoxy of McCain's LC-MS and CPH, but could it be, Rev. McCain, that you have picked up enough of the "lingo" of UOJ from those members of the Preus family who actually preach and teach this doctrine, that you want to make your precious LC-MS appear like them, as they seem to have the power of the Spirit?  I pray that you are not like Simon, the sorcerer of Acts 9:18-19, but are indeed seeing the true Gospel.

But Rev. McCain, if all your LC-MS pastors are not preaching this doctrine, if all your professors and teachers are not teaching this doctrine, then how is it that they can preach and/or teach the Gospel?

OK then,
Paul T. McCain – The Great Defender of Objective Justification!
May it be so!  But I will give you a terrible warning Rev. McCain, from the Mouth of Truth:
Matt. 7:22-23 – Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
In the next Part 3a, I will comment on the Wisconsin Synod , the WELS, in this situation (and more on today's LC-MS).

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