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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Theologian vs. layman - no contest! (fellowship - Ro. 16:17) Part 6

In the previous post Part 5, Pieper continued to expand on the subject of "scientific" theology in his powerful article, Foreword to the 1888 Lehre und Wehre, journal of the old (German) Missouri Synod. (See Table of Contents with all downloads in Part 1).  Pieper was angry, angry over German theologian Albrecht Ritschl, who presumed to be master over a simple layman saying this layman (von Klencke) had "bottomless presumption" to judge him by calling out against his false doctrine.

In this Part 6, I conclude this series on Pieper's L.u.W. article with my comments.

What caught my eye in Pieper's article was the use of the Scripture passage Romans 16:17-18 on page 2. This passage played a major role in bringing to light the travesty that broke up the Synodical Conference.  This is the passage that Valparaiso University President O.P. Kretzmann laughed at.  How was this passage used by Pieper?  By his quote of Martin Luther's treatise
That A Christian Assembly Or Congregation Has The Right And Power To Judge All Teaching And To Call, Appoint, And Dismiss Teachers, Established And Proven By Scripture.
It was this quote from Martin Luther: (see also Part 2 of this series):
All the warnings St. Paul makes in Romans 16:17-18; 1 Corinthians 10:15; Galations 3, 4, and 5; Colossians 2:8 and everywhere, and all the sayings of the prophets in which they teach us to avoid human teaching, do nothing but take the right and power to judge all doctrine away from the teachers and with a stern decree impose it on the listeners instead, on pain of losing their soul. [St. Louis Edition, vol. 10, col. 1542]
What does Romans 16:17 say?  This:
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Pieper makes this same point at the end of his essay (see Part 5):
Whoever does not want the fruit, should avoid the tree and the root
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
So to any who would come to me, BackToLuther, and say "Who are you to judge these things?"... you're no theologian, you're no scholar, you're no church official, you're no teacher in the church... 
Who are you, BackToLuther, to be so high and mighty in judging these things?
To them, I say I am nothing...  but my faith is everything... my faith can judge all things and all those above who are supposed to be teaching, preaching and admonishing me in the faith.  I stand with the dear layman "von Klencke" who in faith cried out as a layman against the great German theologian Albrecht Ritschl.

What faith?  It is this:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
God says:
For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.  Romans 3:3-4
God says that even if every man on earth held to the untruth, let alone the scientific theologians, let alone the Public Ministry, let alone every teacher of the Church... but "let God be true"...  to His Word.  His Word that says:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  Romans 3:23-24

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