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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Berthold von Schenk – confusion, Part 10b (Justification & Scaer)

This continues from Part 10a (10 part series, Table of Contents on Part 1) presenting final quotes from the autobiography Lively Stones of Pastor Berthold von Schenk regarding the central doctrine of Christianity, or Justification.
We have reached bottom of the abyss of von Schenk's theology, one that calls into question the basic foundation of all Christianity.  What follows are my final comments on not only Berthold von Schenk, but also Prof. David P. Scaer who appears to be an admirer of him.
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Berthold von Schenk speaks here of:
  •  being "amused to tears" by Walther's doctrine of Justification.  
  • "... a long time to define my attitude", 
  • "spiritual measles" from old Missouri's doctrines
And then von Schenk "finally found peace theologically".  The "peace" that von Schenk found is the same "peace" the LC-MS offers to the world... a confused, mysterious, doubting "peace":
Jeremiah 6:14: – They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peacepeacewhen there is no peace.
So many quotes of Luther, Walther, and Pieper come to mind that will bolster a true Lutheran against such broadside attacks on their faith by Pastor Berthold von Schenk of the new (English) LC-MS:
  • Luther: 
  • Damned is that love at the expense of doctrine.
  • Walther: 
  • Yes, there are not a few Lutherans who think that doctrine [of Justification] should be treated very lightly lest the hearers become too secure.
  • Pieper: 
  • All praise of Christ, of grace, and of the means of grace, without the right doctrine of justification, is nothing.
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Prof. David P. Scaer

Now I come full circle to why I began this study of Berthold von Schenk – it was because of the recommendation of Prof. David P. Scaer of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTS-FW).  One of Prof. Scaer's adherents claimed to me the following of him:
Scaer is... a great teacher of Universal Justification who has preserved it and is restoring it to prominence in the daily lives of seminarians.
This is the same Scaer who said in his book review of Lively Stones this:
  • This one is "a must" for Missourians... 
  • In his lifetime von Schenk was not without his detractors, and Lively Stone has stirred up others, but few can match his record, from seminary days into his retirement, of turning around  impossible situations.
  • He accomplished the impossible
  • The editors guide the readers through von Schenk's teaching on the Lord's Supper, which may not be  as fully developed as most would  like.
  • He did not get the support of  the district president because he favored communion every Sunday. (Imagine that!)
  • Stories of  other ministers are waiting to be told. Until they are, this one holds first place. Readers will be informed, annoyed, and delighted. All this makes for a good read.
Could it be, Prof. David Scaer, that you need to "Go Back", go back to the Franz Pieper who you seem to extol in some of your articles... go back to where you learned the Lutheran Doctrine of Election of Grace, go back to Walther where it isn't a "law-gospel paradigm", but The Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel.  Go Back To Luther and then...

... and then, instead of calling Berthold von Schenk a "good read" who makes readers "delighted", you will rather say "read him and weep".

... and then it will begin to "resonate" that you are indeed what one of your adherents says of you:
...a great teacher of Universal Justification
And so I end this series as I began it, where God demands that the glory be His alone, not ours:
Exodus 20:25 – And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

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This series has been almost too arduous for me and I've got to run away from the new (English) LC-MS for now.  I'm going to publish Pieper's installments of C.F.W. Walther as Theologian dealing with the doctrine of Justification – my Part 13 download on "General Justification", and Part 14 download on "Universal Justification".
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I may publish more of Berthold von Schenk (and Jaroslav Pelikan) when I read their published essays to the 1960 colloquy between "Evangelicals" and Roman Catholics before Vatican II.

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