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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Berthold von Schenk – confusion, Part 5

This continues from Part 4 (10 part series, Table of Contents on Part 1) presenting quotes from the autobiography Lively Stones of Pastor Berthold von Schenk. In Part 5 of this series, I continue from page 89 onward.

In this series, I use the following notations:
  • highlight the questionable portions in yellow
  • the portions with some merit in green
  • and my comments in red text
-------   Quotes from Lively Stones by Berthold von Schenk, comments by BackToLuther   -------
 Pg 89:  I never doubted the dogma of the authority of Scripture, but
But what? ... see next entry.  Hmmm, are you telling the truth here Pastor von Schenk?
Pg 89:  ... but this dead concept and absolutism has no life or mystery in it. The Mis­souri Synod theology of inspiration has been tragic. To accept the St. Louis definition of the Bible robs me of the Bible, its mysticism, its possibilities, and great uses.
"dead concept", "absolutism", "tragic" theology of inspiration, St. Louis robbed von Schenk of the Bible, "mysticism"....  But von Schenk, your notion of a "dead concept" is the Christian's only source of assurance, his only hope in this life... and you call it "tragic"?  The sacraments which you supposedly champion lose all their comfort when you take away their basis from the divinely inspired Scriptures.
Pg 90:  I love Scripture, but...
I don't want to deny the infallibility of the Bible, although ...
Yet I will not argue about it or deal with them (dogmas on Scripture's infallibility) negatively.
I am not even interested in the ...  Biblical higher criticism
But what?  Although what?  Yet what?  What's the matter von Schenk... something bothering you as you "hate Bibliolatry and Biblicism", the "theology of inspiration"?  Could it be that you could not rid yourself completely of  all the pure teaching from Prof. Franz Pieper and other faithful St. Louis professors?
Pg 90:  "... I hate Bibliolatry and Biblicism. ...  I wince at the statement I was taught: "The Holy Spirit inspired the holy writers of the Bible what to write and how to write." All these articles or dogmas are more or less obnoxious to me. ... the very worthy work of Biblical higher criticism
How von Schenk spues out his hatred of "Biblicism" and prefers "mysticism".  Did he get a little red-faced as he wrote these words?  I am leaving out other quotes of von Schenk on this page and page 93 as I can hardly stand his tirades against God and His Word. 
Pg 90:  But I can't accept the traditional teaching of biblical inspiration which I learned as a child; I can't accept it because it does not satisfy me- it is not enough for me.
... just as Pastor Martin Noland isn't satisfied with the testimony of the Holy Spirit.
Pg 90:  I think the literalists have done even more harm to the Bible than the higher critics, but still, I curse both of their houses.
Berthold von Schenk here goes a step I wish he had not taken... cursing those who take the Bible literally, in the sense of divine inspiration.  He is "cursing" me... for the basis of my Christian faith.  So I suppose it is to be expected that Pastor Paul McCain tells me to "return to Christ", even though I believe the Bible when it says that God is reconciled to the whole world, that the whole world is justified in Christ even before faith.
Read these words and weep, you students of theology under Prof. David Scaer and others who commend Berthold von Schenk!  I have left out other quotes of von Schenk on this page as I can hardly stand his tirades.
Pg 91:  ... and yet I believe that "holy men" spoke by the inspiration of God.
I'm not sure I believe you, Pastor von Schenk, after what you just said on Page 90.
Pg 91:  Luther had a healthy view of the Bible. He believed in the Bible because he be­lieved in Jesus Christ; he did not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ be­cause he believed in the Bible.
Von Schenk attempts to destroy the only basis for a Christian's faith, the divinely inspired Scriptures... and in his madness, he tries to force Martin Luther into his mold!
Pg 91:  Mythos [myth]  is not always an expression of doubt; it can also be a way to faith. We need to rediscover the myth.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary offers several definitions of the word "myth".  But in popular usage, it is largely used in a perjorative sense –"an unfounded or false notion".   Think "mythbusters".  Do you believe "an unfounded or false notion"?  Or do you believe the truth?
2 Thessalonians 2:11 – And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.

Pg 91 - 92:  There was a time when I was extremely troubled about Genesis 1; I just could not take the six day creation miracle. The more my orthodox professors insisted that I accept this myth the more opposed I became to the six twenty-four hour creation days. Today I consider Genesis 1 the greatest chapter ever writ­ten in all of literature. One does not handle what one thinks is a myth by a denial of truth.
More on von Schenk's "mythologizing" of the Bible.  He does exactly the same thing as Prof. James Barr, a scholar who also claimed to be a friend of the Bible by saying we should believe the Bible because it is "literal", not because it is true.
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We are descending now deeper into the abyss of von Schenk's theology.  But we are not at the bottom yet!  Remember, this is a highly regarded pastor in today's LC-MS.  The next post is Part 6.

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