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Friday, February 15, 2013

Berthold von Schenk – confusion, Part 7

This continues from Part 6 (10 part series, Table of Contents on Part 1) presenting quotes from the autobiography Lively Stones of Pastor Berthold von Schenk. In Part 7 of this series, I continue from page 102 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 102:  I love the old bitch Missouri and owe her much. I don't think I would have gained the insights I did had I not experienced the rigid education I received in Missouri, my mother church
"Owe her much" – for what?  He says it was the "rigid education".  But could it be that he wanted to appear to the world to be religious since old Missouri appeared religious to the world?  Could it be he used the Missouri Synod label as a pretense?  ...  could it be that von Schenk represented not the old (German) Missouri Synod but today's new (English) LC-MS?
Pg 103:  I think Fuerbringer was a liberal.
Prof. Ludwig Fuerbringer succeeded Franz Pieper as Concordia Seminary president, during the time that a "living knowledge of the doctrine of Justification" was slipping away.
Pg 103:  Think of the current tragic situation in the Missouri Synod.  A new president [J.A.O. Preus] is elected, and all he could produce was a translation of Martin Chemnitz.  While Rome is burning, the president trans­lates Chemnitz- a museum theologian!
Von Schenk calls the "Second Martin" a "museum theologian".  Martin Chemnitz is one of the greatest Lutheran theologians behind Martin Luther.  But von Schenk's scathing remarks are to be expected as he also impunes Luther, Walther and Pieper, so Chemnitz is in good company!  I will worship in their "museum", the Lutheran Church!
Pg 104: I know his name [J.A.O. Preus] in the future will be uttered only in contempt.
Of course, because today's LC-MS is confused on the true teaching of Universal, Objective Justification!
Pg 104:  The best thing which has ever happened to the St. Louis seminary happened because of the attacks of [J.A.O.] Preus. The situation has changed and the seminary now has some outstanding liturgical scholars.
Thank you, von Schenk, for telling all the world that today's LC-MS has changed... changed away from the old pure teaching of Justification to all kinds peripheral issues – indifferent things (adiaphoron), such as "Liturgy Renewal".
Pg 105:  Doubts and heresies are not sinful -these are a part of development,
Stark, raving madness!  I almost choked as I read this.  Martin Luther fought the hardest against the monster of uncertainty!
Pg 107:  I was shocked at the theology which Walther gave us when he made the claim that the Missouri Synod, holding fast to the Word and the peculiar Waltherian definition of dogmas, was the true visible Church
Walther did not say the "Missouri Synod" was the true Church but rather the "Evangelical Lutheran Church" was the visible ChurcThe Bible teaches the Church proper, or the invisible Church, is made up of all who believe that their sins are forgiven for the sake of the vicarious satisfaction worked by Christ... what Walther taught.  Read Walther's Church and Ministry.
Pg 107:  ... the signs and marks of a synod or con­gregation are the proclamation of the Gospel
What Gospel?  What is the Gospel, von Schenk?
Pg 108, footnote 178 by editors Fry & Kurz:  He was quite pointed in his rebuke of the Missouri Synod's position: "A group which insists on purity of doctrine, without an equal insistence on life and experi­ence, and establishes an isolationist policy, separating itself from others, finds its precursor in the school of the Pharisees at the time of Christ" (ThePresence, p. 157).
This is to be expected from the one who curses the doctrines surrounding the divine inspiration of Holy Scripture (see Pg 90).  Insanity!
Pg 109:  The American Committee was in touch with the Unitarian Church, which had been appointed by President Truman as the relief agency to work among Protestants in Germany.
The Unitarian "Church" is outside the pale of Christianity.  Yes, "Give 'em hell, Harry!" ... and the same for Pastor von Schenk?
Pg 117 - 118:  ...the question directed to me was: "What is the Church?". ...  Dr. Walther would have answered, "It is the Missouri Synod, because they preach and teach pure doctrine."
This is an outright falsehood!  Walther taught the Church was made up of all who believed the Gospel!
Pg 119:  I lectured at a number of Roman Catholic universities in the United States, but never at any Lutheran college or seminary  -that's what lies and gossip can do to a man!
Von Schenk would be practically mobbed by today's Lutheranism to speak to them!  And in fact the editors pointed out  in footnote 216 that von Schenk was forgetting that O.P.Kretzmann had him for 5 weeks at Valparaiso University.  Did von Schenk not think Valpo was Lutheran?... a slip of the tongue?
Pg 123:  To this day I love to preach revival ("Come to Jesus") sermons.  ...
Surely you don't mean "accept Jesus" or "choose Jesus" or "make a decision for Christ" as Armenianism (Methodism, etc.) means? ... since you call yourself a Lutheran, don't you mean to say to believe Him as as your Saviour from your sins?  Since you call yourself a Lutheran preacher, don't you preach that we are dead in our sins and therefore can't "come to Jesus" except by believing?
Pg 123:  Cheap grace cannot move the sinner who is seeking what he needs.
That's right... grace is free... didn't you know that von Schenk?  It's what Walther, Pieper, and Luther taught you in their "museum theology".  "Cheap grace" is also a term used by Bonhoeffer.
Pg 124:  ... the official worship of a congregation without the celebration of the Sacrament is likewise also a blasphemy.
I'm thankful that I attended many "blasphemous" worship services where Holy Communion was not celebrated.  Too bad it was so "blasphemous" to just hear the Word of Grace, the Word of the Gospel message. But surely von Schenk does not mean to teach the ex epere operato effectiveness of the sacrament, does he??  He must have overlooked warning against this deadly error...
Pg 124:   The Holy Spirit only functions through the means of grace.
Franz Pieper: "All praise of Christ, of grace, and of the means of grace, without the right doctrine of justification, is nothing."  Von Schenk's statement is true but his confusion on the Doctrine of Justification carried over to his confusion on the means of grace.
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More in the next Part 8.

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