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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Walther as Theologian–Justification (by F. Pieper) - Preface

In a previous blog post over a year ago, I published downloads to the complete English translations of Franz Pieper's great tribute series to the legacy of C.F.W. Walther after his death, C.F.W. Walther als Theolog or C.F.W. Walther as Theologian.  I am almost sorry now that I only provided download links instead of publishing at least some complete portions of this magnificent series, what I would call "The Heart of Missouri", or "The Heart of Christianity".

As I mentioned in that previous post, also Concordia Seminary provided posts of 2 installments ( – Part 1, Part 2) of this series originally translated by J.T. Mueller and published in the 1955-1956 issues of Concordia Theological Monthly.  This was done ostensibly to honor the "Bi-Centennial Celebration" of Walther's birth.  Prof. Mueller chose well among the over 20 segments of Pieper's series to translate into English – he chose the epitome, the "First Premise" of Walther's theology – the Doctrine of Justification.  But although Concordia Seminary (St. Louis) re-published these articles, it seems for them that these essays are just articles to review and pass by... and go back to their own theology that attempts to judge Luther and Walther (and Pieper).  But that wasn't actually true for 2 of the commenters on their posts.  Two commenters actually "got" the message (unlike Berthold von Schenk) and exclaimed their joy.  I want to repeat their truly Christian comments!  I will not mention their names on my blog because I and my BackToLuther blog are probably considered persona non grata by the faculties of the LC-MS (and also Paul McCain):
Commenter #1:
This is a wonderful document and I look forward to the second part. For me this is the clearest description of the doctrine of justification that I have ever read.
For awhile now I have been considering ordering Francis Pieper’s DOGMATICS, but have been hesitant due to the cost. Would you say that this essay is characteristic of his writing? If so, it sounds like the volumes would be well worth the money.
How my heart leaps at this comment!!  Does the reader see the Holy Spirit working here to create and strengthen true Christian faith, true because it is the true Gospel?
The "Editor" of the posts, Travis Scholl, responded well to the question posed by Commenter #1 by saying Pieper's Christian Dogmatics are essentially Walther's teaching.  Well done, Editor Travis Scholl.  You answered correctly.  But did you also "get" the message these other 2 commenters got?
Commenter #2:
I cannot imagine with such a Gospel why there is not a line waiting outside of our churches to be let in to here the absolution.
Dear God!  What a beautiful response to the true Gospel!!  Dear reader, if Commenter #2 is now your pastor and still has this in his heart, then consider yourself truly blessed, for you have a true confessional Lutheran as your pastor!  But dear Commenter #2, if you are a Concordia Seminary student, have you noticed the Gospel message you read about in these articles by Pieper on Walther isn't quite what they teach in your classes?  Have you maybe noticed some caveats and conditions introduced to the Gospel in your classes, e.g. faith is a condition, or that "Universal Justification" can be misunderstood?  Maybe you came away from your classes thinking "the Gospel is too good to be true"?  Maybe you came away thinking that "good works are (in some way) necessary to retain salvation"?

Editor Travis Scholl (of, what do you think?  Did the LC-MS in their "Bi-centennial Celebration" of C.F.W. Walther's birth extol this teaching of Walther like these two Commenters did?  Yes?  If so, where?  Maybe in your movie about Walther? ... Or will you admit that it was not?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Enough of this talk of today's Concordia Seminary–St. Louis (CSL).  This series is not about them, it is about the pure, unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Luther is in the Book of Revelation, Revelation 14:6-7.  Why?  Because Luther was that angel with the everlasting Gospel.  I wonder if Walther is also in the Book of Revelation...  I'll have to look sometime for he too is "another angel ... with the everlasting Gospel".

What is to follow is a different translation of the same 2 articles that J.T. Mueller made, but this time by a different translator, the great Wallace McLaughlin – a great teacher who left the LC-MS because of it's false teachings.  (No article in Wikipedia on him.)  These translations are similar and I do not mean to detract from Mueller's translation – both are good.  But by presenting a different translation, I hope more readers will be exposed to the heart of the old (German) Missouri Synod, to the heart of the old Synodical Conference.

In the Gospel of John, it records the following exchange between Jesus and the Jews, John 8:51-59:
[51] Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. [52] Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.  [53] Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? ... [56] Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
For the Jews, Abraham, their "father" is dead.  Not so for the real Abraham... and not so for C.F.W. Walther.  As Abraham did, so did Walther who also kept Jesus saying, through the Holy Scriptures.
Walther lives through his faith and his teaching of the Gospel!

And so I present the living Walther, through his blessed successor, Franz Pieper.

The next post Part 1 begins the presentation... enjoy... spiritually!
--------------------------   Table of Contents   --------------------------------
Preface – this blog post
Part 1 – (First Part): Importance; Downloads: 1859 essay, Synodical Conference founding essay
Part 2 – Christianity alone; w/o Justification, no Christian doctrine or Church
Part 3 – How to build the Church – faithful pastors (even less gifted preachers) w/ true Gospel
Part 4 – Right prep for Ministry; shield against all error; signifies where right Church is
Part 5 – (Second Part): Universal complete redemption of world; means of grace, faith (before faith)
Part 6 – Universal, complete – distinguishes Christianity; only Lutheran Church teaches all done already
Part 7 – Good News! Peace that God has made for us; Resurrection = absolution of world
Part 8 – Christ's resurrection -whole world justified; no Justified by Faith w/o Univ. Justif. before faith
Part 9  – Absolution and Christian Counsel
Part 10 – Objection – What about God's wrath?

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