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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Walther as Theologian–Justification (by F. Pieper) - Part 7

This post continues a 10-part series (see Preface for Table of Contents) from Part 6 which presents the actual text of Wallace McLaughlin's English translation of the essay C.F.W. Walther as Theologian by Franz Pieper.  This is done to honor the two commenters on Concordia Seminary's own web post publishing a different translation.
This portion can be downloaded here.
  • Pieper's text is indented in dark blue text.
  • I will add commentary at certain points in green text.
  • All underlinings are from the original.
  • Highlighting of Pieper's text is mine!
C.F.W. Walther as Theologian 
Justification – Universal, Objective (Second essay)
By Franz Pieper 
(Translated by  Wallace McLaughlin from  “Lehre und Wehre”, February, 1890, pp. 42-50: Justification- Universal),
(Continued from Part 6)
---------------  Pieper  --------------------------------
            Only when the complete redemption is thus held fast will the concept of the Gospel also be held fast.  Why is Christ’s doctrine called Gospel or good news?  Simply because when I preach the Gospel I preach nothing else than what has already been obtained and bestowed upon men and what they should therefore receive and in which they should heartily rejoice.  The Gospel is the joyful tidings that Christ has done the work which we should have done and yet could not do, and that the heavenly Father by raising our Redeemer from the dead has given a sign from heaven that He is fully satisfied.  (L.c., p.39.) [SCR1872S.PDF, 1872: pg 178, col. 3 to pg 179, col. 1] 
----------------- Comments -----------------------------
With Walther (and Pieper), I can: 
Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Psalm 34:8
With Walther and Pieper, I can believe that the Gospel is indeed Good News! and that
God so loved the world...  John 3:16 
 ----------------  Pieper  ----------------------------------
In the Gospel the peace which God has made with men is proclaimed.  (Western District 1868, p. 31). [Essays For The Church, Vol. 1, page 168]  It must be stressed with earnestness that God’s wrath is turned away from all men by the work of Christ and that through the Gospel everyone is invited to partake of grace.  If a preacher had to come before his hearers with the thought: the wrath of God is still resting upon them and they must be induced to appease Him—that would be terrible; but because he knows that the atonement has already been rendered for all and God’s wrath against all has been quenched, therefore he can say confidently: Be ye reconciled to God, do but receive His hand of grace! (1st Report of Synodical Conference, p. 36.) [SCR1872S.PDF, 1872: pg 178, col. 2]
 He who will not preach the Gospel thus might as well preach the Koran or the Talmud or the papal decretals or what he will;  but if he wishes to (preach the Gospel and) make happy Christians, then let him preach this good news. (L.c., p. 39.) [SCR1872S.PDF, 1872: pg 178, col. 3]
----------------- Comments -----------------------------
Walther... surely you don't mean that all those "Protestant" sects who claim Christianity, who even have Lutheran theologians working with them, are preaching nothing better than the Jews, the Turks/Islam, or the Pope?  Surely, Walther you are being too harsh on them... aren't they Christian teachers? ...  
... or are you rather giving us the Good News straight?
----------------  Pieper  ----------------------------------
 And again: “Since all men are reconciled to God, and the Gospel is the tidings of this reconciliation, therefore it is such an unutterable grace to live under the sound of the Gospel”.  The fanatics indeed have such thoughts concerning Christ’s work that they regard Him as having only made it possible for man to attain grace by his own efforts.  It is likewise the papistical teaching that men through contrition, penance, and other good works can secure for himself the salvation which Christ has made possible.  But thereby the Gospel, the preaching of which Christ has committed His Church, is denied.

            To the Scriptural presentation of the complete redemption as a premise for the correct doctrine of justification belongs, according to Walther, also the doctrine that in Christ’s death and resurrection a justification of the entire world of sinners is already implied.  “As by the vicarious death of Christ”, says Walther, “the guilt of the entire world was cancelled and its punishment suffered, so also by the resurrection of Christ righteousness, life, and salvation is restored for the entire world and in Christ, as the Substitute of all mankind, has come upon all men”.  “Christ’s glorious resurrection from the dead is the actual absolution of the entire world of sinners”, and “The resurrection of Christ the plenary justification of all men”: such are the themes of Easter sermons delivered by Walther.  (Brosamen, p. 138; [From our Master's Table, pg 70; The Word of His Grace, pg 229],  Epistelpostille, p. 211; [Standard Epistles, Donald.E. Heck, Livermore, Iowa, pg xxx; see also Gospel Sermons, CPH to be released 2013 & 2014] ). 
----------------- Comments -----------------------------
==>> Note to James Swan, the great Internet site for Martin Luther (yet from a Reformed view):
Do you believe that this was the message of Luther?  Perhaps if you would study this doctrine you will know why I say that you will never understand Luther without this doctrine. (Romans 5:18, 2 Cor. 5:19, John 3:16, John 1:29)  This is the doctrine that brought me back to the Christian faith and this is the doctrine where you will fully understand Luther.  The world does not believe it...  and knows nothing of Luther.  Yes, even Lutherans are stumbling terribly on this doctrine (the Gospel), especially when some of their theologians want to stand with the Reformed, so-called "Evangelical" sects...
   The season of Lent is upon us as we approach the greatest Christian celebration of ... Easter.  But the world knows absolutely nothing of Easter... except the true Christians, those who believe as Walther teaches here.

Here I sit!  ... at the feet of C.F.W. Walther!  Here I sit, as I ponder the pearl of great price (Matt. 13:46), the multi-faceted diamond of the Doctrine of Justification.  Would that all Christianity would sit beside me...

A most happy news item to report!  I just discovered that CPH is going to re-publish the Gospel Sermons of Walther (see above bold text).  I notice they have just applied for a copyright this year.  They evidently are going to use the translation of long ago (1960s) by Donald E. Heck of Livermore, Iowa and reprinted in 1984 by Concordia Theological Seminary Press.  It was only sold in the Fort Wayne seminary bookstore, not by CPH... until this issue comes out.  CPH is to be commended for picking this up.  It is my fervent hope that they will also reprint Walther's Standard Epistles by the same Donald E. Heck.

Note to President Matthew Harrison – have Walther's Easter sermons reprinted in the Lutheran Witness this Easter season.  I believe perhaps the best is the one from the book The Word of His Grace.  Then your problems will begin to go away... you will not have to apologize for anything.  Then God will be with you...

The next Part 8 continues with the greatest teaching the modern world has ever seen since the days of Martin Luther and Martin Chemnitz – the true teaching of Easter.

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