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Friday, June 21, 2013

Walther as Theologian – Part 18:Election, Assurance of Faith

Continued from Part 17.  Table of Contents will be in Part 1 when all installments are finished.

This is the concluding installment of Franz Pieper's series "C.F.W. Walther als Theolog".

Highlighting and text in green are my additions.  Underlining is in original.
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The world seems to have borrowed the Christian teaching on the Assurance of Faith with its "power of positive thinking".  Even though the world at large does not believe the Gospel, yet it wants to borrow the notion that a person should "think positive" to be successful... think positive and your dreams will come true...   But in spiritual matters, God does not tell us to "think positive" about Him but rather believe Him at His Word – "For God so loved the world..." (John 3:16) and "that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them" (2 Cor. 5:19), etc.

What are today's Lutherans to do when reputed LC-MS Lutheran theologians like Robert Kolb, Charles P. ArandEugene Klug (†2003), David P. Scaer, etc. utilize Reformed book publishers like BakerEerdmans, etc?  Do these Lutheran theologians not know that Reformed publishers teach falsely on the Doctrine of Election, and also on the Doctrine of Justification?  ... that they cause Christians to lose their Assurance of Faith?...  Or are these Lutheran theologians not serious about Christian doctrine?  How is it that Prof. David P. Scaer can say
The doctrine of election is a divisive doctrine among conservative evangelical Christians. ... more than any other doctrine [it] is responsible for the manifold divisions in Lutheranism in America that last to this day.  This splintered division remains, though the causes for it have changed.
Does Prof. Scaer think the Doctrine of Election is taught correctly in the ELCA?  Does he think it is noteworthy that "Reformed Protestants", who all grievously err on this doctrine, are divided over it?   Could it be that Scaer teaches like Erasmus when Luther says of him:
“It is true that he uses refined words, like ‘the dear, holy Christ,’ ‘the saving Word’, ‘the holy sacraments’, but in reality he considers them to be very cold matters.
… Carefully and intentionally he says everything in a tone of doubthis words are ambiguous and he can interpret them as is expedient to him.
… Erasmus of Rotterdam looks upon the Christian religion and doctrine as if they were a comedy or a tragedy, in which all the events described therein never actually happened or really took place, but were fabricated with the sole purpose of instructing the people in a good external conduct and life and preparing them for worthy obedience and discipline.” (WA,TR 2, 2420; TR 1, 699, 797; TR 2, 2170)
Dear God!  What are Lutherans today to do when faced with these modern Lutherans who speak like Erasmus?
==>> Turn to C.F.W. Walther, where the Doctrine of Election of Grace is not a cold matter or spoken of with a tone of doubt or with ambiguous words or (as he says) with "theological hairsplitting".  Walther brings us instead the Assurance of Faith!

C.F.W. Walther, The American Luther!  Amen!

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