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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wyneken's strength – The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification (LDJ) 2 of 4

(Corrected text July 8, 2013)
This post continues from Part 1 (Table on Contents also in Part 1) which highlighted the first major work of Walther uncovering again the pure Gospel that Luther had restored – The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.

And so I want to again highlight the testimony of Friedrich Wyneken, the Missouri Synod founder/father who, far from following Loehe's errors in doctrine, rather found his strength for his trials and struggles (Anfechtungen) in the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification that C.F.W. Walther again brought to our modern world – the heart of the Reformation.  I want to repeat again (from Matthew Harrison's book At Home in the House Of My Fathers, pg 410-411) what Wyneken said to the 1860 Missouri Synod:

I especially regard the past year [1859] as an outstanding and richly blessed year for this reason: because the article of justification was quite properly brought into the arena of our synodical circles.

This exceedingly important, foremost article of all the Christian doctrines, which also above all else serves to clarify the correct understanding of the entire Holy Scriptures, alone shows the way to the indescribable treasure and the true knowledge of Christ. Also, it alone opens the door to the entire Bible. Without this article, also no conscience can have a true, solid, certain comfort, or know the riches of Christ’s grace [Book of Concord, Apology IV 2–3, German].

And what was it that Friedrich Wyneken personally wrote in a letter in 1863 to Walther, the spiritual father of the old (German) Missouri Synod (Harrison, page 425):
Friedrich Wyneken

"I have found in this doctrine [justification] 
my only stay in the midst of my difficulties."

And so the dear Wyneken, through his trials and struggles, brings testimony against those who would lift up Wilhelm Loehe's teaching in today's LC-MS.  It wasn't Loehe's teaching that brought Wyneken ultimate comfort, it was Walther, The American Luther.

I do not put Wyneken in my masthead and I think he would not want me to, even though he was one of the early founders of the old (German) Missouri Synod.  Why?  Because he saw that there was a greater teacher who pointed him to the real comfort – Christ, the Saviour of the world who paid the full price for all our sins.  It was C.F.W Walther — who was only following Martin Luther and his advice to the Diet of Regensburg of 1541.
     Matthew Harrison reports (on page 423) that Wyneken had a subsequent "complete breakdown" in 1866, 3 years after the above letter to Walther.  Could it be that Harrison and Peperkorn say they have trumped me here?  Could they be thinking that I, BackToLuther, am wrong to say that the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification (LDJ) is enough for one troubled with "depression"?  Could they be thinking: 
"See there, you old 'stuck-in-the-mud' BackToLuther – history proves you wrong because Wyneken needed more that this "LDJ" doctrine, he needed what modern man has developed for "depression"... he needed the tools of modern psychology and psychiatry.  See, we can even judge Martin Luther with these new tools of modern man."
Am I wrong in my suspicion, Matthew Harrison and Todd Peperkorn?  Am I wrong to suspect that you (and most of today's world) think the ultimate source of comfort is not from the LDJ?

     But Wyneken is my role model, no matter what happened to him in 1866 when he had his so-called "complete breakdown".  I suspect Concordia Historical Institute could tell us the outcome of Wyneken's "complete breakdown".  Wyneken is my role model, not as some (e.g. Harrison, Peperkorn) would point to his trials and struggles, his "depression", his "complete breakdown". but one who found his only stay against his trials in
The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.
The next post Part 3 in this series is about another noted figure from the old Missouri Synod (George Stoeckhardt): Stoeckhardt's strength – The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.

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