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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Walther's Dance and Theater online (on Higher Things)

With my recent experience of embedding larger documents within my blog posts, I want to return to the subject of an earlier blog where I introduced Walther's Tanz und Theaterbesuch book.  I had translated it, commented on it, and provided download links to it then.  But now I consider this book important enough for today that I want to put the whole document online, not just a download link, so that it can be easily read anytime.

The difference of the version below from my previous download is that this is not in PDF format, but rather text only; and I have added internal hyperlinks to easily jump to certain sections from my Table of Contents.
I have also added several hyperlinks throughout the document – [ToC] – to easily jump back to the Table of Contents.  As before, underlining is in the original,  highlighting is mine.
Pagination from the original German has been retained and many page references have been hyperlinked (e.g. (page 16) ) to the original pages in Google Books.
My apologies for the rough translation work... even some German words were left untranslated.  Some might call the quality of my work laughable.  But this material is clear enough that even with some stumbling during reading, Walther's clear message comes through.  Hmmm.... did Walther really teach that the spirit of Shakespeare is the same as the ancient heathen? (See page 71)

There is a youth conference going on now of "Higher Things" (affiliated with LC-MS) in Indiana (at Purdue University) called "From Above 2013".  I do not know what all is taught at these conferences — they say they are "cultivating, encouraging, and promoting a distinctively Lutheran identity among their youth and young adults."  They also say they
are convinced that youth need solid teaching and experiences that will nurture lasting Christian faith. Rather than treating youth as an adolescent subculture and confusing them with once- in-a-lifetime “mountaintop” experiences that cannot be replicated outside the conference events, Higher Things believes in challenging youth to learn the pure doctrine of the Christian faith.  By teaching them the same message that they are already hearing at home and at church, youth grow in the fullness of the Christian faith as they come to appreciate historic liturgical practice and its unique focus on God’s gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation for us delivered in Word and Sacrament."
Now it would seem commendable that they aren't focusing on "mountaintop" experiences such as  Pentecostal-like experiences outside God's Word.  Hmmm... just what is the "Lutheran identity" they speak of?  I wonder... do they teach like Walther in this book?  Or are they more influenced by Berthold von Schenk who claimed he started "Liturgical Renewal"?  Is the "Lutheran identity" they speak of the same as that of Berthold von Schenk (who was confused on the Doctrine of Justification) or that of C.F.W. Walther?  If their "Lutheran identity" is the same as that of Berthold von Schenk, then I have spoken on this before where I "thanked" von Schenk because
he explains more details of why my faith from my youth faltered, faded, and was ultimately lost... the emphasis on "Liturgical Renewal", the demand for Holy Communion at every service (as also Prof. David P. Scaer)... all these were at the expense of the "museum theology" of Walther and Pieper, i.e. the Gospel message.
So to assist the organizers of "Higher Things" in figuring out what material might be suitable, I dedicate this book of Walther to "assist parents, pastors, and congregations" for the training of not only the youth, but also for themselves.  Walther speaks of worldly dance, fashion, women's makeup, Shakespeare, unchastity, baudy novels, comedians, circuses, music, etc.  Walther ends his talk on worldly dance thus:
Well, dearly beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord, ye fathers and their mothers, their sons and their daughters, so I urge you and ask for the conclusion: For the love of God who has given us the law of chastity, for the love of the Son of God's sake who has redeemed the whole sinful world so dearly and so does not want anyone angry, deceived and lost, and for the love of the Spirit's, the same will, that all should come to the knowledge of truth, abstain a desire of the world, with this love, which may make whatever your flesh for not absolutely true. 
Listen to Walther for truly "Higher Things"!  To God Be The Glory! Soli Deo Gloria!

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