But as I replied to "Carl Vehse", I believe these defenses against Prof. Lawrence Rast (and Scaer, Pless, etc.) do not go far enough. And so I continue with another in a series of reviews of essays by Prof. Rast. Unfortunately I cannot reveal the full text of the following essay from the year 2000 in a public blog for probable copyright reasons – the reader will have to follow my review for the gist of it. But if the reader is interested in the full text, contact me privately. This essay by Rast was intended to be read by followers of Prof. David P. Scaer...
On page 362 Rast begins to reach the heart of his essay. He quotes Franz Pieper's forerunner essay to the Brief Statement of 1932, written in 1897, – seemingly with approval. But what jolts the reader is his footnote # 50 which says:
"Hodge" was a prominent theologian from Princeton. Why would Rast make this statement? Is he working hard (straining?) to weave "Princeton Theology" into his story?
There is almost a note of surprise in this comment by Rast... how could anyone hold to the same theology for over 30 years as Pieper does? Isn't there a need to keep one's theology progressive... modern... up-to-date?
But Dr. Rast, Hermann Sasse did not speak the same way as your statement above. I wonder Dr. Rast – have you also read Hermann Sasse's statement on his "doctrine on Scripture":
Not quite the same, is it? But I see President Rast (Concordia Theological Seminary) and Pres. Matthew Harrison (LC-MS) hold up Sasse as it's spiritual leader..... something does not fit here. But let us go on...
Rast is focused on trying to see if there was a "Princetonian" effect on the Missouri Synod. Again I ask: Is this supposed to help the Christian who is battered daily, hourly with the world constantly questioning the Bible? Let us see.
When Pieper speaks of "the original", he is speaking of the original text of the Bible. Rast makes a big issue of his "Princetonian" phrase "original autographs" or "autographa", but isn't Pieper speaking of the same thing? And just because Pieper is speaking of essentially the same thing, does it prove he received it from Princeton theology? Rast says no (page 364):
Dr. Rast: What is the difference between "autographa" and "original text"? You are a great scholar... tell me. (Or are you building a "straw man" argument?) But let us proceed.
Well now, Dr. Rast has quoted Franz Pieper! Very good. Who was Pieper refuting in this quote? An American Lutheran, Henry Eyster Jacobs – not a "Princetonian" (or a "Fundamentalist"). But Dr. Rast, your essay seems to want to present your "pressing questions", your great defense against "troubling" issues for Lutherans – that of accepting "Princetonian/Fundamentalist" phraseology, whereas Pieper here is refuting another American Lutheran, not a "Princetonian/Fundamentalist"... why the oversight? But let us go on...
In the next Part 2b, I will conclude with final comments on this essay of Prof. Lawrence A. Rast Jr.