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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rast–Pt 5c: LC-MS historians/scholars (conclusion)

This post continues from Part 5b reviewing the writings of Prof. Lawrence Rast Jr.  (Table of Contents in Part 1.) This Part 5c concludes the whole series ... it compares Prof. Rast with past church historians of the LC-MS.
I was going to hold off doing this series of reviews of Rast, but Walther's writings, especially on the proper form of a Christian congregation, cornered me... I could not let Rast's false teaching presume to speak for Walther.
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I think Prof. Rast wants to be known as an extra good Lutheran Church Historian.  There have been others before him who also wrote about Church History, Lutheran and otherwise.  Let us look at a few to see how Lawrence Rast compares to them:

------------------  F. Bente  ---------------------
Dr. Rast – why is it that you never seem to quote Friedrich Bente in your writings of American Lutheranism?  I also wonder why CPH would not publish his last volumes of "American Lutheranism"... (more on this some other time.)

------------------  Jaroslav Pelikan-"Traditions" -------------------
Are you, Prof. Rast, trying to live up to the legacy of Jaroslav Pelikan († 2006), the great "religious" scholar of the LC-MS, and beyond?...  the great "General Editor" of Luther's Works who left Lutheranism for "Orthodoxy"?  Maybe you call Christianity "the Christian Tradition" like Pelikan did?  Is Christianity not rather the Christian religion?  You are all too free with your use of the word "Tradition", a Pelikanish "tradition".  Maybe Pelikan should be called a scholar of "traditions" instead of a scholar of "religion"... and what about you?  Jaroslav Pelikan said this:
Despite their protestations of "sola Scriptura," the Reformers showed that the "Scriptura" has never been "sola." (The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Volume 4, page vii)
Perhaps you could expand on this with your Ph.D. from Vanderbilt... maybe you could outdo Pelikan on this statement?   Yes, it took quite a bit of "scholarship" for Pelikan to make the above statement... but maybe you can surpass him?  Maybe you and Dr. Christopher Boyd Brown (the new CPH Pelikan) could have a contest on this?

-------------  C.S. Meyer  -----------------
Are you just another C.S. Meyer, the great LC-MS "Church Historian", who had the power to judge those who left fellowship with the LC-MS as "little historians"?... who sat in his tower of "scholarship" and pleaded (in a 58-page essay!) with the other members of the Synodical Conference (ELS & WELS) in its last substantive meeting to not leave fellowship with the LC-MS. (1956 – "The Synodical Conference – The Voice of Lutheran Confessionalism" – download PDF w/ notes, 3.4MB)  Didn't it make you feel all "warm and fuzzy" when one of those members, the ELS – The "Little Norwegian" – invited you to present a paper on Franz Pieper in their 2004 Reformation Lectures?  Doesn't that prove that C.S. Meyer was right in his plea for "Unity in Love" before the breakup of the Synodical Conference?  Doesn't this prove that the great teachers of the ELS, S.C. Ylvisaker and Norman Madson Sr., were wrong in their cries against the LC-MS before and after the ELS left fellowship?  Or does it rather prove just how pernicious the errors are of today's heterodox LC-MS in infecting almost all Lutheranism worldwide?  Hmmm... just why did Norman A. Madson Sr. leave the ELS?... while he was its head teacher?  Could it have been that he saw how deadly your LC-MS errors were infecting his beloved ELS synod... and so had to leave them?  And why is it that Erling Teigen ignores the polemical writings of S.C. Ylvisaker, the great teacher of the early ELS, against the LC-MS in his historical synopsis of him?  Don't you feel good that your LC-MS has turned the mighty "LITTLE Norwegian", those whom Franz Pieper taught to stand for the Biblical Lutheran doctrine of Conversion and Election (Zur Einigung) against the erring larger "Norwegian Synod" (now today's ELCA), into a "little Norwegian"... a "little Norwegian" synod who has succumbed so far that they now sponsor you, an LC-MS theologian, to tell them about Franz Pieper? ... Franz Pieper, who in essence was their father in the faith?

-----------------  Erwin Lueker  ------------------
Are you going to be another Erwin L. Lueker?... you know, the Erwin Lueker who attacked Pieper's teaching of "church fellowship" (you seemingly defended Pieper against him)... the Erwin Lueker who edited the last Christian Cyclopedia– a massive effort to catalog the information on people and organizations,... the Erwin Lueker who wrote the article "Justification in the Theology of Walther" (CTM Vol. 32, Oct. 1961, pgs 598-605), but who left the LC-MS during the Seminex walkout.  Did Lueker leave the LC-MS because of Theodore Graebner's attack against Walther and Pieper's defense of UOJ since 1872?  No?  Well, you already know, don't you... that Erwin Lueker left with the other Concordia Seminary faculty who formed Seminex because of the boycotters manifesto Faithful to Our Calling, Faithful To Our Lord, not because the LC-MS had already fallen away on the Doctrine of Objective Justification.  Yes indeed, the boycotters held up Lueker's essay on Walther just like today's LC-MS – ScaerPlessHarrison, etc. – holds you up as evidence that it teaches rightly... because you seem to hold up Walther and Pieper.  Indeed, you write the prefaces to their books!

------------  Lawrence R. Rast Jr.  -------------
Is the reading of Dr. Lawrence A. Rast Jr. worthless?  Not necessarily.  The following story about C.F.W. Walther should be considered:
There was Herman Cremer of Greifswald, who contributed a dictionary of the New Testament Greek, recommended by Professor Walther to his students although the author was a rationalist. (Dr. Walther excused this recommendation with the somewhat caustic remark that we are permitted to make use of the works of rationalistic authors even as the Israelites were instructed to make use of the Canaanites as hewers of wood and carriers of water.) [Joshua 9:21, 23, 27]
This was written by Theo. Graebner in his book Dr. Francis Pieper, A Biographical Sketch (on page 7) about his teacher, Prof. C.F.W. Walther. [2018-05-10 updated links]
Do you hear that, Dr. Rast?  You are just a "hewer of wood and drawer of water" for true Christians.  The services of Concordia Historical Institute have also been largely limited to this function from its beginning. Why? Because your "church history" of the old (German) Missouri Synod largely lacks the true spiritual purpose required for true Church History.

No, the LC-MS could not fully praise Walther in October 1961 (CTM Vol. 32, October 1961), and neither can it praise him today for his 200th anniversary.  Neither can it praise Franz Pieper.

What? Not even Rast's praise of Pieper in his essay on Pieper?  Not the praise of Pieper in Scaer's article "Francis Pieper", not Marquart's praise of Pieper... not the praise of Pieper by C.S. Meyer and a host of others who lack the true praise of Pieper?  Not the praise of Walther that Rast gives him at times?

No, Dr. Rast, Pastor Jack Cascione's defense against you (also blogger "Carl Vehse") is too mild and your admittedly heterodox LC-MS... could the "tangles" in your LC-MS be largely a pack of "ravening wolves", dressed in "sheep's clothing", ... that the sheep should be wary of? ... "ravening wolves" who can't get the Doctrine of Justification right?... and so cannot properly teach the doctrines Church and Ministry, Church Government, Baptism and Communion, the Election of Grace, the proper distinction of Law and Gospel, Antinomianism, ... cannot properly teach against the error of Pietism?... and yes, not even Christology? ... and who knows what other errors lurk in your heterodox LC-MS?   Indeed, Dr. Rast, the only surety a Christian can glean from your theological writings is where you give verbatim quotations from Pieper and Walther.  But why not just read them and dispense with you... because you might falsify them where you quote them?  How so?
  1. by offering no praise of Engelder and PEK for their attempts to uphold the veracity of Holy Scripture, even though there may have been weaknesses in their defenses.
  2. by having an essay of yours included in a book that masks the true heart of Christian teaching, the Doctrine of Justification – e.g. by Richard John Neuhaus, a book honoring Prof. David Scaer and his "All Theology is Christology".
- - - - - - - - - - -   Distinguendum Est   - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dr. Rast, you should take a "hiatus" and read Franz Pieper's essay "Distinguendum Est" – you will find it on my blog post here.  There you will learn the proper distinctions in Christian teachings... when to praise the Princetonian/Fundamentalists and when to admonish them... how to first praise Engelder & Kretzmann before any admonishment of them... how to observe the proper distinction of Law and Gospel... There you will be reminded that "the entire Christian doctrine is revealed in such Scripture passages which do not even require interpretation, to which access is open to the learned and unlearned".   How Pieper impresses the students of Concordia on the divine responsibility of the Public Ministry to remain faithful to the Word!  Oh, that's right... you are the President of a Seminary (just like Pieper was)... where men are to be trained for this very Office of Public Ministry!  Should you not also sit at the feet of Franz Pieper and learn the proper distinctions in Christian teaching?  Then Walther will no longer be "fascinating" to you but rather his Church History will be the truth that strengthens your Christian faith...  and his Church History will be your Church History.

Maybe then you will be able to warn your students that Ph.D. degrees from places like Vanderbilt, Yale, Oxford, Harvard, University of Chicago, Princeton, Boston University, etc., etc., will never advance their theology, but rather show them how horrible the darkness is away from the pure Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.

1)  I tell you, Dr. Rast, that Walther's analysis of Pietists applies to you and your LC-MS:
Pietists admit the thesis, that faith alone justifies without works, and they do not deny this expressly any place. But to admit this is not the same as saying that they teach justification in a pure way
2)  I tell you, Dr. Rast, that Prof. Roland Ziegler's analysis of the Reformed and pietists (here, pg 306) applies to you and your LC-MS:
The error of the Reformed or the pietists is that they point to an experience of grace which assures one of salvation instead of pointing them to word and sacrament.... The inexperienced is deceived by pious phrases and the seeming sincerity, how sin in such a case is taken seriously, how "cheap grace" is avoided. (page 306 here)
3)  I tell you, Dr. Rast, that your own analysis of Samuel Schmucker (see hereapplies to you and your LC-MS:
For Schmucker, there is a universal atonement, but it does not equal the justification of the sinner before God. Something must happen personally, individually, before one can said to be justified.
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==>>I tell you, Dr. Rast, that all praise of Christ, of grace, of the means of grace — and all praise of Franz Pieper, C.F.W. Walther, and Martin Luther — is nothing without the right doctrine of justification.
I am taking leave of discussing today's LC-MS for now – it depresses me too much.  I need further refreshment from the writings of
Luther – Martin Luther
Walther – The American Luther

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