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Friday, September 6, 2013

Grace.–F. Pieper (Part 8-All Christians agree)

Concluding from Part 7, a translation of Franz Pieper's essay "Grace" from Lehre und Wehre in 1904 (Table of Contents in Part 1).  This installment gives Pieper's assessment of the other American Lutherans from discussions with their theologians  – teachers who falsify this basic teaching of Christianity and so prevent and kill Christian faith.
Underlining is in the original, highlighting is mine.
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by Franz Pieper
(Concluding from Part 7)
     It has been reported that the undersigned has admitted that on the occasion of the Free Conference in Watertown that the Synodical Conference (page 439) and the Synods of Iowa and Ohio [old ELCA] are agreed in the doctrine of grace.  That is a erroneous report. What we said and ever and always say is this: All Christians from all over the world agree in their hearts to what the Synodical Conference publicly teaches.  They base their present and future salvation solely on God's grace in Christ.  A pure Christian holds in his heart and before God, that is, as a Christian and new man, that he has an advantage before God in himself, is better than other people and therefore has obtained grace.  Everyone who has come to faith in Christ, has been put in hell, that is, has completely desponded of all their own actions and behavior.  We have also expressed it in Watertown and otherwise, that probably many of our American opponents agree with us in their heart.  We held for a fact and still hold that even when theologians' theory and practice do not always coincide, that is, that there can be theologians who from party fanaticism and lack of clarity in their doctrine put conversion and salvation decisively on the person and yet in their heart and before God hang on God's grace alone in Christ.  But thereby we have held firmly and still hold that the official doctrine which the synods of Iowa and Ohio have held against us as established by their leaders, and still hold, is that conversion and salvation are not dependent solely on God's grace, but are crucially represented to depend on human behavior, on self-determination, on lesser debt, on lower reluctance, etc..  This doctrine repeals grace, is misguided, destructive, has no right in the Christian Church, and must be resisted by the Christian Church.     F[ranz]. P[ieper].
- - - - - - - - - End of Pieper's essay "Grace.". - - - - - - - - -
Franz Pieper delivers true Church History and Historical Theology, something our present day LC-MS theologians cannot do.  In 1904, in Watertown Wisconsin, Franz Pieper and others from the Synodical Conference were deep in battle for the truth in the so-called "Free Conferences" of 1903-1906.  You can get some history from the Christian Cyclopedia here, points #2-5.  We saw that Prof. Lawrence Rast Jr., former president of Concordia Historical Institute and current president of Concordia Theological Seminary–Fort Wayne, ignores and sweeps over the real doctrinal issues... that is the doctrine of God's Grace.  How does Rast do this?  He says in his essay "The Doctrine of Justification in American Lutheranism", page 59 [PDF]:
And though his spirit lay somewhat dormant for nearly a century, beginning in the 1950s and 60s a Schmucker revival began.
Rast is incorrect in his Church History, for the "spirit of Schmucker" remained in the Ohio and Iowa Synods, those American Lutherans who were attacking the heart of Christianity in 1904, in the middle of Rast's "dormant century".  How?  By falsifying the doctrine of "Grace"... and in the process calling Pieper the "devil's apostle".  Rast would call these other American Lutherans (the Ohio and Iowa Synods) "confessional Lutherans".  But not Franz Pieper.  Hmmm...  how about that – "confessional Lutherans who aren't confessional Lutherans"!  It seems there are a lot of those "here and now".

What were Pieper's Last Words to his Missouri Synod?
"May the dear Missouri Synod never forget that it's chief God given calling is to carry into all the world the testimony of the Sola Gratia."

Devil's Apostle? 

Yes, I will follow this "devil's apostle", a "devil's apostle" who gives all glory to God.  

"SOLA GRATIA"! (It's carved in stone)

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