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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Grace. (Gnade.) – F. Pieper (Part 3-Boerhaave)

Continued from Part 2.  Here begins Pieper's essay on "Grace" (Table of Contents in Part 1):

Herman Boerhaave
Several church magazines have recently reprinted the following well-known story: "When one day the famous Dutch physician Boerhaave wanted to open the corpse of an executed criminal in anatomy class for his students, he suddenly became pale and began to tremble. The students looked at him questioningly, for they knew only too well that the professor was not overly soft.... —
'O my Lord', Boerhaave hereupon said , 'I have spent my youth with this man.  Now I am the honored Boerhaave, and he lies here.  Let me say to you that except for the grace of God I know of no reason why I'm not there in his place.'

Now Pieper does not leave the importance of this remarkable story without explaining the Scriptural  lesson.  The subject is far too significant to assume that the readers of these "church newspapers" have grasped it. And indeed, Prof. Pieper knew that the doctrine of God's grace was largely falsified in the very "church newspapers" this story was reported in.  These other "church newspapers" would have us marvel at how famous Boerhaave was – as the Wikipedia article explains:
He is regarded as the founder of clinical teaching and of the modern academic hospital.
Oh yes, he is a very important figure in medical history!  But that is not the lesson that Franz Pieper is going to focus on in his essay.  In the next installment, Part 4, I will continue the translation of this important essay from Prof. Franz Pieper on... Grace.

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