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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Grace. (2 of 8)

With the introduction of the last blog post, this post continues the subject of "Grace".  How short the above title is....  Oh, but what a sweet sound it makes when you say it... don't you think?

I was searching for a subject for this blog to bring a pure Christian message... no polemics.  And a name came back to me of a medical doctor that Franz Pieper had written about midway in his career of writing about Christianity.  It is a striking story – a story that the dear Prof. Pieper could not contain himself, he had to headline it... he could not let this story go unnoticed without proclaiming it in all its glorious beauty... and defending the pure message of the Gospel.

It is about God's grace – or "Gnade" in the German language.  There is a Bible verse that perhaps says it best.  This verse is right up there with John 3:16 of Bible memory verses –
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
The hymn "Amazing Grace" may be stirring for a Christian, but Franz Pieper writes of "Grace" even more purely than the author of this hymn – John Newton.  The noted "Second Great Awakening" in the United States was largely fueled by emotionalism.  And the "anti-slavery" and folk music movements robbed this hymn of its spiritual message.

But not Franz Pieper.  Only a true Lutheran teacher can speak purely of "Grace"...  not the Methodists, not the Baptists, not the Presbyterians, not the Anglicans or Episcopals, not the so-called German Evangelicals... not any of these – none in the Reformed camp.  No, amidst all the sects in America, there stood the German Lutherans – C.F.W. Walther and Franz Pieper – who could speak purely of God's grace... and no one else could speak like them, except the founders of the other members of the Synodical Conference.  No, when I hear the hymn or music of "Amazing Grace", I think to myself: "I know the ones who taught God's Grace more purely – the old (German) Missouri Synod and the Synodical Conference.  I would rather listen to Martin Luther and his followers".

In the October 1904 issue of Lehre und Wehre, Franz Pieper wrote an essay entitled "Gnade" or "Grace".  He began this essay with a story of a famous medical doctor...

So what is this story?... who is this medical doctor?  And what did Franz Pieper write of "Grace"?  Part 3 of this series begins Pieper's essay... (Table of Contents in Part 1)

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