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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Triglotta–Pieper–Luther, Scripture, detractors (4d); Bente's Historical Intro

This continues from Part 4c reviewing the newly available book Concordia Triglotta from CPH. (See Table of Contents here)  This Part 4d continues my translation of Franz Pieper's essay on the appearance of the original book in 1921.  Pieper previously pointed out how the Lutheran Confessions demonstrate that the Lutheran Church is the Bible Church.   And now Pieper quotes Martin Luther to bolster this claim...  Yes, Prof. Pieper, tell us again what Luther says about Scripture itself... for you are the best one to point us to
What Luther Says:

Pieper's essay is indented. My interspersed comments are in green
Underlining is in the original.  Highlighting is mine. 
Hyperlinks added including page links to original essay in Google Books.
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"Concordia Triglotta"
by Franz Pieper
Lehre und Wehre, vol. 67 (1921), pgs 297-301
(continued from Part 4c)

Yes, Prof. Pieper, tell us again what Luther says about Scripture itself... for you are the best one to point us to What Luther Says:

"It is a different study in the Scripture when one lays out obscure passages and figures; that becomes thought of as a kind of hunting, because one understands it to be some fun [for entertainment], as they look for and catch wild game.  But the kind of study useful for battle is that one that is learned in Scripture, as Paul says [Titus 1:9]. It means to fight powerfully and with many clear passages, as with a drawn and naked swordwithout any glosses and interpretations. This was the significance of the golden spears in Solomon’s temple. Thus the opponent, overcome by the bright light, must see and confess that God’s sayings stand alone and need no human interpretation.  The foe who does not believe clear Scripture will certainly not believe the glosses of any of the fathers either."
And shortly before:
"How could they [the fathers] have overcome the heretics if they had fought with their own glosses?  They would have been regarded as fools and senseless people. But since they cited such clear passages, which did not need glosses, that all reason was captivated by them, the evil spirit himself, along with all the heresies, had to retreat before them." (St. Louis Edition, 18, 1293 f.Luther's Works, Am. Edition, v. 39page165 [PNG file] – "Answer to the Hyperchristian, Hyperspiritual and Hyperlearned Book by Goat Emser...") 
In summary, the Lutheran church has by God's mercy a confession which identifies itself in the strictest examination as a vow to the doctrine revealed in the Holy Scripture.

Ah, how refreshing it is to hear Luther in relation to Scripture and the essence of the Lutheran Confessions which include Luther's Small and Large Catechism.  Now we understand Luther.

But there are those who would try to put a wedge between Luther and the Lutheran Confessions.  And Pieper points them out, this time from a different German theologian than in the last section (von Frank).

The Triglotta also offers in 256 pages the "Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church."  We particularly refer to these historical introductions.  They have been presented for a quarter century by Prof. Bente to the Symbolics classes at our St. Louis institution.  An examination of these introductory remarks will show that the author thoroughly knows and completely understands the historical material, especially the dogmatic history.  Unfortunately, newer theologians, Lutherans included, e.g. misrepresent the relationship between Luther and the Formula of Concord, and especially concerning the disputes surrounding the drafting of the Formula of Concord, and so do not [Page 301] judge properly.  The reason is that they themselves do not hold to the teaching of the Lutheran Confessions.  So they were then always tempted to reinterpret the disputed issues and confessional statements for the purposes of their own divergent doctrinal positions.  For example, Dieckhoff claimed that Luther was in mind when the 2nd Article of the Formula of Concord discarded "the Stoic and Manichaean absurdity"(See the article in Lehre und Wehre. 1886, p 193 ff.: "Luther and the Formula of Concord.")  And Dieckhoff stands there with the assertion that a contrast existing between the Formula of Concord and Luther – Luther's De Servo Arbitrio [The Bondage of the Will] – is not the only difference.  We now see what Professor Bente proves otherwise with documentary evidence under the sub-headings "The Synergistic Controversy" (p.124 ff.), "The Eleventh Article of the Formula of Concord" (p. 195 ff.), "Luther and Article XI of the Formula of Concord" (p. 209 ff).  Altogether we have in Prof. Bente's "Historic Introductions" such an expert and thorough dogmatic history over the whole time period of Luther up to the Formula of Concord, that we European theologians who are not so strong in the English language desire a separate edition to appear in the German language.

Even my blog has received comments from would-be theologians like the German theologian Dieckhoff that Pieper points out above.  These commenters are supporters of the theology of CTS-FW, e.g. Profs. David Scaer and Cameron MacKenzie... I call them my "Jeopardy" theologians.  You can read about them on this blog post: "Formula of Concord disagrees with Luther", blog post of December 15, 2012... from my "Dieckhoff-Jeopardy" theologians.  Although their specific so-called "difference" between Luther and the Lutheran Confessions is not the same point that Pieper defends against, yet their whole idea of this "difference" is ridiculous and so I have not even taken the time (yet) to investigate it.   If I get time, I will translate Pieper's 1886 essay in Lehre und Wehre where he gave more specifics of Luther's detractors.  
I think that I will call my detractors of last December my "Jeopardy-Dieckhoff" theologians.  Hmmm, the commenters didn't say where they got this idea of theirs, that the Formula of Concord disagrees with Luther... could it be an idea dreamed up by Prof. Cameron MacKenzie?  

But let us proceed on to Pieper's last point in this paragraph:

Altogether we have in Prof. Bente's "Historic Introductions" such an expert and thorough dogmatic history over the whole time period of Luther up to the Formula of Concord, that we European theologians who are not so strong in the English language desire a separate edition to appear in the German language.

Pieper almost floored me with this comment...  he seems to be almost expressing jealousy that Bente wrote the "Historical Introductions" in English and not German.  He seems to say that he himself is not so strong in the English language.  But I know that is not the case for he wrote a wonderful essay "Luther's Doctrine of Inspiration" in the English language for The Presbyterian & Reformed Review a few years earlier.  But this raised a question of language... what language should the old (German) Missouri Synod use for the future, beyond 1921?
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In the next Part 4e, Pieper addresses the issues surrounding the languages... specifically that the Triglotta included.......  English language!  Is the English language important today?  I suppose so...  it's the only language I can speak...  sigh.

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