How this review of Ziegler's detractions of the old Missouri pains me, for he had wonderfully defended the Lutheran Confessions in the first part of his essay against the onslaughts by the ELCA. I could even overlook his statement that "very likely this new translation [Kolb-Wengert] will become the standard for coming decades" (page 145). But I cannot overlook his use of Hermann Sasse's charges against the old Missouri, because the point of Sasse's charges are at the heart of the old Missouri (and the Lutheran Confessions!) – the Doctrine of Justification and the veracity of Holy Scripture!
"... we [do not] believe it [Holy Scripture] to be free from the deficiencies and limitations of truly human writings" (Ibid., pg 396)
"... we [Lutherans] have... no reason to preserve the form of this doctrine as we find it in the Orthodox Fathers, and as it has developed in all churches of Christendom at the conclusion of the sixteenth and in the seventeenth century." (Ibid., pgs 395-396)
And the following is from Sasse in 1950 for which I could find no retraction:
No, "the end of the Lutheran church" has not arrived because of Walther's teaching. Rather Sasse's confusion on the "slight error" in Scripture statement by Martin Luther shows that he did not understand Luther (where Walther did) and Sasse rather takes a position against Luther that is similar to those of the opponents like those from the Roman Church. Let the reader compare Walther's statement above to Sasse's argument against him. Walther's statement bears repeating again here:
"... If I believe this, that the Bible also contains errors, then it is no longer a touchstone for me, but it really needs such a touchstone for itself." – C.F.W. Walther, 1886.Sasse's so-called later teachings on Holy Scripture are unconvincing (at best), even with Prof. Jeffrey Kloha's heroic attempt to exonerate Sasse in his extensive book Scripture and the Church. And Kloha concludes his own essay in this book, "Hermann Sasse Confesses the Doctrine De Scriptura Sacra", with an equivocating appeal that
The Scripture cannot be broken. John 10:35And I read also that Prof. Eugene Klug judged Sasse's writing "Luther and the Word of God" (for the 450th anniversary for the Reformation) differently when he said (Ibid., page 410):
In the last post, Part 5h, of this "Concordia Triglotta" series, I prepare a dedication of the next series of posts for the edification of Prof. Roland Ziegler, a German native. And although the German language is native to him, yet he has perhaps inadvertently overlooked where the real strength of the Missouri Synod (and the Synodical Conference) came from – The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.