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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Triglotta– Sasse/Ziegler, "Statementarians" (5c); The Confessional Lutheran

This continues from Part 5b, part of a series concerning the newly available book Concordia Triglotta from CPH. (See Table of Contents here)  And Part 5c continues a review of an essay from Prof. Roland Ziegler (of CTS-FW) published in CTQ of April 2002 on the newest English translation (Kolb-Wengert) of the Lutheran Confessions (or the "Book of Concord").  The title of Ziegler's essay was "The New Translation of the Book of Concord: Locking the Barn Door After...".

The original essay's text is in black text.
Highlighting in yellow or blue is of significant wording by Ziegler.  
My comments are in red font. Many hyperlinks added throughout.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  cont'd from Part 5b  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
The New Translation of the Book of Concord:
Closing the barn door after...
Roland F. Ziegler
(CTQ, April 2002, pages 145-165 - reviewed pages 160-165)

4) The Confessions in the LCMS (pg 162)

Sasse sees another area of conspicuous absence of the Confessions in the debate between the Statementarians ...
What?  Ziegler just above mentioned the Brief Statement and now he speaks of the "Statementarians"... does he mean the adherents of the Brief Statement?  Oh no, Ziegler assumes all his readers are quite familiar with another faction in the LCMS who published "A Statement (of the 44)"... these are the "Statementarians" that Ziegler is referring to.  But Prof. Ziegler, you are so careful in delineating the false doctrines of the Reformed against the Lutherans earlier in your essay, but now you so casually bring up the "Statementarians"... as if they are the old Missouri...  maybe even followers of the "Brief Statement"?  Surely you know it was quite the opposite, for the "Statementarians" were the "contrarians" and clandestinely fought against the Brief Statement because it fought against the false doctrines of the other Lutherans in America... and Germany.
and those represented by the Confessional Lutheran. In A Statement ...
"A Statement" of the 44, by the Statementarians, not the Brief Statement!
there is no reference to the Confessions, instead of that there is mentioned "the great Lutheran principle of the inerrancy, certainty, and all sufficiency of Holy Writ" ...
How horrible!... to appeal to the Lutheran principle of the inerrancy, certainty and all sufficiency of "Holy Writ"!  Isn't it terrible that even the erring Statementarians should (weakly) appeal to this?!
and a general appeal to every article of the "historic Lutheran position."47 The great deficiency Sasse sees in A Statement is that the question of church fellowship is not discussed as a dogmatic issue:
By moving the whole problem into the area of ethics and pastoral theological casuistry (how does the individual pastor, or the individual Christian, or the individual congregation act in a given case on the basis of Scripture?), the "ecumenical" Missourians overlook the fact that the problem is dogmatic and theological, and therefore cannot be solved with the means of pastoral care alone.48
There The Confessional Lutheran was right, when they saw that a supposed ethical reform had become a dogmatic one. The problem is on both sides that in a time of crisis and change, when traditional concepts are challenged, there is no further and new examination, which leads either to a new proof or a revision, but there is either an agenda shaped by politics (pan-Lutheran union), or ethics (less judgmental and more loving), or a mere repetition of traditional statements, without being able to show their confessional and biblical foundation.

I have read and re-read the above section many times but I still cannot quite figure out what Ziegler and Sasse are trying to say here.  Sasse may have some correct points against "A Statement" of the 44, but it is quite muddled.  The praise of the faithful defenders of Lutheran doctrine among those publishing The Confessional Lutheran seems legitimate, but then they also are described as having a problem... a problem in offering "a mere repetition of traditional statements [Brief Statement?], without being able to show their confessional and biblical foundation."  I believe that Sasse is clearly taking aim at the Brief Statement.  How he chafes at the old Missouri's defense of the Doctrine of Inspiration!  But this begs the question for Prof. Roland Ziegler... is he too taking aim at the Brief Statement and its strong stand on the doctrines of the inerrancy and infallibility of "Holy Writ"?  What about it, Prof. Ziegler?
- - - - - - - - - Continued in Part 5d - - - - - - - - - -

Indeed, Prof. Ziegler, are you "on the fence" between Sasse's "human side" of Scripture ... or Walther's divinely inspired, absolutely errorless Bible?  Or do you think you can stand on that tightrope?
The next Part 5d will cover Ziegler's "present situation".

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