Search This Blog

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Triglotta– Ziegler/Sasse: A Dedication (Part 5h)

This continues from Part 5g, (Table of Contents here) and concludes my 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").  Part 5h offers a dedication to Prof. Ziegler as I finish this series on the venerable Concordia Triglotta – The Book of Concord.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

May Prof. Ziegler forget the detractions of Hermann Sasse against the old (German) Missouri Synod and realize that Franz Pieper carried Walther's teaching until the day he died in 1931.  And any strength that the LCMS has today is in large part due to Franz Pieper and what vestiges may remain of old Missouri in Ziegler's new English LCMS – the "Graebner Synod".  Indeed, Prof. Ziegler, what vestiges of true Lutheranism that still remain in Germany, in the "Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church", is almost exclusively due to Walther, Pieper and Pieper's Brief Statement, for they are the ones who carried Lutheranism to our modern world!  They are the ones who point us back to the heart of the Lutheran Confessions, Lutheranism, Martin Luther, and the Holy Scriptures.  

And the Concordia Triglotta is a testimony to them.

Prof. Ziegler – I am dedicating my next series of blog posts for your edification – the founding essay of the Synodical Conference on the Doctrine of Justification.

This is not a small matter... Sasse's reticence regarding the doctrine of Scripture is at odds with Martin Luther, let alone the old Missouri Synod or "Lutheran Orthodoxy", and is at odds with Christian teaching.  Sasse has set himself up as the judge and protector of the Lutheran Confessions – against old Missouri.  And Sasse's points of attack against the Brief Statement are precisely where he erred or was weak – Scripture, Justification, and the Church.  I will not take the time here (perhaps in another blog series) to delve into his weakness on the Doctrine of Justification... but the teaching of the Brief Statement exposes his weakness.

But in spite of Prof. Jeffrey Kloha's claim, Sasse's writings on the sacraments and the church have not been helpful for my Christian faith...  they rather leave me wondering: "So what?"  So what? ... about his teaching on the Sacraments and the Church if Scripture isn't held up as Walther and Pieper teach, yea, Martin Luther and the Confessions?  You could talk to me all day long about the "Real Presence" and about "Church and Ministry", but I would have to say "So what?"  So what do I care when I'm not sure if I'm going to heaven or hell?  Only when I heard of the already existing Justification, the Objective Justification and the Universal Justification, did I become absolutely certain.  If I'm not right, then you had better start also correcting the comment (by Jeff Wild) on on Walther's Doctrine of Justification that he (Jeff Wild) overstated his case when he said:

"For me this is the clearest description of the doctrine of justification that I have ever read."

Surely you will have to correct this comment by Jeff Wild to say that there was a better theologian, one who knew the Lutheran Confessions better than Walther and Pieper since this superior theologian chastised the Missouri Synod for its "elevation" of the Brief Statement –– the better theologian was Hermann Sasse!

Again, Prof. Ziegler – I am dedicating my next series of blog posts for your edification – the founding essay of the Synodical Conference.  I would like for you and all my readers to know just where Hermann Sasse was weak at best – the Doctrine of Justification.  And if you should scoff at this document and cling to Hermann Sasse as the better judge, then I will really have to worry about you for you will appear to be no different than the opponents of Pieper's Missouri Synod when Pieper's Last Words were:

I fear that some of our adversaries and earlier opponents themselves confess these Theses [Brief Statement] and yet with the heterodox they promote a mixed belief.

Are you also an opponent of the old Missouri that Pieper speaks of here?  — Prof. Ziegler, I tell you that Sasse was right!... at least when he said this, (Scripture and the Church, page 88):

"Luther does not know of errors in the Scripture."

With this statement, at least this much can be said of Hermann Sasse – that he did not directly deny that Luther fully held the doctrine of Inspiration, as other German theologians did deny – see Pieper's essay "Luther's Doctrine of Inspiration".

And if, Prof. Ziegler, you should get "Sasse" with me and continue to use him to criticize old Missouri, then I will have to get "Sasse" with you and quote all the "wonderful praise" that Sasse heaps on the old Missouri Synod.  Nein! Nein!, No! No! – it is those who were "uncomfortable" with Sasse's doctrinal error on Scripture, particularly Prof. Eugene Klug, who cried out against Sasse's errors (see this article in Concordia Journal July 1985) – they are the ones to be held up.

This blog is renewed in its efforts to neutralize the effects not only of Theodore Graebner's great error, but also the continued effects of his error through Hermann Sasse and now his followers.  I may even on occasion refer to today's LC-MS as the "Sasse" LC-MS!  ... even devote another series of blog posts to further evaluate the theology of Hermann Sasse.  But although I may be defending against Hermann Sasse, the real enemy is the great error, which is at the center of the life and death of the Missouri Synod, which caused the birth of today's LC-MS — the denial of the Doctrine of Universal, Objective Justification.

Prof. Ziegler — I am dedicating the following translation to you – for your edification, and so that you can continue to honor C.F.W. Walther, and also honor the Synodical Conference ... and Franz Pieper.  I beg you to not become a danger to those faithful congregations you mentioned earlier in your essay by using your extensive knowledge of "church history" and today's religious scene to further bring into question old Missouri's faithfulness to the Lutheran Confessions.  You must learn to properly distinguish – "Distinguendum Est" – between the old Missouri and the new English LC-MS.

Now for an antidote to Hermann Sasse (and Theodore Graebner) – I present an online English translation of the founding document of the Synodical Conference.  From 1872, I present the "Theses Over the Doctrine of Justification" authored by none other than C.F.W. Walther. See the next blog post...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments only accepted when directly related to the post.