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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

LDJ–Part 22 (p 63-65)—No one excluded; "inclusive worship"?

     This continues from the previous Part 21 presenting a new translation of C.F.W. Walther's seminal essay in 1859 (see Part 1 for Table of Contents).  In this Part 22, Walther finishes the quotes on Predestination and begins quoting Luther on Universal Grace.  This directly ties into my previous 4-part blog series quoting Luther's (greatest?) sermon on John 1:29 – "the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world".  So if someone from anywhere on the Internet or in schools of theology thinks they know Luther, let them expound on Luther with this... on God's Universal Will of Grace!  Do you see now why God says
O taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8
     Underlining follows Walther's emphasis in original.  Hypertext links have been copiously added for reference to original sources and on several subjects.  Highlighting is mine.
= = = = = = = = = = = =  Part 22: Pages 63-65 (1880)  = = = = = = = = = = = =
(cont'd from Part 21)
The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.
[by C.F.W. Walther]
[1880-63] … Furthermore, on the words in Matt. 13:13 and 15: “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not … For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them..”— on these words writes Calvin:  “He says that He speaks obscurely to the masses because they are not partakers of the true light.  However, when He says that the blind are covered with a blanket so that they remain in their darkness, He does not ascribe to them the guilt for this situation, but rather thereby praises the grace the apostles experienced, because it is not equally common to all.  So He gives no reason except the secret counsel of God, although the reason for it, hidden from us, is nevertheless known to Himself....  For this purpose the Lord actually wants His Word to be preached, that the hearts of men might be renewed and that they might be reconciled with Him. In regard to the rejected, however, Isaiah here proclaims to the contrary that their stony hardness remains in them, so that they attain no mercy and that the effect is withheld from the Word in their case so that it does not soften their hearts to repentance.”  Over the same words Luther writes:  “These words: Lest at any time they should see with their eyes ... and should be converted, and I should heal them,’ seem to be spoken out of jealousy, just as if He did not want them to see and to be helped. But the whole passage must be read as a relationship of one after another , that it hangs together as on a chain, as follows: These people have a hardened heart and ears that are dull of hearing and eyes that are closed, etc., that is why they cannot be converted and why they cannot be helped. As if He would say: ‘The [W1859-47] hardness of their heart stands in the [1880-64] way, that they do not see and that I cannot help them. I would gladly help them to be sure, He says, that is why I am sending My Son; but the hardness of their hearts stands in the way of My will and their salvation.” (Walch W1 VII, 295-296, paragr. 20; StL Ed. 7, 195, paragr. 20; not in Am. Ed. )
Of the universality of grace and reconciliation writes Luther on John 1:16:  “Just as the dear sun does not darken or be eclipsed that it must shine on many people, indeed the whole world glories in its light, brightness, and luminousness; nevertheless it keeps all its light [and] loses nothing; it is an extremely bright light, could well illuminate even ten worlds…: thus Christ our Lord (to which we must have shelter and ask everything) [Essays1-52] is an unending wellspring and main source of all grace, truth, righteousness, wisdom, life, that is without measure, limit or bottom; so that even if the whole world were to draw from it so much grace and truth that all would be transformed into complete angels, still it would not lose as much as a drop; this fountain overflows forever, full of grace.  Now whoever, no one excluded, wants to enjoy its grace, let him come and receive it from Him.” (Walch W1 VII, 1597, paragr. 322; StL Ed. 7, 1685-1686, paragr. 322; [cf. Am. Ed.  22, 134])  Further writes Luther on these words: “Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world”, John 1:29:  “It is beyond measure the fine and comforting preaching about Christ our Savior; we can nevermore attain it with words, nor indeed also with our thoughts.  In the life beyond we will forever find our joy and delight in this, that the Son of God so deeply abased Himself that He takes my sin on His back;  yes, not only my sins, but also those of the whole world, from those of Adam down to the very last man, these sins will He take upon Himself; for these He is willing to suffer and die for them, so that I may be without sin and obtain eternal life and salvation. ...  On this now stands the [1880-65] basis of all Christian doctrine; whoever believes this is a Christian; whoever does not believe it is no Christian, he will also find his portion.  Indeed it is stated clear enough: ‘This is the dear Lamb of God, that bears the sin of the world, and this text is God’s Word and not our word, nor is it conceived by us that this Lamb was sacrificed by God for this reason and that the dear Lamb, in obedience to the Father, took upon Himself the whole world’s sin.  But the world will not have this, it does not want to concede the honor to this dear Lamb that our salvation depends entirely on His bearing our sin.  The world also wants to be something and the more it wants to do and atone for sin, the worse it makes things....  “The Lamb Himself preaches to us, saying: Behold, how I bear your sin, but no one will accept it; and if we believed and accepted it, no one would be damned.  What more should the Lamb do?  He says: You are all condemned, but I will take your sins upon Myself; I have become the whole world; I have taken on all people since Adam into My person, with the result that though we have inherited sin from Adam, He wants to give us righteousness in exchange.  There I should say: I will believe this, that my dear Lord, the Lamb of God, has taken all sin upon Himself.  Yet the world refuses to believe or to accept it, and if it did believe, no one would be lost. …   That one but does not believe [W1859-48] is not from a lack of the Lord Christ, rather the guilt is mine.  If I don’t believe it, so I lie in my condemnation.  I must simply say that God’s dear Lamb has carried the sin of the world; and I am earnestly commanded to believe and confess it, also to die in it. — Yes, you may say,  who knows whether He also carries my sin?  I well believe that He bore the sin of St. Peter, St. Paul, and other saints; they were devout people; Oh, that I were like St. Peter or St. Paul!  Do you not then hear, [1880-66]  what St. John says here?

= = = = = = = = =  cont'd in Part 23  = = = = = = = = =
Those who claim "inclusive worship", as if to charge Christianity with exclusiveness, only rob those who come to them where "grace is no more grace"; but with them, "it be of works" and "then is it no more grace" (Romans 11:6).  Would to God they presented the true Grace of God... the grace that Martin Luther uncovered and proclaimed to the world.  And C.F.W. Walther proclaimed it again to the New World!

In the next Part 23...

Sunday, April 27, 2014

LDJ–Part 21 (p 60-62)—Reformed Predestination vs. Justification

     This continues from the previous Part 20 presenting a new translation of C.F.W. Walther's seminal essay in 1859 (see Part 1 for Table of Contents).  In this Part 21, Walther uses Luther's writings to hammer the Reformed teaching of Predestination that overthrows the Doctrine of Justification.  To all those Calvinist preachers, like Charles Spurgeon, A.W. Pink, Jonathan Edwards, etc., not to mention today's Calvinists, Walther says: different Luther’s doctrine of predestination is from that of Calvin
     In the later years of Walther's life (about 1879-1887), he had to fight a raging battle against the other Lutherans in America who erred on the doctrines of Predestination and Election (of Grace).  These cunning opponents even attempted to pin Calvinism on to Walther's teaching... what a joke!  It was largely centered around the Latin phrase intuitu fidei.  (This spilled over into the teaching on Conversion also.) Here we see that already in 1859, in his middle years, Walther was fully versed in these doctrines and was training his Synod.  He could properly defend these doctrines only because he had the proper basis of ... the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.
     Underlining follows Walther's emphasis in original.  Hypertext links have been copiously added for reference to original sources and on several subjects.  Highlighting is mine.
= = = = = = = = = = = =  Part 21: Pages 60-62 (1880)  = = = = = = = = = = = =
(cont'd from Part 20)
The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.
[by C.F.W. Walther]
[1880-60]  8. The doctrine of this sublime mystery of predestination must be treated with special wisdom and caution, so that the people, heeding His will as revealed in His Word and in obedience to Him, might, through the certainty of their effective calling, be assured of their eternal election. Thus this doctrine will become the object of praise, reverence, and admiration of God, and of humility, zeal, and overflowing comfort to all who truly obey the Gospel.” (See The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. Philadelphia, 1840, pp. 21—27; [cf.])
As said before, these errors appeared already at Luther’s time even among the Lutherans – errors by reason of which overthrow the doctrine of justification, therefore Luther already earnestly witnessed against them. [W1859-45]
He writes in the year 1536 in a theological opinion: “Human reason composes a disparate will of God, as if God were a tyrant who has several assistants whose conduct pleases him, be it good or bad, and on the other hand he hates the others, regardless of what they do.  So should one not think of God’s will in that way. This passage is eternally true (Ps. 5:4): Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness or sin.  When he accepts the saints who still have sin in them, yet he yet does not accept them without a large payment.  Christ had to be a sacrifice for whose sake God accepts and spares us, so long as we remain in faith and when we are in faith.”
Shortly before he had written: “On the basis of these and many other testimonies have we always in all churches unanimously taught thus: If a saint knowingly and willingly acts against God’s command, then he is no longer holy and has disavowed the true faith and the Holy Spirit; but if he turns around and repents, then [1880-61] God keeps His gracious oath in which he says, ‘As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live’ [Ezek. 33:11]. Therefore God, for Christ’s sake, accepts this convert, again to ignite in his heart, through the Gospel and the Holy Spirit, true faith. And we are not commanded to ask for a moment if we are elect, but it is enough that we know: Whoever finally remains in his repentance and faith, that is most certainly elect and saved, [Essays1-51] as Christ saith:  Blessed are they who persevere to the end.’” (Erlangen Ed. LV, 165 f.; [Walch W1 X, 2000-2001, paragrs 8-7; StL Ed. 10, 1709-1710, paragrs. 8-7; not in Am. Ed.]  )
Luther also writes in his House Postil, 1544 edition, on the Gospel for Septuagesima Sunday:  “From the last sentence: ‘Many are called, but few are chosen,  [Matt.. 20:16], the meddlesome heads derive various absurd and ungodly thoughts; they think: Whom God hath chosen, he shall be saved without means; but again, whom he has not chosen may do what he will, be as pious and devout as he will, yet it has been so ordered by God that he must fall, and he cannot be saved.  Therefore, let happen what will.  If I’m to be saved, it will happen without my cooperation; if not, whatever I do or carry out is in vain anyway.  Anyone can easily gather by himself what kind of disobedient, secure people grow from such thoughts. …  Some draw for themselves other ideas and interpret the words thus: Many are called, that is, God offers His grace to many; but few are chosen, that is, He permits His grace to be received by only a few, because only a few of them will be saved.  That is an especially godless understanding.  For how can it be possible for someone who thinks and believes nothing else about God not therefore to hate God, whose will alone is at fault that we won’t all be saved?  But if you consider this opinion with that which emerges when you first learn to know the Lord Christ, [1880-62] you will find that they are pure devilish blasphemies.  Therefore this passage has a far different meaning: ‘Many are called,’ etc., because the sermon of the gospel goes forth generally and in public, for whoever only hears and wants to accept it; and that is also why God lets the Gospel be proclaimed so commonly and publicly, so that everyone should hear, believe, and [W1859-46] accept it and be saved.  As hereafter follows in the Gospel: ‘Few are chosen,’ i.e., few hold themselves with the Gospel that God has pleasure in them.” (Walch W1 XIII, 473-476, paragrs. 16-xx; StL Ed. 13, 199-20X, paragrs. 16-XX; not in Klug’s Sermons of Martin Luther: The House Postils; not in Am. Ed., old Series)
Here is another example of how different Luther’s doctrine of predestination is from that of Calvin. Commenting on the Lord’s words in Matt. 11:25, “ I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes,” – Calvin adds by way of explanation: “That few come to faith (and] others remain blinded and hardened—this is accomplished by his free election, because He draws some, whereas He passes the rest by, and he alone makes a distinction among men, whose condition by nature is alike.”  (*)  Luther, on the other hand, writes on the same words:  “Christ here praises the fact that God is right in concealing his mysteries from the wise and prudent, because they want to be above, not under, God.  Not that he concealed it in deed and truth or  by his will, inasmuch as he commands that it be preached publicly under all the Heavens and in all lands; but he has chosen such preaching from which the wise and prudent by nature have a loathing, and that it is hidden from them because of their own fault, since they will not have it.”

[1880-63] (Walch W1 VII, 201, paragr. 35; StL Ed. 7, 133, paragr. 35; not in Am. Ed.)  Furthermore, on the words in Matt. 13:13 and 15,

= = = = = = = = =  cont'd in Part 22  = = = = = = = = =
In the next Part 22, Walther continues this scathing attack on the deadly Reformed errors.

Who was Theo. Tappert? ("church historian"?)

Theodore G. Tappert
Who was Theo. Tappert († 1973)?

  • He, along with Jaroslav Pelikan, was the architect of the American Edition of Luther's Works:   "...his proposed table of contents for an edition of the works of Luther in English was blended with mine [Jaroslav Pelikan] to form the basis for the American Edition, which I then helped to edit." — Jaroslav Pelikan in the book The Reflective Reformer: Theodore G. Tappert, in "Others Remember" section [2017-10-21: fixed broken link].
  • His translation and editing of the Book of Concord overthrew the Concordia Triglotta as the main English translation of the Lutheran Confessions for generations of LC-MS theologians and pastors.  Fellow collaborators were Jaroslav Pelikan (there he is again), and Arthur C. Piepkorn.  The reference to "Tappert" in many writings referencing the Lutheran Confessions was to this book.  (Why was there an almost overnight disappearance of the venerable Concordia Triglotta?  Why must Concordia Publishing House struggle to get the Triglotta published again?)
  • He was a department editor of the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (1955), published by the Reformed book publisher Baker Book House.
  • He translated Hermann Sasse's Here We Stand book into English.
  • He wrote the book Lutheran Confessional Theology in America, 1840-1880 in 1972, purporting to give the true Historical Theology of several theologians, including C.F.W. Walther.
  • He was presented its highest award by the Concordia Historical Institute (along with C.S. Meyer) for the above book in 1972.  Director August Suelflow wrote the following (see here): "When his volume Lutheran Confessional Theology in America, 1840-1880 was produced by Oxford University Press, New York, in 1972, it immediately became obvious to the Institute's Committee on Awards that there was an author who should receive every consideration to receive the Institute's newly created "Distinguished Service Award" which consisted of a certificate and a replica of the unique medal which apparently was struck in 1546 to commemorate the death of the great reformer, Martin Luther. The Awards Committee was unanimous in the choice of Dr. Tappert."
Theo. "Ted" Tappert holds a position of "honor" as a church historian within today's LC-MS similar to Hermann Sasse.  Why is this?  Because today's (English) LC-MS is not the old (German) Missouri Synod.  But neither Theo. Tappert or Hermann Sasse were true church historians.  There is no mention of Franz Pieper in virtually all the writings of Theo. Tappert.  Why?  Franz Pieper said it best concerning "Historical Theology" (Christian Dogmatics, vol. 1, pgs.100-101):
It is the function of historical theology not only to give a historically true picture of the events, but also to evaluate these established facts in the light of Scripture.  Historical theology is the divinely taught art of ascertaining from Scripture God's verdict on the historical events and conditions.  ...  When the church historian judges events according to his subjective view or any other extra-Biblical norm, church history is no longer a theological discipline. ...Where things are as they should be, the Church will, therefore, elect only such men as professors of church history as are thoroughly conversant with the Scripture doctrine in all its parts, well informed in dogmatics, in order that the instruction in church history will not confuse but aid Christian understanding.
When today's LC-MS pastors and theologians want to learn more about the theology of C.F.W. Walther, they turn to Tappert's assessment in his book Lutheran Confessional Theology in America, 1840-1880, indeed, they give Tappert its highest award!  But Tappert's theology lacked the "light of Scripture" in many ways, and substituted his subjective view.   An associate of Tappert, E. Clifford Nelson – another "church historian", wrote the following about Tappert and the controversies within the LC-MS in the 1960s:
... an article ... under the title, The Maturing of American Lutheranism  ... "The Word of God according to the Lutheran Confessions." ... it almost goes without saying that it speaks immediately– but without specific reference–to the Missouri Synod and the demonic internecine warfare that plagues that particular household and impairs the totality of witness to the world by all who name the Name of Christ. (The Reflective Reformer, sub-section "In Memoriam".)
The "demonic internecine warfare" in the LC-MS?  So the Concordia Historical Institute awarded its highest "Distinguished Service Award" to an outside theologian of the L.C.A. (see graphic) who wrote to assist in its "demonic internecine warfare"?  Maybe we can judge the Concordia Historical Institute from this...

There is no mention of Franz Pieper in virtually all the writings of Theo. Tappert – and there is a reason for this.   Theo. Tappert was one of the opponents of the old (German) Missouri Synod that Franz Pieper spoke about in his Last Words to the Missouri Synod.  Why?  Because Tappert opposed the pure Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.  And today's (English) LC-MS that followed Tappert is not the old (German) Missouri Synod, but rather the "Graebner Synod".

For those who are interested in true Church History, they would be better informed by reading the writings of those men in my masthead: Luther, Walther, and ... Franz Pieper!  ... and not Theo. Tappert.

Friday, April 25, 2014

LDJ–Part 20 (pages 57-59)—God's death

     This continues from the previous Part 19 presenting a new translation of C.F.W. Walther's seminal essay in 1859 (see Part 1 for Table of Contents).  In this Part 20, Walther brings out Luther's teaching of Christology, especially against the Reformed errors.  Lutherans would do well to follow Walther's underlining to refresh their training.  This is one of the more familiar teachings among Lutherans, but what is the basis for it?...  Hint: see the title of Walther's essay.  Get the basis wrong (LDJ), and "Christology" falls apart...
     With these quotes of Luther that Walther extracted and stringed together, I find myself renewed in the use and reuse of the phrase
Back To Luther!
     Hey, Concordia Publishing House, it seems this LDJ essay by Walther is the greatest sales tool you have to sell your American Edition of Luther's Works, even though I caution against those who produced it (editors and translators), and published it (you).  It seems like I have had to pull out a majority of the volumes of the (old) 54-volume set to keep up with Walther's references to Luther's writings.
==>> Note to potential buyers and readers of the American Edition- old or New Series: Nevermind the useless (and damaging) spirituality of the editors and "scholars" of Luther (Jaroslav Pelikan, etc.) in the "American Edition"... just listen to Luther.
     Underlining follows Walther's emphasis in original.  Hypertext links have been copiously added for reference to original sources and on several subjects.  Highlighting is mine.
= = = = = = = = = = = =  Part 20: Pages 57-59 (1880)  = = = = = = = = = = = =
(cont'd from Part 19)
The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.
[by C.F.W. Walther]
[1880-57] [W1859-43]
In his writing On the Councils and the Churches Luther says with regard to the same subject: “Oh, Lord God, with such a blessed, comforting article should one in true faith, without contradiction or doubt, always be happy, sing, praise, and thank God the Father for [His] inexpressible mercy in allowing His dear Son to become a human being like us, and [our] Brother. Yet the accursed devil brings on such apathy, through proud, ambitious, [and] desperate people, that our precious and blessed joy is impeded and spoiled. May God have pity.  For we Christians must know this: where God is not also in the scale and tips the balance, we on our side will sink to the bottom.  So this is what I mean: where it should not say: God died for us, but only a man, then we are lost; but if God’s death and God deceased lies in the scale, then He sinks and we rise like a light empty balance scale.  He can also ascend on high again or leap out of His scale.  But He could not enter the scale without becoming a man like us, so that it could be said: God’s dying, God’s martyrdom, God’s blood, and God’s death.   For, by His nature, God cannot die; but now that God and man are united in one person, it is correctly called God’s death’ when that man dies who with God is one thing or one person....  I have indeed also had before me Nestorians, who fought very stubbornly against me that the divine nature of Christ could not suffer, and as a trademark symbol, Zwingli also wrote against me on this passage: Verbum caro factum est (The Word was made flesh, John 1:14), and simply would not have that “was made” [or “became”] should apply to “Word.” [or Verbum (the Word) be called factum (made)]
[cont’d from 1880-56 footnote] first cause is [to be].” (Cf. Instit. II, 17, 1; Institutes of the Christian Religion, CCEL)  Luther, however, says on John 3:  “For the sake of the high majesty of his person, his sleep and his fasting for a moment, or for hours, is better than all the works and fastings of all the saints on earth.”

[1880-58] but wanted it to read “The flesh was made word,” (Verbum caro facta est) [Flesh (i.e., man) became the Word (i.e., God)]. Reason: God could not become anything. But at that time I did not know that this was the arrogance of Nestorius.” (Walch W1 XVI, 2728, 2730, paragrs. 169, 171; StL Ed. 16, 2231-2232, paragrs. 169, 171; [cf. Am. Ed. 41, 103-105])  [Endnote P]
To be sure it was first through Calvin [Essays1-50] these doctrines were admitted by part of the Reformed: that God unconditionally determined one part of mankind for salvation, the others to damnation; that God has a twofold dissimilar will, the secret and the revealed, the latter opposed by the former; that Christ died only for the elect and that He calls only these earnestly, that is, with the intent of making them believers and saved; that a believing, chosen person cannot lose the faith – but not only had Zwingli already taught this, even among the Lutherans those errors, at least in part, showed up as a result of  misunderstood sayings of Luther.  (*)
For evidence that the Calvinist-Reformed really cherish these teachings, may it suffice here the third chapter of the Presbyterian confession of faith, “Concerning the Eternal Counsel of God.” It reads as follows:  “1. From all eternity, according to the exceedingly wise and holy counsel of His own will, God has freely and unalterably ordained everything that  [W1859-44] happens; yet in such a way that neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence done to the free will of [His] creatures, nor is the freedom or contingency of second causes removed, but rather established.  2. Although God knows what may or can happen under all given circumstances, He has not predetermined anything because
*) So taught, for example, a pastor at Kahla that the elect remain righteous and keep the Holy Spirit, even if they fall into manifest sins.  Luther wrote of him: “He has been warned against this with chastening words, and we hope he will think better of it.” (Erlangen Ed. LV, 166)

[1880-59] He foresaw it as lying in the future or as something that would happen under such circumstances.  3. According to the counsel of God, for the revelation of His glory, some human beings and angels are predestined to eternal life and others foreordained to eternal death.  4. These angels and human beings who are thus predestined and foreordained are in particular (in regard to their person) and unalterably predestined; and their number is so certain and limited that it can neither be increased nor decreased.  5. Those people who are predestined to [eternal] life, God chose for everlasting glory before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and unalterable purpose, according to the hidden counsel and pleasure of His will, out of His free grace and love, without any preconsideration of faith or of good works or of continuance in them or of any other thing in the creature, such as stipulations and causes that [might] move Him to do this; and all this to the praise of His glorious grace.  6. Just as God has predestined the elect to glory, so He has, according to an eternal and completely free purpose of His will, foreordained all [necessary] means to this end. Therefore those who—fallen in Adam— have been elected are redeemed by Christ, are truly called to faith in Christ by His Spirit at the proper time, are justified, receive the adoption of sons, [and] are sanctified and preserved by His might through faith to salvation. Nor is anyone else redeemed by Christ, effectively called, made righteous, received into sonship, sanctified, and saved, but only the elect.   7. It pleased God according to the unsearchable counsel of His will, by virtue of which He grants and denies grace as He pleases, to pass by the remainder of mankind, to the praise of His sovereign might over His creatures, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath because of their sins, [1880-60] to the praise of His glorious righteousness.

= = = = = = = = =  cont'd in Part 21  = = = = = = = = =
In the next Part 21...