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Saturday, September 6, 2014

God's chg of heart-6b: WELS opposes? (Curia essay)

     This continues from Part 6a (Table of Contents in Part 1) concerning J.T. Mueller's 1934 CTM essay defending Franz Pieper's seminal teaching on God's change of heart.  But who is he defending against?  Read on...
     I have told the reader from the beginning to "Read on", to find out who either opposed or had some disagreement with the way Franz Pieper taught "God's Change of Heart".  Prof. Mueller only mentioned theologians from Germany as the opposition, but the American Lutheran theologians outside the Synodical Conference who opposed Walther's teaching of Universal, Objective Justification also opposed Pieper's teaching on "God's Change of Heart". ...
     But now comes a surprising and distressing source of opposition from a former member of the Synodical Conference – the Wisconsin Ev. Lutheran Synod – the WELS.  Before I proceed further, I am publishing an essay that was presented to a pastor's conference of the WELS in January 1983.  It was authored by Pastor Rick Nicholas Curia and is perhaps the most extensive record of events connected with the doctrine of Universal, Objective Justification available today.  But it will become apparent later that Curia also presents a serious challenge to Franz Pieper's teaching of God's Change of Heart.
     In a previous blog post, where I compiled a list of theologians and essayists who taught or seemed to support the doctrine of Universal, Objective Justification (UOJ), I mentioned an essayist, a pastor from the WELS – Rick Nicholas Curia.  There I said:
Rick Curia- Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification- BT764.2 C82 1983.  A student of Siegbert Becker in WELS, he wrote the most exhaustive paper available today.  Only his contention that (old) Missouri and Wisconsin differed in respect to the change/no change in God’s disposition misses the mark.  There was no difference (cf Franz Pieper – Christian Dogmatics) .
Curia has some essays published by the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary on their WLS essays website.  However his major essay ("Significant History...") is strangely missing there.  But it is available on here.  Although I stated before that "There was no difference" between the old Missouri Synod and the Wisconsin Synod, there were some things written that would call this into question.  And Pastor Rick Nicholas Curia has brought this "difference" into the light.  Although there is a major issue against Pastor Curia, I am hereby publishing this entire essay with full text and have added hundreds of hypertext links.  Why am I doing this?  Because this essay has extensive Church History recorded in it, far more than I could publish on my blog.  But even this essay is not fully complete as I had to correct some of Curia's errors and supplement it with even more resource material.  Anyway, here is the entire essay – over a hundred pages, hundreds of Endnotes, hundreds of bibliographic resources.  The essay is so large that it is quite difficult to navigate between the body text and related references and so I have spent some days adding hundreds of hyperlinks to drastically reduce the effort to make use of this document.  I will be referring to this essay in the future.
Underlining is in the original. Highlighting is mine. Hyperlinks added for reference.

(Direct link available >> here << to Google Docs original)
What is most striking about this essay?  After all, Pastor Rick Nicholas Curia
  • offers high praise for the doctrine of Universal, Objective Justification, and speaks of it
  • even "On my death bed", 
  • even when on his death bed he asks those visiting to "bring me the Gospel, pure and simple" to
  • "Bring me the good news of the world's justification in Christ!", to 
  • "Tell me that in Christ God has forgiven all sins to all people!", then
  • "Then I'll be able to close my eyes and breathe my last in the peace that transcends all understanding, and with the joy that overcomes the sorrows of life."
... but I must tell the reader that Pastor Rick Nicholas Curia is no longer a pastor... but why?  In the next Part 6c, it may become apparent why Rick Nicholas Curia is no longer in the ministry...

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