How well Walther distinguishes The Lutheran Difference from the papists in general, Jesuits, Enthusiasts, etc. I am reminded of the sect called the "Shakers", a group known in part by their woodworking. But their name speaks volumes about them, doesn't it? Could it indicate their "enthusiasm" in their "spirit", a "spirit" quite apart from the Holy Spirit? Walther speaks of how they rely on their "shaky feelings" instead of the "eternally constant Word". Even though the world would call them "Protestants", they weren't. They (along with Methodism) are Enthusiasts.
There is a great concern in today's Lutheranism that the real problem in today's church could be solved by the Third Use of the Law. Essays and papers are given on this subject, but Walther points us to the best teacher there is on the subject — Martin Luther. If a theologian cannot proclaim the pure Gospel properly distinguished from the Law, then he knows absolutely nothing of the Third Use.
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.
We say: ‘God has in Christ already absolved all sinners; the pastor — as well as everyone else who consoles the sinner with the Gospel — brings him only this absolution, and whoever believes this, has it.I confess: if the forgiveness or absolution spoken to me does not include all sinners (universal) and that it is already existing in God's heart (objective), then I am going to hell.
In the next Part 28...