Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

BRIEF STATEMENT – Special Presentation, Part 3 (Postscript, German text)

[Note: July 21, 2015 - added download for 1893 German text of Pieper's early "Brief Statement".-- see #3 below.]
     This concludes from Part 2 on the Brief Statement.  —  It was a great temptation to highlight many, many portions of the Brief Statement published in Part 2, but I refrained from doing so, only to keep the whole document as it was published.  I am bookmarking Part 2 because as I was proofreading the Brief Statement, it came alive for me once again.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To wrap up this Special Presentation, I want to present 4 more items:
  • 1.  A link for direct access to the document from which Part 2 came (i.e. the English version Brief Statement of 1932) in Google Docs  >>  here  << .  Although this document has all hyperlinks, the Bible verse links ( imported from Reftagger) do not have the handy "display tooltip on mouseover" balloon showing the Bible verse provided by Reftagger in my blogpost.
  • 2. Comments from Part 1 and Part 2 alerted and reminded me of earlier similar writings of Pieper.  I have come up with the version published in the 1902 edition of The Distinctive Doctrines and Usages of the General Bodies of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States from the Philadelphia based Lutheran Publication Society for the Synodical Conference.  According to my commenter, the 1893 & 1914 editions are essentially the same as 1902.  Below is the text:

  • 3)  From the Missouri Synod convention proceedings in 1893, the published German language (scanned), pgs 26-53 is downloadable >>  here  <<. (See also here for listing of Pieper's essays; July 21, 2015 addition -- full digital DOC file for German language text HERE.)
  • 4)  Because of a possible need in Germany for the electronic text of the German language version of the final Brief Statement (see Part 1 for scanned copy), I have extracted the text from the May 1931 CTM issue and present it below.  Unfortunately it has no hyperlinks.  Emphasized words in original are underlined, not italicized:

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

         Why this "Special Presentation?"  To demonstrate (according to Arthur Carl Piepkorn) how much the Brief Statement "failed of its purpose from the outset" and came to overthrow the Lutheran Confessions (in spite of its many references to them).  So I spent several hours hyperlinking Pieper's references to the (Triglotta text).  Let the reader examine Pieper's many Scripture references, his many references to, and praise of, the Book of Concord, and judge whether the "Beloved, LegendaryArthur Carl Piepkorn is correct in his judgement that the Brief Statement "failed of its purpose from the outset".  —  
    "Extended Statement"
         And if the reader should judge differently than Piepkorn, then I would suggest that they obtain Franz Pieper's "Extended Statement", i.e. his 4-volume Christian Dogmatics book series, and read them cover to cover, over and over, making notes as you go... like I (and Ludwig Fuerbringer) did.  —  I say my re-publication of the Brief Statement is "repristinated" mainly because of the restored emphasized words in italics, not so much because of the corrected proofreading errors, and also because of the hyperlinks to the references.  The marvelous Internet tools we now have in our hands so easily and quickly allow us (me!) to read the supporting references.  Indeed, I have become even more of a "confessional Lutheran" because of... the Brief Statement.
         How I have to laugh now!  Why?  Because it is the Concordia Triglotta (the "golden Concordia"), not Tappert, not Kolb/Wengert, not even McCain's Reader's Edition that is the most easily accessible English language Lutheran Book of Concord for the public to study, bar none, because it is freely available and easily searchable on the Internet – the! ... so easy to refer to from the Brief Statement.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    May God bless this "Special Presentation" of the Brief Statement to His Glory.  Amen!  Amen!


    1. To better understand the immediate theological context of the final form of the Brief Statement in 1932, it is helpful to compare the Brief Statement with the Intersynodical (Chicago) Theses which had been unanimously approved by representatives of the Missouri, Wisconsin, Buffalo, Iowa, and Ohio Synods in 1925 and revised in 1928. These Theses were presented to the Missouri Synod in convention in 1929 and rejected by the synod as an inadequate basis for the establishment of fellowship. The Buffalo, Iowa, and Ohio Synods went on to form the (old) American Lutheran Church in 1930, and the Missouri Synod adopted the Brief Statement in 1932. The text of the Chicago Theses can be found in the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary essay file ( by clicking on the "topic" file, then clicking on the letter "c," scrolling down the page to click on "Chicago Theses," and finally searching for the title "Chicago Theses" rather than the essays about the Chicago Theses. It is amazing to me that representatives of both the Missouri and Wisconsin Synods would have approved the Chicago Theses, and it is to the glory of God that the Missouri Synod in convention rejected them.

      1. Thank you for additional information that sheds light on true Church History. I checked my "Timeline" blog post to see how the "Chicago Theses” showed up there, but your information gives the better background! You should write an essay (or book!) giving even more helpful background… it would be a help for the Church. (I don’t trust writers for CHI to do this well.) And indeed, Pieper (and Bente) had been stalwarts for decades as they met with other erring American Lutheran synods outside the Synodical Conference. Lehre und Wehre is filled with tremendous Church History throughout Pieper’s lifetime.
        You again make a striking statement: "It is amazing to me that representatives of both the Missouri and Wisconsin Synods would have approved the Chicago Theses, and it is to the glory of God that the Missouri Synod in convention rejected them." – The reason that these heterodox theses were rejected is due in large part because the "Twentieth Century Luther" was still living... the author of the Brief Statement... Franz Pieper. Oh, there were signs of strength even after his (and Bente's) passing, but it faded fast as the old (German) Missouri Synod morphed into the ... "LC-MS", or what I call the Graebner Synod, the synod I was born into and grew up in.
        Some may think my praise of Franz Pieper is excessive... I don't. Your comment leads well into my next blog post which shows Friedrich Bente’s praise of Pieper’s Christian Dogmatics books… it seems I’m not the only one with this kind of praise for Pieper...

      2. Here is a better link to my original "Timeline" blogs... don't know why the original one does not work:

      3. The posts in this blog demonstrate very clearly Pieper's influence upon the Missouri Synod and the preparation of the final form of the Brief Statement. Unfortunately, that influenced quickly waned after Pieper's death in 1931. By 1935 the "liberals" had engineered the election of John Behnken, a "Jimmy Carter-style 'conservative,'" as synodical president in place of the orthodox Friedrich Pfotenhauer; in his autobiography THIS I RECALL Behnken admitted that a "campaign" had led to his election, the first in Missouri Synod history. By 1938 the Missouri Synod was actively seeking fellowship with the "old" ALC (1930 merger,) only 9 years after the Missouri Synod had rejected the Chicago Theses which the synods which made up the ALC believed was a sufficient basis for fellowship. In 1939 the Wisconsin Synod and "Little Norwegian" Synod (ELS) began expressing their concerns about the Missouri Synod's efforts to establishing fellowship with the ALC without the full resolution of doctrinal differences, but by 1941 the Missouri Synod had accepted participation in the unionistic military chaplaincy, and by 1944 the synod had accepted participation in the unionistic Boy Scounts and also a false distinction between "joint prayer" and "prayer fellowship" which the LCMS maintains to this day in order to practice joint prayer without doctrinal agreement. It is also interesting to compare the doctrine of the Antichrist as taught in the Chicago Theses with what the Brief Statement says, and then compare modern LCMS statements about the Antichrist with the documents of 1928 & 1932 to see which synod(s) the modern LCMS is closer to in its current doctrine of the Antichrist.

    2. Here is what the "liberal" LCMS Mary Todd writes about Pieper in her book AUTHORITY VESTED (2000): "But by the 1929 [Missouri Synod] synodical convention in River Forest, anti-union sentiments again prevailed in Missouri...More significant, however, was the influence of chief synodical theologian Franz Pieper, who was expressly interested only in 'what is truly Lutheran doctrine.' His contention that the Chicago Theses were inadequate expressions of doctrine was influential enough to cause the convention to reject the Theses and instead recommend that the president of synod [Friedrich Pfotenhauer] appoint a committee to respond to the Theses by presenting 'the doctrine of the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions in the shortest, most simple manner.' The convention got what it asked for, as the committee prepared 'A Brief Statement on the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod.'" (pp. 128-129)

      1. Oh how wonderfully this gives the backdrop for the Brief Statement! I am envious of the dramatic history you have extracted from one of the many published enemies of the old Missouri. She of course paints Pieper and the Brief Statement as villainous, but the reality is that the Br. Stmt. is greatest basis for church fellowship there can be, for it is based entirely and utterly on Holy Scripture. The reality is that Franz Pieper was the greatest proponent of ecumenism of the twentieth century! But the opponents that Pieper speaks of in his "Last Words" would not (Matt. 23:37). The reality is that Pieper was not oblivious to the storm clouds brewing on Missouri's horizon and desperately pleaded with his brethren to study "his Theses"... again in his "Last Words for the Missouri Synod". And again, even many of his own brethren "would not" —
        Matt. 23:37 – " often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"
        So the opponents still spread their wings against the Brief Statement today, like Robert D. Benne, speaking for the NALC and the ALPB, saying "We will press forward that alluring centrist confessional Lutheranism, allowing neither the Brief Statement nor liberal Protestantism to distort our vision". (Published in Christian News, April 13, 2015, 5th column) How they claim to be "confessional Lutherans"!... to the highest heavens!... Indeed, they are NOT the "liberal Protestants", they are the "confessional" Lutherans, not Pieper!... so alluring, so "centrist", so... "confessional"! Arthur Carl Piepkorn is truly their "hero". But the reality seems to be that the opponents are actually the LC-MS itself!... with a Jeffrey Kloha at the head of its St. Louis seminary.
        But this blog isn't chiefly about the opponents of the old (German) Missouri Synod. It is a Christian blog to give aid to the true faith (Jude 1:3). And your background history again leads to my next blog post about the greatest Dogmatics textbook the world may ever see, what I call the "Extended Statement".


    Comments only accepted when directly related to the post.