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While working towards polishing the end of the text of Volume 1b, I ran across one of the most sobering sections of teaching that Pieper ever brings to us. In the Dogmatik Volume 1b, it is located on pages 614-615 (English ed. pgs 508-511). It has stuck with me ever since I studied the English version of his Christian Dogmatics 20 years ago... and I will never forget it.
There are two Latin phrases used in this section. Below I give the translation from Prof. David Scaer's Glossary (Amazon):
- obsessio spiritualis – the state of being spiritually hardened and in league with Satan
- obsessio corporalis – demonical possession (far worse than Hollywood portrayal!)
"It is Scriptural to designate the status of all those who do not believe that only Christ's blood cleanes us from all sin, as obsessio spiritualis."I knew that the world is filled with "those who do not believe"... but it was hard for me to now look at them and realize they were possessed by and in league with... Satan.
The subject of demonical or bodily possession was covered also in this section and Pieper draws on Walther's Americanisch-Lutherische Pastoraltheologie for content and counsel. And so Concordia Publishing House's upcoming new translation of Walther's book will provide truly Christian counsel on this subject.
I will leave it to the reader to finish Pieper's writing on this subject... where he speaks of the French Revolution, Communists, Socialists, World Wars, statesmen, newspaper editors, and "science" that frantically assails the Christian Church and God's Word. Some, like David Scaer, like to say that Pieper is out of date. But Franz Pieper (The Twentieth Century Luther) speaks especially for our time, ... here and now.