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Saturday, November 28, 2015

"Formula of Concord disagrees with Luther"?-Part 2 (Pieper answers on original sin)

      Continuing my project of presenting the full text of Franz Pieper's original German edition of his Christliche Dogmatik.... (All volumes are polished, Vols. 2 & 3 are proofed; proofing Vol. 1a now)
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      As I was proofing Vol. 1a (pages 105-106 in German, pg 94 in English edition), I ran into Pieper's discussion of original sin in relation to the teachings of Luther and Chemnitz.  I immediately sat up because about 3 years ago in comments to a blog post, I had some rabid CTS-FW defenders of Profs. Scaer (elder) and MacKenzie attempt to impress me with their deep knowledge by asserting that the teachings of Luther and the Formula of Concord (Article I) disagree.  Their assertions and manner did nothing to allay my fears of how far that seminary has deteriorated from truly Christian teaching.  I now want to republish this assertion so that all can see what the Fort Wayne seminary teaches:
Anonymous (of 12/14/2012):
"Are you aware that Article One of the Formula of Concord disagrees with Luther? Luther says it is impossible to distinguish between Man's nature and sin. The Formula says that we must, or else Christ did not fully become Man. In the text itself, Andrea and Chemnitz make it clear they are actively disagreeing with Luther on this point. They say, in paraphrase, "Luther said you cannot distinguish, but we must distinguish."
And just so you don't think these were apostates who rejected the true Gospel, Walther required complete subscription to every teaching of the entire Book of Concord, as did Pieper. In other words, both Walther and Pieper unquestionably submitted themselves to the Formula and bound themselves under its authority.
So what will you do? Will you reject Walther and Pieper because they agreed that Luther had fault? Or will you find fault with the Formula because it disagrees with Luther? But if you do that, you're disagreeing with Walther and Pieper!
I'm sure you will find some clever loophole and continue to break the 8th Commandment as often as possible."
Let the reader review my comments on this assertion from 3 years ago.  It will be noted that I did not directly respond to their specific assertions then.  But Franz Pieper's discussion of "Open Questions" and "Original Sin" led to pertinent information and quotes by Chemnitz.  In the German edition, Pieper quotes Chemnitz in Latin, while the English edition has fortunately translated the Latin into English.  Here now is Pieper's text from the English edition:

Open questions may also be called "theological problems" if such problems are meant as cannot be solved on earth because God has not given us the solution in Scripture. A theologian may with a good conscience reply to many questions with an "I do not know" - nescio.
We cannot, for instance, answer the question how sin could originate, seeing that all creatures, including all the angels, were originally created "very good." Another open question: Is the soul of each individual created by God immediately (creationism) or mediately through the parents (traducianism)? 135
135 This question was discussed at great length during the Pelagian controversies, but also in later periods. See Chemnitz, Loci, I, "De Peccato Originis," ed. 1599, I, 567 sqq., for the historical material. On Luther’s position Chemnitz says: "Luther declared that publicly he would assert nothing in answer to this question, but that he, for himself, favored traducianism; furthermore, that the Papists must be censured for their audacity and presumptuousness in creating an article of faith in an obscure matter, without one clear testimony of Scripture, in order to subvert the Scripture doctrine of original sin." Chemnitz adds: "... let us learn from this example to cut short, piously, firmly, and in well-founded simplicity, these subtle disputations which endanger faith. As to the causa efficiens [of original sin], it is sufficient to know that the fall of our first parents justly resulted in this, that they transmitted to all their offspring the very same nature, both as to body and as to soul, as was theirs after the Fall. In what manner, however, the soul contracts this evil, faith can safely ignore, because the Holy Spirit did not want to make it known to us through certain and clear Scripture testimonies." Cf. also Baier's brief historical remarks, I, 67, nota c; Luthardt, Dogmatik, 11th ed., p. 168 f.

After I read this, I decided to also read Article One, briefly, and could then see that this assertion that the "Formula of Concord disagrees with Luther" is only a deception by my CTS-FW commenters, and also likely by their teachers.  For this "disagreement" is only a refinement in terminology to better distinguish the errors that had cropped up after Luther's death.  In fact, Article One draws heavily on... Martin Luther.

So I invite the reader to read Pieper's text above and Article One of the Formula of Concord to see if they agree with my commenter's assertion that "the Formula of Concord disagrees with Luther".

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