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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Pieper on Walther's theology (Christliche Dogmatik, Vol. 1): what moderns hate... and fear

      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 187-188 in German, pg 160-161 in English edition), I ran into Pieper's own stated judgment of Walther's theology.  Walther had been judged by the great theologians of Germany and was considered undesirable and unimportant as a "repristination theologian" or a "citation theologian", lacking a scientific sense, ... and worse.  With all the scorn and censuring by these "great" theologians, Pieper injected his own judgment, and I sat up in my chair.  Here now is Prof. Franz Pieper's own judgment of Walther (my translation):

Should we summarize our own opinion of Walther, so we would like to call him the apologist of the Scripture theology of Luther and the Scripture theology of the old Protestant dogmatists, insofar as the latter have proved to be genuine representatives of Luther's Scripture theology.

This theology is what the modern theologians hated... and feared.  Pieper exposed their fear when he quotes from one of their own, Horst Stephan (page 187):
Also quite recently Horst Stephan soothes the modern theological camp initially with the assurance that "Today the doctrine of inspiration is given by scientific theology", but yet adds "It is only effective in the lay orthodoxists… who are still strong."  It stirs fear of a reaction from the laymen.
Could it be that the modernists today are scared of "lay orthodoxists" who are "still strong" in Scripture theology, and the Inspiration of Scripture?

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