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Monday, February 1, 2016

Copernicanism – Intro (for “Josh”); Table of Contents

     Today marks the first anniversary (from 2/1/2015) of the LC-MS/CTCR online publishing of their report "In Christ All Things Hold Together - The Intersection of Science and Christian Theology", (Blog intro, web page, download) On page 20, it gives all teachers in the LC-MS not only an allowance but essentially a directive "to reject the geocentric paradigm in favor of a heliocentric one".  Any teacher who violates this rejection is officially on notice.  I will return to this document later.  But in "honor" of this publication, I present the following series of blog posts.  In reality this series is dedicated to "Josh".
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    This series of blog posts was prompted by 2 events that occurred recently:
  1. correspondence arrived from a very astute young person regarding the matter of Geocentrism.  I will call this person “Josh” although that is not this person’s real name; and,
  2. while proofing Franz Pieper’s Christliche Dogmatik, Vol. 1b, I arrived at his footnote regarding Copernicanism on pages 577-578 (English edition pages 473-474).  
Without the emailed note from “Josh”, I probably would have bypassed this subject as I had already covered it sufficiently in my first 2 blog posts.  “Josh” is the main reason for this series, along with the young boy of my youth.  But Josh’s letter (by email) not only contained some surprises, it also showed that this youthful writer was quite perceptive in reading my prior posts on “Geocentrism”. —  
    Josh said he was a member in the LC-MS, not long out of higher education, accepted the Copernican system, but considered himself to be truly following Christian doctrine, was well aware of Luther’s position supporting geocentricity and the old Missouri’s anti-Copernicanism stand.  He had been taught in the LC-MS that it could be taught from Scripture that Scripture does not literally teach geocentrism.  (We see that the LC-MS/CTCR statement now formally teaches what had actually been taught for a long time.)  But Josh had been researching this matter for some time (he did not ridicule or counter me!) and he had a very direct question for me.  
    What question?  Josh detected a possible weakening in my position regarding Geocentricity as I reported Franz Pieper’s teaching.  The writer noted that in my second blog post I stated: “Pieper did not doubt the verity of the Copernican Theory, he knew it was wrong where it taught that the earth was not the primary planet in the universe.”  He then wondered that either I (or maybe even Pieper) had softened Walther’s strong stand against Copernicanism.  What did I believe?  And indeed, as I read the letter, I recalled that I did have a few moments of doubt about Pieper’s own position.  This moment of weakening then almost overtook me this time, for I have not been without temptations to drop all this “Geocentricity” stuff and just fall back on what Walther calls an “optical” viewpoint of Joshua’s Long Day.  Why?  Because I have a degree in engineering from a well known state university.  That means I have had considerable science training… indeed I have what I would call a “love” for science.  I truly enjoyed the teaching on the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and Entropy.  I also believe it is the Reformation that spawned the great outbreak of science ever since that century.  So naturally I enjoy learning true science!
    And what about Pieper?  Here was the difficult part for me – it seemed as I had earlier read him that he may have weakened Walther’s teaching, as his final words did not seem to directly affirm Walther.  … I had some very anxious moments!  Why?  Because as a young boy I BELIEVED the account of Joshua and the Sun Standing Still!  I BELIEVED IT!  I BELIEVED THE SUN STOOD STILL BECAUSE THE BIBLE TEACHES THIS!  So to soften on this point of Scripture would mean that I would have to be able to tell that believing young boy (of my youth) that I was naive!  And the faith that God granted me as I returned to my Christian faith (a faith that I do not deserve) yelled out NO!  Do not go that way!  Stay with what the Scripture teaches!  And Luther and Walther were right there with that boy of my youth!  Indeed, it had to be that the truth of Joshua 10:13 had to give me a priori confidence in its truth because God said so!  I could not rely on science to confirm it… it must be true first because God said it.  And if science did not confirm it or would reject it, then that science was only so-called “science”, or “science falsely so-called”. (1 Tim. 6:20).
    And so I again studied Pieper’s teaching anew to see if my fears were correct.  And I realized my earlier fears regarding him were unfounded, and his teaching revealed truly Christian counsel.
    But before I publish my translation from the German original of Pieper’s Dogmatik on Copernicanism, I want to touch on one of the first websites a Google search presented me: Dr. Danny Faulkner of AnswersInGenesis.

⇒ To “Josh”:
You shared with me more than I have described above, but I hope in the ensuing series some things will be clarified for your consideration on this matter.  Perhaps you might even smile at the pseudo-name I have chosen for you.  Also be aware that I am not only responding to you, but to the “schoolboy” of my youth.

[Please note: I am pausing my project of proofing Pieper’s Christliche Dogmatik books to address the above subject that has come up.  I will return to that project after this series.]
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Table of Contents (to be updated periodically)
Part 3 – Pieper’s teaching in his Dogmatik
Part 4aDeutsche Blaetter (Die Gartenlaube) on Lisco-Knak Affair of 1868
Part 4b Die Gartenlaube on Lisco-Knak Affair of 1868
Part 5 – Drs. Gary North and Michael Martin Nieto - "science" against Geocentricity
Part 6 – Walther's Eastern District (1868) writing against Copernicanism – full version
Part 7 – Luther's Table Talk on new Astronomy – 2 versions with new English translation [w/ 2018 addition]
Part 8 – Robert Schadewald's "Plane Truth", fight against Geocentrism (and Creationism)
Part 9 – Malcom Bowden's You Tube videos
Part 10a – World wide furor over Pastor Knak's confession of Holy Scripture (German theologians)
Part 10b – World wide furor over Pastor Knak's confession of Holy Scripture (England & America)
Part 11 – J.C.W. Lindemann's 1873 Astronomical Debate pamphlet – full text in English (and German)
Part 12Synodical Conference on Copernicanism in 1886, and divinity of Holy Scripture
Part 13a – Gerardous Bouw PhD – science refutes Copernicanism, defends Geocentricity
Part 13b – Gerardous Bouw– Scriptural stand, some aberrations
Part 13c-1Bouw: past geocentrists- any Lutherans? (Schöpffer)
13c-2Bouw: past geocentrists- any Lutherans? (Knak)
13c-3Bouw on: Pasche…, LCMS, WELS, ELS, McLaughlin (also C.A.T. Selle)
Part 13d – Bouw’s history recent geocentrists– any Lutherans?
Part 14 – Knak and Pieper — remembered (Fuerbringer's memories)
Part 15 – Wernher von Braun, space program, modern scientists (Copernicanism? Christianity?)
Part 16a – Missouri Synod 1898 – conference deliberations on Copernicanism; also Der Lutheraner 1878
Part 16b – Missouri Synod 1878 Der Lutheraner: Copernicanism & Inspiration
Part 16c – LC-MS 2016: back door on Inspiration, Infallibility of Holy Scripture
Part 17Historians of science; Math-The Loss of Certainty
Part 18aSchöpffer's List– German scientists question Copernicanism (von Humboldt)
Part 18bSchöpffer: German scientists question Copernicanism (Encke, K. von Raumer, Brandes)
Part 18cSchöpffer: King, Lamont question Copernicanism (King Ludwig I, Lamont)
Part 18dSchöpffer: Gauss doubts, Fontenelle dreams: Copernicanism, Part 18d
Part 18e – Schöpffer: beaten down, rises again (attacked by Mädler, F. von Raumer)
Part 18fSchöpffer: found by old Missouri, few historians; Stimson's account
Part 18g-1 – Dr. Alexander Frantz, another pastor in Germany against Copernicanism (philosophers)
Part 18g-2 – Dr. Frantz: mud, wolf, fish on stilts, cuckoo's egg- Copernicanism
Part 19aPastor F. E. Pasche: Prof. J. Schaller's testimony (from old Wisconsin Synod)
Part 19b – Pasche's Christliche Weltanschauung (Worldview); Lindemann Jr.; Gräbner; Penrose
Part 19cPasche's Die Bibel und Astronomie (and many Lutheran theologians against Copernicanism)
Part 20Luther & Walther: quotes on science & religion
Part 21 – Synodical Conf 1886– Divinity of Scripture: Docetism or Pipe organ?; on Sasse
Part 22 – Carl Gottlob Hofmann - warning against Copernicanism
Part 23a – Wallace H. McLaughlin vs Copernicanism; Bible Inviolate
Part 23bWallace McLaughlin: true “Missourian”
Part 24 – George Stoeckhardt – Defender of Inspiration
Part 25Warfield letters to Pieper: on Walther, Luther, Inspiration
Part 26aWalther on Copernicus’s epitaph and his faith (Walther's striking statement on him)
Part 26b Copernicus’s epitaph (Non parem…)
Part 26c Copernicus’s faith
Part 27 – Pieper on reports of Einstein relativity theories; Becker's ridicule
Part 28 – Conclusion: Copernicanism, science… & Justification; Ginzburg's envy

    Still to come: several old (German) Missouri teaching sources against Copernicanism: Der Lutheraner, Lehre und Wehre, J.C.W. Lindemann (senior and son Friedrich), A.L. Graebner mysteries, Pastor F.E. Pasche; Pastor Knak’s stand against Copernicanism (Germany 1868) and fallout; German/English/American ridicule of geocentrists of 19th century (including Andrew Dickson White of Cornell); Martin Luther’s Table Talk; today’s “science” commentators: Bob Schadewald, Glenn Branch - NCSE;  today’s Christian commentators, i.e. Owen Gingerich, etc.; Wernher von Braun and space program; various creationist organizations & “fundamentalists”, Baptists, etc.; Malcolm Bowman and his YouTube videos; Drs. Gary North/ Michael Martin Nieto; Drs. Gerardus Bouw and James Hanson and their Biblical Astronomy/Geocentricity; Carl Schöpffer, 19th century German scientist, also Dr. Alexander Frantz; Wallace McLaughlin; Einstein's Relativity Theories; Synodical Conference; Profs. Tappert and Arand, Recent historians of "Early modern period", their assessment of "Copernicanism", Copernicus and his faith?,... and current LC-MS/CTCR statement on Science and Theology...

In the next post Part 2, I cover an article by Dr. Danny Faulkner against Geocentricity...

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