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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Luther & Walther: on science & religion; Copernicanism Part 20

      This continues from Part 19a a series on Copernicanism and Geocentricity (see Intro & Contents in Part 1) in response to a letter from a young person ("Josh") who asked if I believed Geocentricity ... and did not ridicule me in his question.
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      This blog post is interrupting my sub-series (Parts 19x) on Pastor F.E. Pasche to insert a quote from Walther and Luther on this subject of "science and religion".  This comes from one of C.F.W. Walther's Forewords for the journal Lehre und Wehre (LuW), volume 21, 1875 pp. 1-13, 33-42, 65-80.  An English translation was included in the 1981 CPH book Selected Writings of C.F.W. Walther - Editorials from "Lehre Und Wehre". pp. 122-142.  This specific quote comes from Walther's defense of the charge made against the old (German) Missouri Synod that it had contempt for "Wissenshaft", the German word variously translated as science, learning, or scholarship.  This quote is on page 33 of LuW, or page 130 of the translated CPH book (Google translation of text here):

In the first place, we confess that no matter how much we think of learning [Wissenschaft, science/scholarship], we do not rank it above the truth of Scripture, nor even as its equal, but immeasurably below it. Hence we indeed say frankly and openly with Luther:

It is better for learning to be destroyed rather than religion, if learning refuses to be a servant and desires to tread Christ under foot” (Letter to Amsdorf, 28 June, 1534; St. Louis Edition, XXIb, 1911-1912, [No. 2067]; not in any published English translation; Google translated text here.).

A single little passage of Scripture means incomparably more to us and is an immeasurably greater treasure for us than all the wisdom of this world.

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      Now the scoffers will continue to mock this position of the old (German) Missouri Synod as a "contempt of science or scholarship"... just as in 1875.  Unfortunately today's LCMS is hardly "Missourian" as Walther and Pieper are practically sneered at.  This is in spite of the fact that CPH still sells their book.  Could it be that the LCMS teachers have rather joined those scoffers?  But Christians, so far as they are Christian, will recognize in these quotes true Christian counsel.  —  I plan to go back to my sub-series on Pastor Pasche soon, which will be Part 19b.  [next Part 21 here]