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Friday, September 2, 2016

Carl Gottlob Hofmann - warning on Copernicanism; Part 22

      This continues from Part 21, 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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Carl Gottlob Hofmann
      I have listed elsewhere several references where C.F.W. Walther battled against Copernicanism.  But I have recently re-discovered another one that is a bit surprising.  In 1868 Walther was defending against the errors of the old Iowa Synod, a forerunner of today's ELCA.  As he addressed "fundamental" and "non-fundamental" articles of doctrine, he quoted a Lutheran theologian of the 1700s, Carl Gottlob Hofmann († 1774):
"The article pertaining to the Copernican system likewise is not a fundamental one, but it can easily happen that a person denying the movement of the sun around the earth adds as his conclusion that the writers of the Old Testament were altogether uncultured and ignorant people (admodum rudes). In this way, the infallibility of the holy writers and thereby the teaching of the divine inspiration of Holy Scripture are attacked. (Theol. Thet. Praecogn., ch. 11, § 26, p. 112)"
Walther goes on to discuss the over-arching importance of Hofmann's last point – the infallibility and inspiration of Holy Scripture... even above adherence to the non-fundamental "article pertaining to the Copernican system".   Walther would not sever fellowship except where the erring party did not manifest "the attitude of willingness to submit unconditionally to the whole Word of God and not to teach anything that opposes the foundation of Christian faith."
      I have not seen in any other writing (not even in Pastor F.E. Pasche's) a reference to C.G. Hofmann as being in a list of orthodox Lutheran theologians who specifically warn against Copernicanism, so I want to give him honor on this blog post.

Where may one find Walther's essay that includes his quotation of C.G. Hofmann?  In the recent CPH "Walther's Works" book Church Fellowship, in the essay "The False Arguments for the Modern Theory of Open Questions" of 1868.  This quote may be found on page 103.  Walther's whole essay is worth the price of this book.
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Hmmm, that's interesting... a recent CPH book testifies against what the LCMS/CTCR teaches in the same year – 2015. —
Again, I intend to return to Pastor Pasche in Part 19b. [Part 23a here]