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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wallace McLaughlin: true “Missourian”; Copernicanism Part 23b

      This continues from Part 23a, 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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Rev. Wallace H. McLaughlin

      Concluding from the Part 23a, I want to present the broader picture of the perhaps the truest "Missourian" teacher of the latter half of the Twentieth Century -- Pastor/Professor/Dean Wallace McLaughlin.  You won't find much information online about him except where there are histories of the Orthodox Lutheran Conference that separated from the LCMS.  Before commenting further, I want to present the following biographical information.
      Pastor R.E. Wehrwein presented information on McLaughlin in his reprint of McLaughlin's A Sketch from the History of the Lutheran Church in America – C.F.W. Walther, available here from Anchor Tracts.  He included information from two sources: (1) the journal Orthodox Lutheran and (2) the LCR journal One Accord:

By H. D. Mensing
Orthodox Lutheran, Vol. 1, No. 3 (January 1952), p. 33
(Publication of the Orthodox Lutheran Conference)
      Wallace H. McLaughlin, of Scottish descent, was born in Philadelphia March 28, 1902. He was baptized and first brought up in the Presbyterian church. Due to his study of Holy Scripture [and] the Book of Concord and private instruction by a Lutheran pastor, he was received as a member of the Lutheran Church (ULCA) in 1918. He attended, in his youth, both Muhlenberg and Wagner colleges and Mount Airy Seminary, of the ULC. Ordained June 5, 1924, he was installed shortly thereafter as associate to the pastor of Transfiguration Church, Philadelphia.
      Further study, especially of Pieper's Dogmatik, convinced him that verbal inspiration is a clear scriptural doctrine. In consequence of a sermon on verbal inspiration, however, and an attempt to lead the congregation toward affiliation with the Missouri Synod, which was objected to by the senior pastor, [by] the officials of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, and [by] his church council, he resigned his pastorate. He then severed his connections with the ULC and became a member of the Missouri Synod. His adviser was Doctor Dau of Missouri.
      From 1928 to 1938 he served as one of Missouri's missionaries in China, chiefly as a professor at the seminary in Hankow. In 1939 he assisted in Negro mission work in Philadelphia. From 1940 until now he has been pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church (Mo. Synod), Pittsburgh. Intervening years were spent in post-graduate study at the University of Pennsylvania and at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, from which he received the degrees of Bachelor and Master of Sacred Theology. He served as a member of President J.W. Behnken's Committee of Ten in 1946 and 1947, when the work of this committee was abruptly terminated by the Presidium's "Agreement." He has also been a vice-president of the Confessional Lutheran Publicity Bureau and a contributing editor of the Confessional Lutheran.
      On Sept. 26, 1951, in obedience to God's Word, Rom.16:17; 1 Tim. 5:22b; Eph. 4:3, he withdrew from the Missouri Synod, after more than 25 years in this church body, to join in forming the OLC. He was unanimously elected president of this church body.
      In 1937 he married Mary Lavina T. Ahrens. He has two step-children and two children from this marital union.
      May God preserve us truly godly, gifted, and consecrated leaders like our brother "Mac," as he is affectionately called by many who dearly love him for his faithfulness to Christ, our Savior, and the full truth of His Word! [End of OL article]
      From the article on pp. 3-4 of the March 1976 issue of One Accord of the LCR, we add the following:
      "... Taught Dogmatics and Exegesis in Concordia Theological Seminary at Hankow, wrote his MST thesis during a furlough 1935-1936 on 'The Doctrine of Verbal Inspiration and Its Opponents' (Dr. Paul E. Kretzmann serving as consultant and approving professor) ....
      "Called to a professorship in the OLC seminary at Minneapolis in 1952, called to Good Shepherd Church in 1959, helped to train men for the ministry during his pastorate, inducted into office as dean and first professor of the Martin Luther Institute of Sacred Studies at Shepherd, Mich., on July 8, 1971, and served in that capacity until the Lord called him home."
      McLaughlin died on Feb. 9, 1976, having outlived by more than a decade P.E. Kretzmann, with whom he had been a close colleague not only in the OLC but also in the LCR, and at whose funeral he had officiated in 1965.
It has been 40 years since the passing of the dear Prof. Wallace McLaughlin.  How I wish that I had met him in person.  —  There is additional biographical information below in the "About the Author" section of the included book.
We All Believe In One True God
by Rev. Wallace H. McLaughlin
      I have been asked on occasion what books to buy for good Lutheran teaching in these last days.  Along with the available English translations of Luther, Walther, and Franz Pieper, I can safely say the purchase of We All Believe In One True God by Wallace McLaughlin will do nothing but build and strengthen the Christian faith.  It is quite inexpensive – currently only $10.50 postpaid from Anchor Books and Tracts, and the book includes a Scripture Index and Subject Index.  On page 32, McLaughlin quotes directly from Franz Pieper's Christian Dogmatics work. And a significant comment was made on page 83:
(N.B. The above presentation [chapters I – XII], especially the brief treatment of the distinction between Law and Gospel, has been in large part condensed and simplified from Dr. F. Pieper’s masterly presentation in his Christian Dogmatics. The remaining six chapters [XIII – XVIII] will lean heavily upon my translation of unpublished lectures delivered in the German language by the sainted Dr. Pieper in the fall semester of 1927-28, when I sat at his feet in his Dogmatics class).
This book is the direct result of the teaching of the Twentieth Century Luther  – Franz Pieper.  How fitting it is that the person to translate all of Pieper’s series “Dr. C.F.W. Walther as Theologian” should be… Wallace H. McLaughlin – not someone from the LC-MS.  Below I present the text of this book but without the Indexes, which are included in the printed book:

(This document may be open separately here.)

Born into Presbyterian church, became a Lutheran (ULCA) by the teaching of the Book of Concord, but by the teaching of the Twentieth Century Luther, McLaughlin became (and died)...
 a true "Missourian",
a true "Missourian" who defended against Copernicanism. —  I present another great defender of Inspiration, George Stoeckhardt, in the next Part 24.

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