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Sunday, November 12, 2017

News and notes…

Several items are worth noting at this time:

(1) CPH has finally announced the next publication in their "Walther's Works" series:
Release Schedule
PredestinationFall 2018
So this will be the continuation of what Paul McCain explained earlier that:
... we are presently engaged in releasing a new set of Walther's works, pulling together all the previously different formats, shapes, sizes, into a consistent set of books. "Essays for the Churchwill be included in this new series

I was glad to see that they had finally announced another book in this series.  I was wondering that, because "Walther isn't popular right now", they might have abandoned this series.  I suspect that they will only be republishing old material.  After coming out with Walther's Pastoral Theology book, I hope that they will keep someone (Tiews, Baseley, ?) assigned to do more Walther translation work. There is a lot of untranslated Walther material...   Of course, keep checking this blog for any other translation work being done of "old Missouri", including Walther.

(2)  I was informed of another blog, Lutheran Orthodoxy by Robert C. Baker, that aims to defend the true faith.  Of particular note is the following quote from his blog post "Putting Baier-Walther back into Walther’s Law and Gospel" of October 13, 2017:
“…in composing his lectures on Law and Gospel, Walther did not pull something out of thin air. Rather, Walther did what he was want to do: he engaged with and employed in a practical way what he had read from the Bible, the Confessions, Luther and the Orthodox Lutheran fathers.”
Wow!  Baker's work to draw out Walther's teaching in his Baier (Walther) Compendium is most refreshing.  I would invite the reader to review his full blog post to find out exactly what he is defending against. —  Here is hoping that Mr. Baker continues his work on one of the greatest theological works in the last 200 years, and using it for a true defense (Wehre) of the Lutheran/Christian faith.

Walther Theological Seminary
(3) Walther Theological Seminary, Decatur, Illinois, published an outrageous statement last year in their 2016-2017 Academic Catalog (p. 2).  I am late in publicizing this:
Franz Pieper's 3-volume series Christian Dogmatics, with Index vol. 4
In their newer 2017-2017 Catalog, they rightfully moved on to highlight the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  But their use of Pieper's Dogmatics (!!!) confirms their right to claim themselves as a Church of the Reformation.  I still marvel at their use of three exclamation points!!! (see also this post)

(4) Pastor Joel Baseley (Mark V Publications) reports the following:
“I have finished issuing newsletters for translations of Der Lutheraner, having completed year 4 in 2015. So thank you for your interest. I will eventually clean up the fourth year into a final translation and publish it, adding it to the Mark V Publications catalog…”
He then provides a link for a free download of Volume 4 (1847-8).  I take from his wording that he has ended his translation work on the Der Lutheraner journal, concluding with Volume 4.  A quick survey seems to show that (alas!) Pastor Baseley has also ended his incredible work as translator for his Mark V Publications.
===>>> Pastor Baseley, your work never ceases to amaze me!  Your work is like a shooting star in the heavens... your work provides a watering hole for a parched Christianity in desperate need of true, pure doctrine, pure sermons.  The descendants of "Walther's Church" today (like me) are cutoff from their heritage, except that your work has opened up so much of it, and so freely.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Prof. Charles Arand: “Paul speaks plainly” (Pt 2b against Concordia Journal 2017)

      This concludes from Part 2a (and Part 1), a defense against the errors and mixed theology in Concordia Seminary's magazine, Concordia Journal, Summer 2017 issue.  In this last segment, I call out Prof. Arand on the very Bible passage where he attempts to show his “orthodoxy”.
Prof. Charles Arand
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      Although Prof. Charles Arand seems to give at least lip-service to an “inspired and inerrant scriptures” in one place, he does not defend their truthfulness in all matters.  Here is how he puts it (p. 23):
“This word of the cross, along with the inspired and inerrant scriptures, belongs to the epistemology of faith . . . not to empiricism or rationalism.”
“Along with”?  What does he mean by “along with”?  Why the separation, the distinction, of the “word of the cross" and “the inspired and inerrant scriptures”?  Isn't Arand just giving “lip-service” to the Doctrine of Inspiration, Brief Statement, § 1.-3.? (Isaiah 29:13)
      Arand earlier begins his theological section with the following (p. 19):
... At the heart of our faith lies the confession of God’s love for us as manifested in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In one of the earliest Christian letters, Paul speaks plainly, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3-4).
We can thank God, maybe not Arand, that a Scripture passage (1 Cor 15:3-4) was quoted where Scripture interprets Scripture… twice:
“… in accordance with the Scriptures, … in accordance with the Scriptures”.
"In accordance with the Scriptures”.
Yes indeed, Prof. Arand, the Apostle Paul “speaks plainly”.  I am thankful, not for your attempts to cloud and overturn the truth, but at least that a Bible passage is quoted that clearly and completely refutes the primary points of your Concordia Journal, your Concordia Seminary, your Lutheran Church—“Missouri Synod”:

I believe, “in accordance with the Scriptures”,
that the universe was created in 6 days. (Genesis 1)
I believe, “in accordance with the Scriptures”,
that “the sun stood still”. (Joshua 10:13)
I believe, “in accordance with the Scriptures”,
that Christ died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3)
I believe, “in accordance with the Scriptures”,
that Christ was raised on the third day (1 Cor 15:4)

If any one of the above points is not true, then, as C.F.W. Walther says, I "certainly would not care to be a Bible Christian." [Lehre und Wehre, Foreword 1886]

I also believe, “in accordance with the Scriptures”, that the LC-MS is
carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. Ephesians 4:14.
Indeed, “Paul speaks plainly”.  —  I confess:
I did not leave the LC-MS over the error of Copernicanism, 
I left it over their loss of the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Our teachers think they know the Gospel.

But all Christians know the Gospel “in accordance with the Scriptures”.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Lutheran Church teaches… what? (Part 2a, on Concordia Journal 2017)

      This continues from Part 1, a defense against the assertions and theology promoted in the Summer 2017 issue of Concordia Journal magazine on science and theology.  In Part 1, I addressed a point of science.  In this post, I want to address a point of theology – the Doctrine of Justification.
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      After defending against the science aspect, it would be misleading to suggest that the Journal does not address theology.  But what about the “article with which the Church stands and falls”, the Doctrine of Justification?  I want the reader to compare the theological teaching promoted in the Concordia Journal with what the true Missouri Synod taught by its founder and his successor.  Then let the reader judge.  And what better source of information can there be than what was “reprinted” by Concordia Seminary's own website in 2011 to “celebrate” Walther?  Below are side-by-side excerpts:
Profs. Charles Arand
Joel Okamoto
(Concordia Journal, Summer 2017)
C.F.W. Walther
Franz Pieper
Walther-Pieper composite (from Oct 17, 2011).jpg
Arand, p. 18:
I will argue that we begin by working out from the center of our faith. We get our bearings by re-centering ourselves in that which makes us Christians. And that means that we begin where we find Jesus, namely, “in crib and cross—and in the crypt he left behind.” For that reason, I propose Luther’s theology of the cross as a way of helping our people— and ourselves—to think through issues of faith and science.
A View from the Cross
Luther first formulated his theology of the cross in a series of theses that he penned in 1518 as an account of his theology as requested by his Augustinian superiors in Heidelberg. Less than a year earlier, he had posted his ninety-five theses for debate on the question of indulgences. Now Luther sets forth a series of theses on the issue of justification. He does not deal with that topic in isolation, instead, he sees that the position one takes on justification is indicative of a larger methodological approach to all of theology.
In these theses, Luther identifies two approaches to theology, a theology of the cross versus a theology of [human] glory. Luther contrasts a scholastic theology (shaped by philosophy) that glories in human abilities and capacities with a theology of the cross that trusts the crucified and risen Lord. “Luther believed that the best view of all reality was to be had from the foot of the cross on Calvary. The death and resurrection of Christ parted the clouds, and he could see God and himself clearly.” Together, they “disclose in the most decisive way possible what it means for God to be God and what it means for us to be humans.”
The theology of the cross thus provided a way of thinking and a method of practicing theology that Luther continued to draw on for different situations and purposes throughout his life. Indeed, for Luther, “theology is always hermeneutical, an interpretation of God’s dealings in the world by individuals from within the world.” Robert Kolb notes that a theologian of the cross thus “employs the cross of Christ as the focal point and fulcrum for understanding and presenting a wide range of specific topics within the biblical message.”

Okamoto, pp. 54-55:
… In other words, Christian theology must be cosmological. All other topics—sin and grace, incarnation and salvation, justification and sanctification— should be derived from and discussed in this context, rather than be set alongside or above God and his creation.
In an important sense, there is nothing new about doing this. It is simply letting “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” stand. It is following through in theological method on the first article of the Creed: I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. It is taking seriously that Christ was sent to announce and to establish the reign of God over creation. It is looking for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. But it is also no longer letting God as Creator and his creation lie in the background or at the margins for theology in favor of an agenda set by certain occasional intramural questions. Instead, theology makes God creating all things the starting point for all reflection. What kind of person is God? The Creator. What is a human being? A creature of God the Creator. What is sin? Not acknowledging God and his rights as Creator. Why is justification by grace? Because God the Creator gets to justify as he pleases. What does it mean to believe in God? To freely let him be the Creator. And so on.
The point is not to teach something different, but rather to teach differently. All theology is occasional in the sense that it arises out of particular occasions. For example, the doctrine of justification as articulated in the Lutheran Confessions arose to deal with questions and confusions raised by medieval teaching and practice over the righteousness of sinners. Roman Catholic theology was not uniform, but it did uniformly maintain that righteousness before God was proper, that is, one’s own. Evangelical theologians maintained that this righteousness was entirely alien, God’s own. And it was this distinction that informed how the Lutheran Confessions formulated their doctrine of justification. As just noted, the “God and his creation” perspective on justification only reinforces that righteousness before God is entirely alien. Nothing changes in the article itself. But how and why it is stated does. Nothing different is taught, but it is taught differently.

When we try to depict Dr. Walther as theologian, we must, above all, discuss his doctrine of justification, for his attitude toward this doctrine supplies the clue to his whole line of action in his life so full of controversy.
Walther recognized the doctrine of justification, or the doctrine that a sinner is justified before God and saved by grace through faith in Christ, as the focal point of all Christian doctrines. All other doctrines serve this doctrine as premises, or they flow from it as conclusions. Uncompromisingly Walther attacked all errors, because he knew that by all of them this central doctrine was endangered.… In our theological seminary he showed his students, above all, how to preach this doctrine rightly, pointing out to them both the right way and in graphic description also the usual aberrations. We believe that it is not saying too much when we declare that after Luther and Chemnitz no other teacher of our church has attested the doctrine of justification so impressively as did Walther. It was particularly in this doctrine that he followed Luther, and he united into one shining beam of light all other bright rays on this doctrine radiating from our later dogmaticians.
According to Walther, the doctrine of justification is the characteristic mark of the Christian religion, by which it distinguishes itself from all other so-called religions. He writes:
When we speak of justification, we speak of the Christian religion, for the doctrine of the Christian religion is none other than God’s revelation concerning the way in which sinners are justified before God and saved through the redemption made by Christ Jesus. All other religions teach other ways which are supposed to lead to heaven; only the Christian religion points out a different way to heaven by its doctrine of justification. This indeed is a way the world has never heard nor known, namely, the counsel of salvation that was hidden in the mind of God before the foundation of the world was laid. (SCR, p. 21.)
To fight for the doctrine of justification and for Holy Scripture and the Christian religion amounts to one and the same thing. Without the doctrine of justification the Christian religion is like a watch without a spring. All other doctrines lose their value if the doctrine of justification is corrupted. When the foundation gives way, the whole building caves in. When the doctrine of justification falls, then the whole Christian doctrine also collapses. In that case the church becomes a mere reform school. Furthermore, as regards the understanding of Scripture let me say: Theologians who err in regard to the doctrine of justification are sitting not in Scripture, but before a closed door, no matter how diligently they may study and quote the Bible. To those who do not understand the doctrine of justification the Bible is merely a book of moral instructions with all manner of strange side issues.
The doctrine of justification is therefore the “chief topic of Christian doctrine” (Ap. IV [(II)] 2).
It is absolutely necessary for everyone rightly to know the doctrine of justification in order that he may be saved. … This doctrine is therefore rightly called the article with which the church stands and falls.
Through the preaching of this doctrine, the Reformation of the church was effected, while all other means that had been tried before to reform the church failed. It was this doctrine which also in other lands and at other times reformed the church.
.… What indeed is all learning, no matter how important it may be in its proper place, compared with the wisdom of God? This becomes apparent already when only the passage is expounded that “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son,” etc. That message works joy in all penitent sinners; that is something in which the holy angels rejoice, and that is something at which the whole world should prostrate itself and cry out: “Glory, hallelujah!” … In short, let us learn from Luther that we cannot start a Reformation in this country unless we believe this doctrine of justification most firmly, preach it with divine assurance, and faithfully guard and keep it.
A living knowledge of the doctrine of justification therefore is essential to the right preparation for the pastoral ministry. …
We shall now consider some teachings which, according to Walther, are essential today if we are to preserve the doctrine of justification in its purity. Walther writes: “When considering the pure doctrine of justification, as our Lutheran Church has again set it forth on the basis of God’s Word in its full radiant brilliancy, we must keep in mind three doctrines, namely, (1) that of the general and perfect redemption of the world by Christ; (2) that of the power and the efficacy of the means of grace, and (3) that of faith. (SCR, p. 20.)” …
Should, for instance, anyone deny the universality of Christ’s redemption, negating with Calvin the Scripture truth that Christ has redeemed all mankind and that in the Gospel God seriously offers to all men His grace without any discrimination, then he subverts the doctrine of justification. If that error is maintained, then the individual sinner cannot become personally sure of his salvation …To keep the doctrine of justification pure, we must hold the
True Biblical Doctrine of the Perfect Redemption of All Men by Christ
In order to present the perfect redemption of all men by Christ in its full clarity, Walther is concerned to insist that there exists for every person grace, righteousness, and salvation even before faith is engendered, that every sinner is righteous before God, even before he believes, so far as this righteousness has been procured and God has purposed to bestow it
…Walther writes: “Also the heathen believed that they must secure grace and the forgiveness of their sins, but they have never known that forgiveness of sins has already been procured by another and that it already exists.”
To fight for the doctrine of justification and for Holy Scripture and the Christian religion amounts to one and the same thing.

To which pair of theologians will you trust your soul’s salvation to?

      In the left column, although the word "justification" is mentioned, it is not expanded upon.  Instead Prof. Arand immediately switches to a "theology of the cross" and uses this theme (and Robert Kolb dozens of times) to explain the heart of Christianity.  As for Prof. Okamoto, I can only say he speaks as a philosopher who can, in very few places, throw in some Lutheran sounding words… and he is easily dispensed with.
      In the right column, the focus is on the Doctrine of Justification: (1) its basis for the Christian religion, (2) its objective nature, (3) its universal nature, (4) its priority in the Lutheran Confessions as the "chief topic of Christian doctrine", (5) its proof against all heathen religions.

      Why can't today's LC-MS speak plainly about the Doctrine of Justification?  (haven't they lost it?)

      As I blogged earlier, there was a comment made on Walther's/Pieper's Doctrine of Justification by a reader of the above "reprint" on  It was by a certain Mr. Jeff Wild:
  • Jeff Wild says:
  • October 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm
  • This is a wonderful document and I look forward to the second part. For me this is the clearest description of the doctrine of justification that I have ever read.
  • For awhile now I have been considering ordering Francis Pieper’s DOGMATICS, but have been hesitant due to the cost. Would you say that this essay is characteristic of his writing? If so, it sounds like the volumes would be well worth the money.
Mr. Wild testifies indirectly against today's Concordia Seminary.  The theology of today's Concordia Seminary will not get this kind of accolade from a reader because they do not teach like the Old (German) Missouri Synod. Mr. Wild's judgment is one of the clearest public Christian testimonies on the Internet today.  If the reader finds my polemics offensive, then just read the full version of Concordia Seminary's own "reprint" of this essay, and compare Walther's teaching to those who would claim him as their founder. Better yet, read the full un-cut series “Walther as Theologian” in my blog series here.
This post became lengthy, but I can not refrain from pointing out where Prof. Arand inadvertently quotes a Bible passage that exposes his error, his mixed theology – in Part 2b.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Lutheran Church teaches Copernicanism, Big Bang? 1 of 2; against Concordia Journal

Concordia Journal
Concordia Seminary, St. L.
[2017-11-18 -- see 2nd comment below by "Carl Vehse"; amended info on Dr. Swamidass in red below]
      Since the 2017 Summer issue of the LC-MS magazine Concordia Journal was published, several refutations of its assertions and theology have appeared.  Herman Otten's October 2, 2017 issue of Christian News published Rev. Brandt Klawitter's strikingly titled essay "Down With Scripture…in LUTHER's Name!".  Jack Cascione's Reclaim News online commentary has published 3 articles defending against Concordia Seminary's (COSL) thrust for "science", the "Big Bang Theory", "evolutionary creationism", etc.  Especially Cascione's strong stand ("Hate Speech against the Bible") is welcome refreshment against a "Lutheran" seminary that came all the way "out" of the closet with this magazine issue.  I will leave the reader to follow Klawitter's essay (download here) and Cascione's 3 essays (so far) here, here, and here.
      So this blog will not take up space to cover what has already been adequately covered.  I want to first address another point not addressed so far – the Lutheran Church's teaching of "science" that refutes the Bible's clear teaching of natural history, particularly Copernicanism.  (Cascione rightly touches on Luther's true position when he mentions in 2 of his articles Luther's writing on Biblical Chronology.)
Dr. S. Joshua Swamidass
Science advisor to COSL

Lutheran Church teaches Copernicanism?
      Among the statements made by "science advisor" Dr. S. Joshua Swamidass in his essay "A Lutheran Voice in Science" (p. 82-87) is this (p. 84):
“Lutherans openly considered and embraced heliocentrism without fear of reprisal."
"Embraced heliocentrism"?  "Without fear of reprisal"?  What does Dr. Swamidass mean by this blanket assertion?  This is made clear in a previous portion (p. 83) where he states:
"Luther’s doubts notwithstanding, the Lutheran church never took an official position against Copernican theory. To the contrary, the Lutheran University of Wittenberg played a central role in promoting study of heliocentrism. It was Georg Joachim Rheticus, a professor at the University of Wittenburg [sic], who first published the Copernican theory in 1540 and then encouraged Copernicus to publish a more complete treatment. Later, in 1609, another Lutheran, Johannes Kepler, published his opus Astronomia Nova, a careful geometric analysis that demonstrated that ellipses, not circles, traced the paths of planets, including the earth, around the sun."
So Dr. Swamidass, who claims Christianity and I believe Lutheranism but admits he is not a Lutheran (see comment #2 below, in a lecture series), means to say that the Lutheran Church taught the Copernican Theory as objective truth, ("embraced heliocentrism", "Luther's doubts notwithstanding") even as "the Lutheran Church".  This is not true.  The Lutheran Church allowed the teaching of the Copernican Theory only because the theory demonstrated greater predictability of astronomical motions than the older Ptolemy system, only as a purely mathematical model, only in theory.  Dr. Swamidass rightly praises the Lutheran Church for allowing theoretical research, even when this science theoretically or hypothetically encroaches on the objective truth of the Bible's natural history that is taught incidentally.  The Lutheran Church has never taught against the Bible's natural history, notwithstanding that some notable weak Lutherans/Christians crossed the "boundary" from theoretical hypotheses to objective truth.  When scientists who clearly confessed Christianity developed the theories of the "infinitesimal", they did not turn these theories against the Bible's natural history but left them in the purely mathematical realm.  This is well documented by Amir Alexander in his book Infinitesimal, where he shows that it was the Jesuits who fought this theoretical science.  Indeed, Dr. Swamidass can rejoice that he is in the Lutheran Church because of this.
      But surely Dr. Swamidass is aware of what the current Wikipedia article on Johannes Kepler says:
"At the University of Tübingen in Württemberg, concerns over Kepler's perceived Calvinist heresies in violation of the Augsburg Confession and the Formula of Concord prevented his return."
      I can only assume that Dr. Swamidass has not read my nearly year-long series of blogs refuting Copernicanism.  To make it easy for him and the general reader, I am reproducing a portion of my Part 17, where I reported and quoted from the noted historian Peter Barker relating to the theology of Johannes Kepler:

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Prof. Peter Barker
Prof. Peter Barker of the University of Oklahoma presents himself not only as an authority on the history of science, but also on... Lutheranism.  But is this really so?  Here is his comment regarding the Lutheran Confessions in his essay "The Role of Religion in the Lutheran Response to Copernicus" among the essays in the book Rethinking the Scientific Revolution edited by Margaret J. Osler (page 68, Google Books):
The unfortunately named Formula of Concord was an attempt to heal the breach between strict Lutherans and less-strict Phillippists and others sympathetic to Calvinism. Issued on June 25, 1580 (the fiftieth anniversary of the Augsburg confession), it was accepted by Saxony, Württemberg, and Baden, ... The employment of the formula thus deepened the divisions it was intended to heal, by obliging people like ... Kepler, to choose between a new orthodox Lutheranism that opposed Calvinism, and the older Phillipist version that tolerated it. Kepler's response was to follow a career that avoided the Formula.
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      But more to the point made by Dr. Swamidass, Robert Westman, in his "magisterial" book  The Copernican Question, reported (p. 337):
Maestlin and Kepler had crossed a political and disciplinary boundary with the Tübingen [Lutheran] theolo­gians. Hafenreffer gave ‘brotherly advice’ to Kep­ler: he should remain a ‘pure mathematician,’ stay away from making true claims about the universe, and avoid provoking schisms in the Church.”  
Hafenreffer’s (and Luther’s) forbearance of clandestine errorists, such as Kepler, Maestlin and Rheticus is not proof that “Lutherans embraced heliocentrism” as objective truth.  Far from it, it proves the opposite.

This covers also the situation with George Rheticus and other weak Lutherans or false Lutherans who clandestinely held to Copernicanism, that the Copernican Theory was objective truth.  

The current Wikipedia article on Rheticus, relying on Westman's thorough history, reports that Rheticus
"refrained from publishing the work in his life in order to avoid angering more conservative Christians such as Melanchthon."
Indeed, Wikipedia and Robert Westman clearly disprove Swamidass's claim of "without fear of reprisal".  It was surprising to me that Swamidass would publicly make his assertions when I have clearly shown that the true Lutheran theologians, from Luther all the way to Dr. Franz Pieper, have taught, as theologians, that because the Bible is a priori true, that the Copernican Theory can never be objectively true, Joshua 10:13.  To claim Rheticus and Kepler for his assertion is especially puzzling because general history knows that both of these men differed in their theology from the Lutheran Church.
==>> Swamidass's doubts notwithstanding,... the Lutheran Church never "embraced heliocentrism" or took an official position condoning Copernicanism as objective truth, but only as a theory.   (It wasn't Luther's "doubts", it was Luther's teaching, especially in his commentary on Genesis.)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = .

Brief Statement… allows Big Bang Theory? 
      On a separate note, I had to laugh out loud when I read (p. 79) how Profs. Charles Arand and Joel Okamoto refer to the Brief Statement as "our position regarding a six-day creation" at Concordia Seminary.  Of course Franz Pieper's Brief Statement reaffirms the Bible's teaching of a six-day creation, but everyone can see that Arand-Okamoto's assumption that the Big Bang Theory (à la the Jurchen essay, p. 64-74) can fit their doctrinal “position” is a fiction. (Let the reader see how this fits the term schizophrenia).  Franz Pieper, the author of the Brief Statementspecifically defended the approximate Biblical age of 6000 years against the scientific error of millions or billions of years teaching.  If Arand questions this, he can read Pieper's article in 1896 in Lehre und Wehre here.  I doubt that he would question it because he already knows it.  No, the COSL professors can claim all they want that the Brief Statement's (and the Bible's) “six-day creation” allows more than six 24-hour days, but that is a fiction.

      I also had to laugh out loud when I read again on their copyright/credits page that
“...the Concordia Journal is the successor of Lehre und Wehre (1855-1929), begun by C. F. W. Walther, a founder of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.”
Nowhere does Concordia Journal reveal that Lehre und Wehre, from its beginning to its end, cried out against what this issue teaches.  They can blithely make their claim because they know that Lehre und Wehre was published in the German language so that virtually none of its lay members can easily access it directly, and have very limited availability of English translations. —  I would add that this statement by the Journal is misleading because Walther is not the founder of the "The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod".  No, "The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod" left the old (German) Missouri Synod that Walther founded… and its teachers know it full well.

Concordia Journal / LC-MS speak with a “Lutheran Voice”?
      This issue of Concordia Journal uses the words "biblicistic" (Moulds p. 40) and "fundamentalist" (Swamidass p. 83) to charge Lutherans who hold to the literal natural history taught by the Bible.  Also in a veiled way it even seems to charge them with "mortal sin" (Arand/Okamato p. 30), maybe even "theologians of glory" (Arand p. 28 ff.).  That should not bother true Lutherans.  True Lutherans should know that the old (German) Missouri Synod endured similar heinous charges against it... yet continued simply in "God's Word and Luther's Doctrine Pure". —  So I will just keep on in "biblicistic", "fundamentalist" "mortal sin" — i.e. believing the Bible just as it reads.

      No, Dr. Swamidass, the Evangelical Lutheran Church has always taught that Copernicanism is what Prof. Arand calls "scientism" (p. 18, 29, 33), i.e. not objectively true.  And it started not 100 years ago (p. 83), but 500 years ago by... Martin Luther – as even you admit.  No, those "fundamentalists" that you have identified (and even Ken Ham, p. 79) are only weakly echoing the teaching of the Lutheran Church.
      The LC-MS Concordia Seminary teachers only show how far they have removed themselves from the true Evangelical Lutheran Church.  How do I know this so well?  Because I did not leave the LC-MS the 2nd time because of Copernicanism, I left it over their loss of the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification. In the next Part 2a, I address a point of theology not mentioned (so far) by Cascione's Reclaim News or Rev. Klawitter.

[Note: when this 2017 Summer issue of Concordia Journal becomes unavailable to the general public, contact me for a PDF copy with full searchable text, and hyperlinks to all footnotes.]

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

“God's Word & Luther's Doctrine…” finale 2017-10-31

       This finale concludes from Part 5b (see Intro for Table of Contents), a fitting graphic put together to honor the 500 Year Anniversary of Luther's Reformation... and the serial essay by Prof. Eduard Pardieck which explained and defended the great Lutheran motto:
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Today is
October 31, 2017
500th Anniversary of Luther's Reformation

Rev. 14:6–7 – And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him...
Amen!  Amen!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

“God's Word & Luther's Doctrine…” motto – 5b of 5 (pure doctrine, imperfect life)

      This Part 5b (of 5) concludes from Part 5a (see Intro for Table of Contents), my publication of a serial essay by Prof. E. Pardieck which explains and defends the great Lutheran motto.
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Translation by BackToLuther.  All emphasized words are from the original.  Highlighting is mine.

“God's Word and Luther's Doctrine Pure.”
[by Prof. E. Pardieck]

God's Word also speaks a clear language. Christians should not be such “children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive,” Eph. 4:14.  “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1). The Word of God gives Christians the serious instruction: “Beware of false prophets!” Matt. 7:15. “I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment”, 1 Cor. 1:10.  “I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them”. Rom. 16:17.

Luther took this Scriptural position.  He is certain of his cause. “By the grace of God our doctrine is pure; we have all the articles of faith solidly established in Sacred Scripture.” (St. L. IX, 650, #126; Am. Ed. 27, p. 42)  “One tittle of doctrine is more than heaven and earth. [Matt. 5:18] This is why we do not suffer the fact that it is hurt in the very least. The doctrine is not ours but God's; He shall not suffer it; there patience ceases. …  When they attack doctrine, God's glory is attacked, and love and patience should be ended, and not remain silent.” (St. L. XI, 569, #6, #7, not in Am. Ed.). Luther has no false respect for false doctrine.  “For there is [page 214, col. 2] no more noxious and harmful poison under the sun than false doctrine which does murderous and unspeakable harm, and leads men continually from God to vain abomination and blasphemy.” (St. L. III, 1873, #60, not in Am. Ed.) He also did not let himself be misled by the fact that the false teachers said, "We do not take it so closely with doctrine; the main thing is life. “It is the greatest power in doctrine; if it remains pure, one can bear all sorts of imperfect life and weakness, as long as one adheres to the doctrine and confesses that life should be different. But where the doctrine is falsified, life can no longer be helped.” (St. L. III, 180, #16; not in Am. Ed.) Let the unbelieving world call the struggle against error as it will. Indeed, a fool would be the devil and an unbeliever if he wanted to praise it. “We, too, have to hear the reproach: ‘You are obstinate and stiff-necked dunces; you refuse to listen to anyone.’  I have had to cope with perhaps thirty such spirits who accused me of this. . … But this is my boast—and, please God, let it strike emperor, pope, bishops, universities, doctors, or all the angels—that I am proud and stubborn in glorying in the Gospel.  …  This is the arrogance I must have, and no one shall keep me from it. It would be good if I could be unyielding and proud enough in this matter; for here I do not rest on myself but on One who is called Christ, in whose name I am baptized.” (St. L. VIII, 146, #46, Am. Ed. 23, p. 329). The struggle is to be led not only against those who reject everything, but against every false doctrine, as the Apostle says, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” [Gal. 5:9]  Also Luther: “Neither does it help them to assert that at all other points they have a high and noble regard for God’s words and the entire gospel, except in this matter. My friend, God’s Word is God’s Word; this point does not require much haggling! When one blasphemously gives the lie to God in a single word, or says it is a minor matter if God is blasphemed or called a liar, one blasphemes the entire God and makes light of all blasphemy. There is only one God who does not permit himself to be divided, praised at one place and chided at another, glorified in one place and scorned in another .” (St. L. XX, 775, #28; Am. Ed. 37, p. 26) “Therefore, it is not to be suffered in Christendom where one wants to make such a mixture and patchwork of doctrine.”  (St. L.XII, 481, #8; not in Am. Ed.)  

And also where will the concessions probably end up at? Luther says, “Where I should have obeyed anyone, I should have had to change my doctrine 30 or 40 times.” (St. L. II, 1309, #42; Am. Ed. 7, p. 120)  Indeed, what a miserable part the Christian Church would have played if in the course of time,  where almost every doctrine had been disputed, it had said to all the erring parties: “That is right, dear brethren!” Then she would have had nothing left.  And now many churches, which have been lax in the doctrine, see with horror where that leads. There are no limits; they can not resist the manifest unbelief.
We do not want to have this modern disease. Because we are convinced that our teaching, the doctrine which Luther has proclaimed, is the old pure Word of God, and because truth and error are not equally dear to us, let us hold to what we have, and say:

God's Word and Luther's Doctrine Pure
Shall to Eternity Endure.
E. P. [Eduard Pardieck]

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  When Dr. Franz Pieper wrote how the Old Missouri Synod, in his Brief Statement, had the pure doctrine in agreement with Scriptures and the Confessions, he was only echoing what Luther said above: “By the grace of God our doctrine is pure”.  Anyone who cannot say this with full assurance is not a Confessional Lutheran teacher.   —
      I am not quite finished with this motto.  It seemed to me that this motto is THE motto for the 500th anniversary of Luther's Reformation.  So I put together my confessional graphic in the next blog post as a "finale" to this essay.