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Friday, January 6, 2017

Delitzsch 6: German layman, hymns; “Luth. Judaism”; “lay circles” - Fundamentalists

      Continuing from Part 5 the series on Delitzsch and German church conditions from Franz Pieper's Christliche Dogmatik, volume 1.  (Table of Contents in Part 1) …
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      Pieper now breaks off from his report on the Delitzsch, and looks for signs of life in Germany of his time, the years after World War I.

Translation by BackToLuther; all green shaded text was omitted in the 1950 English edition and is first published here in English; all underlined words emphasized in the original German; red text and/or red bold text is my emphasis, all notes inside square brackets [ ] are mine; many items hyperlinked for reference; hyperlinked page numbers in square brackets [ ]; all unshaded text was included in English edition but re-translated to avoid copyright complaint by CPH.

—————————  Part 6  ———————————
Versailles Treaty – Big 4

[204  >]
A layman (a lawyer) in the Neue Kirchliche Zeitschrift (1923, p. 116) [“New Church Magazine”], points to the unfortunate political situation in which Germany is at present, and which is probably most heartfelt for the American Lutherans of the “strictly confessional direction.”   Would that by God's grace, as in other countries, so also in Germany, their theology be led out of the marsh of Ego-theology!  

Battle of White Mountain
Thirty Years's War
The layman writes, among other things: “The German people have sunk as deeply as they did in the period after the Thirty Years' War [1618-1648]. But let us remember that at that time the religious life in the evangelical church was the richest. At that time, the most beautiful hymns of our church were created, which, from our childhood, are an indelible treasure of the heart.  Let us hope that precisely in the storms and temptations of the modern age, our Church will prove to be a great force of life.”  
most beautiful hymns
of our church”

This would happen, and the Church would also now by faith and prayer remove the political plight as after the Thirty Years' War, if Church conditions were as they were back then.  At that time the teachers  [205  >] of the people held almost unanimously to the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God and the Christian doctrine derived from the Scriptures. From this faith, the divine singers of the Lutheran Church sang the beautiful hymns of the church, which still refresh our hearts. Now unfortunately it is different, namely, that the public teachers of the Church almost unanimously deny the infallible divine authority of Scripture, and reject as repristination theology the Christian doctrine which is sung in those splendid church hymns.  This is also the case in the same issue of the Neuen Kirchlichen Zeitschrift, on the part of a theologian who speaks with a considerable factual ignorance of an “irretrievable fall of the ancient dogmatic doctrine of inspiration” and, with a corresponding lack of truth, accusingly points to Lutheran Judaism” “where they believe they have fulfilled their task in mechanical, external appropriation of the authority of the Scriptures as well as of the confessional writings.”  We theologians are very difficult to convert when we have once thoroughly departed from the right path, for example, we no longer know whether we should teach from Holy Scripture or from our own inner being. That is why in Germany, as in the previous century, salvation will have to come mainly from lay circles,” perhaps under the leadership of pastors who have been little noticed.  Just as with us in America, the laity among the Baptists are now seeking to bring about a union which extends through the whole country, with the purpose of protecting the Church and the world from a generation of unbelieving pastors who are the product of the universities and seminaries,  in which “for divine creation is inserted evolution, for the divine authority of the Holy Scriptures is the faith consciousness of the individual, for Christ the Son of God is the ideal man Jesus, for faith in the vicarious satisfaction of Christ is moral strivings according to the model of the ideal man Jesus, for heaven and eternal salvation is earthly bliss (social gospel).” 620
620). See p. 146 f. The reports from The Fundamentalist, Vol. II, No. 1.
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      I have been unable to locate a digital copy of the essay by the German theologian who made the charge of “Lutheran Judaism” against the Old Missouri Synod. And Pieper does not name him.   But after reading the early Delitzsch, this same charge would have to apply to him as well.
1905 (1892)

     It is interesting to see that the CPH book Walther's Hymnal, the English translation of the Old German Missouri Synod's Kirchen-Gesangbuch, never seems to be offered at a discounted sale price, nor are there any low cost used copies showing up on Amazon.  Could it be that true Christians are interested in pure Christian hymns that came as a result of “one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history”?  Hmmm... why is it that modernists cannot write hymns like those written during the Thirty Years' War?

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      Pieper appeals directly to all Christians, to the priesthood of believers (1 Peter 2:5), and to the “pastors who have been little noticed", for when the teachers and leaders have departed from the authority of Holy Scripture, then it is up to these to steer the Church Universal.  And it is in this light that Pieper holds up those Baptists (and others) who organized a lay group to stand against the rationalism of scholars, and called themselves “Fundamentalists”, with praise from President Franz Pieper of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. (I will post a blog on this subject later.)

Lay Circles” and “Little Noticed Pastors
      As I read Pieper’s emphasis on these for the true leadership of the Church in troubled times, I could not help thinking of the Association of Confessing Evangelical Lutheran Congregations (ACELC) – are these perhaps the “lay circles” and the “little noticed pastors” for the LC-MS? — Now I would like to nominate for the award of the first “Little Noticed Pastor” for today's LC-MS:
——— Rev. Gerhard P. Grabenhofer ———

God Grant It
translated by Pr. Grabenhofer
1st Pieper 
Little Noticed Pastor
to lead today's LC-MS

What?  Can anything good come from New York?  Oh, what tremendously strong Lutherans there must be at Faith Lutheran Church in... Corning, New York.

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In the next Part 7, Pieper reports of correspondence from the later Delitzsch... a grieving Delitzsch.

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