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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Delitzsch 8a: whither is Lutheranism bound?; Missouri's church literature

      Continuing from Part 7 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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      I now skip a few more pages, to pages 224-225, in Pieper's narrative of Church History, to where he assesses the damage in World Lutheranism and how Walther, not Delitzsch, brought the Lutheran Reformation back to life...

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 8a  ———————————
[224  >]

As to the influence of the “strictly confessional direction” of the American Lutheran Church on the Lutheran Church in other countries, General Superintendent [Hans Heinrich Philipp Justus] Ruperti wrote on the death of Walther: 656)With Walther one of the greats in the Church of Christ has gone home, a man who was an epoch-making personality not only in the ecclesiastical history of America, where he was the outstanding guide and collector of the Lutherans, but his effectiveness in the Lutheran Church for all parts of the world was felt to be a powerful stimulus. The success of his effectiveness is almost unprecedented in the modern history of our Church.”  Here again, as regards the influence on the German Church, there is a qualifying remark.  The fathers of the Missouri Synod certainly did not hasten to break off dialogue with the Church of Germany.  As they were continuously endeavoring to communicate with the various Lutheran synods here by offering preliminary talks, 657) they also repeatedly sought an agreement with the ecclesiastical circles of Germany and other countries.658) Admittedly, the alienation by the Church of Germany advanced gradually, of which Delitzsch refers to in the above-mentioned writing.  We, on our part, have kept the connection in so far as we have carefully taken note of the ecclesiastical events in Germany, especially of the literary output.  
Der Lutheraner
Lehre und Wehre

Perhaps the 68 years of Lehre und Wehre and the 78 years of Der Lutheraner offer the richest, all-encompassing contemporary church history covering the whole world that exists at the present time.  Against this the world of German theologians on the one hand has almost completely ignored our not insignificant church literature.

656) [250] Allgem. Ev.-Luth. Kirchenzeitung of July 22, 1887 [vol. 20; not on web?; see Christian Cyclopedia entry].
657) Presently there are talks between representatives of the Synodical Conference and representatives of the synods of Iowa and Ohio. Negotiations are not futile, even if a complete agreement has not yet been reached in doctrine. [see Christian Cyclopedia here, #4]
658) It should also be pointed out that Lutheran church congregations which are in agreement with the Synodical Conference in doctrine and practice exist in other countries: in Germany, the Evangelical Lutheran Freikirche of Saxony and other States (with congregations in Denmark) [see here #5], Australia and New Zealand the Ev.-Luth. Synod in Australia [ELSA, see #4 here], in Alsace the Ev.-Luth. Freikirche in Alsace [see here, #15].
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      This blog is dedicated to bringing to light “the richest, all-encompassing contemporary church history covering the whole world that exists at the present time” – Lehre und Wehre and Der Lutheraner, bringing them out of their forced obscurity.  One may note that Pieper did not include in his list of church literature the English language publications of his Synod:

Why?  Could it be that Pieper's exclusion of these publications was not because they were in the English language, but because they were not the chief organs for the foundational teachings of the Old (German) Missouri Synod?  Unfortunately these English publications are now sometimes mistaken as such and causing some confusion on what was taught by the fathers of the Old Missouri – see herehere and here for examples.  At their best, these English publications only echoed the greatest teachings of... Walther and Pieper, Stoeckhardt and Bente.  But I would also say that Pieper did not highlight these 2 German language publications because they were in the German language, but because they proclaimed the purest Lutheran doctrine.  Even Dr. Robert Kolb was likely fooled by the English publications. —
      In footnote # 657 above, Pieper speaks of ongoing talks with the Iowa and Ohio Synods in 1924.  This is referenced also in the 1927 Concordia Cyclopedia, pg 365 (or digital page 379, column 2, half-way down) where it says:
“In recent years the points of difference [between Missouri and Iowa on Election, etc.] have been under discussion by an inter-synodical committee, and the prospects for a mutual understanding are good.”
It appears that these reported “good prospects for a mutual understanding” are actually a harbinger of the disaster that happened after Pieper's death in 1931, as Prof. Theodore Graebner (with his “breakthrough”) and others in the LC-MS commandeered the theology and direction of the Missouri Synod as it morphed into today's LC-MS, as it made shaky agreements with the merged Iowa and Ohio Synods, the ALC. —
      In the concluding Part 8b, Pieper lays out a great distinction between the true Church and the false Church, and the “old path” that the Church Universal needs to be following.

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