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I have put considerable time into this final presentation (page 225). It shows Pieper's passionate defense of the Missouri Synod and those who stood with it against the world... just as Luther stood. Ah, but he was fighting against “theological supermen”. — Again, the reader will note below how much text is shaded green and so is being presented for the first time in English translation.
The theologians of Germany unfortunately advanced toward the same bitterness presented to us — to the great regret of Dr. [Charles Porterfield] Krauth — by the representatives of the liberal “American Lutheranism”. And we can understand that.
We are theologically divided by a chasm
so broad and deep that it can not be bridged.
the Holy Scriptures
|Johann Heinrich Kurtz|
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The reader will note the amount of green shaded text in this segment. With the great interest that the world now shows in “German theology” today – with its fascination with Bonhoeffer – I think editor Prof. Engelder misjudged in omitting these green shaded sections from his English edition. Indeed, I hold up Franz Pieper's Church History above all other Church Historians since his time. —
The charges brought against the Old Missouri Synod practically knew no bounds, ultimately calling it an “evil in the church”.
“These Missouri separatist communities, though everywhere quite unimportant, …”Hmmm.... that sounds suspiciously like what the 1910 Roman Catholic encyclopedia said about those Old Lutherans. Should I not call Kurtz one of those “theological supermen”?
Yep, I'm one of those “Missouri separatists”, a “theological straggler”, standing on the other side of that “chasm so broad and deep”, but with the Holy Scriptures... and with the true Church Historian for today, Dr. Franz Pieper.—
The later Dr. Franz Delitzsch helped foster the “theological supermen”, the “theologischen Übermenschen”. But I would end this series with the words of the early Delitzsch as he extols Holy Scripture to those on the other side of the “great chasm”:
“It alone is the foundation…, the touchstone…
To this Word it [the Church] must submit itself with reverence, with humility, with self-denial.” – Delitzsch