Search This Blog

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dogmatik keyed to Walther's Pastoral Theology, #1 (Pless: shallow pastoral theology); Part A: series on CD refs

[2017-04-02: added Table of Contents below for series on References in Christliche Dogmatik]
      This is Part 1 in a series of blog posts related to the new 2017 Concordia Publishing House edition of Walther's Pastoral Theology.  See bottom of this blog post for the current Table of Contents to this series. [Note: this is also Part A of a series on Christliche Dogmatik references to Old Missouri -- Part A. See Table of Contents at bottom of this post.]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
       I have been pressed to present the following cross-reference table due to published attacks by LCMS leaders on both Dr. John Drickamer's edition of Walther's Pastoral Theology and its publisher Pastor Herman Otten's Lutheran New/Christian News.  This has been occasioned by the release of the new 2017 edition.  These attacks are reported by Pastor Otten in his February 13, 2017 issue of Christian News newspaper and are most shameful.  This blog has rebuked Pastor Otten in past blog posts, especially regarding the Doctrine of Justification.  But some of his defenses against the errors of Prof. Jeffrey Kloha on the Doctrine of Scripture have been appreciated!  And now an attack by Prof. John T. Pless on Dr. Drickamer's edition is rather ironic, as Pless would use Wilhelm Loehe as a "corrective to Walther's understanding of the office (of Ministry)".
      Before I comment further, I present below a table of the complete listing of all of Franz Pieper's numerous references to Walther's Pastoraltheologie in the 3 volumes of his Christliche Dogmatik / Christian Dogmatics. Pieper made heavy use of Walther in his Dogmatics as I stated in an earlier blog. The English edition of Pieper was, and is, perhaps the best way to learn the pastoral theology of C.F.W. Walther. And with the release of the 2017 full translation of Walther's work, I wanted to fully cross-reference it to Pieper's great work.  But this table cross references to not only the German edition and the new English 2017 edition, it is also keyed to the three intervening versions.  These include the 2 versions of Prof. J.H.C. Fritz published by Concordia in 1932 and 1945, and Dr. John Drickamer's 1995 edition.  The introduction to CPH's latest publishing strangely makes no mention of Fritz's editions.  These were the only versions available up until 1995 when Drickamer's translation appeared.  Fritz's editions were helpful, especially for the newly transformed LCMS as it dropped its German language heritage.  But I have also found them less satisfying than the original by Walther, for Walther is more capable of speaking to the heart.  Indeed I consider Fritz's editions somewhat inferior as Fritz gave only a marginal amount of direct translation and paraphrasing of Walther's original German.   I will comment further on these later.  Now I present a cross-reference table between Pieper and Walther with hyperlinks to all but the copyrighted editions of Pastoral Theology.  Now the reader will be enabled by a simple click to directly access these other works.  I have even included links to the English edition of Pieper's Dogmatics through the "snippet" view in Google Books (unless CPH prevents this later).

Christian Dogmatics  ===>>>  1897 German  —––– 1932 Fritz ––—–— 1945 Fritz ——– 1995 Drickamer ——— 2017 CPH
(This document may be accessed directly >> here <<.)

(This document may be accessed directly >> here <<.)

An added benefit of this table is the last column of brief notes for quick reference on each line's subject matter.  These notes makes it useful to track down specific topics, e.g. "Law & Gospel" or "Absolution". —  If one scrolls down the above table to volume 3 of Pieper's Dogmatik, (3:307n1047), I make note of what appears to be an inadvertent error of omission in the CPH 2017 edition. It seems that 2 footnotes in the German language edition p. 111 are missing (marked * and **).  I was surprised to find these as this work appears to be well done for completeness.  But I wonder how many other errors there may be in this edition... perhaps few if any.

Prof. John T. Pless
      But to comment further, it was reported in Pastor Otten's Christian News of Feb. 13 p. 9 that Prof. Pless stated the following on his Facebook page:
"The CN edition [Drickamer's] is a very poor substitute. The translation is inadequate and significant sections are omitted.  Get the new edition." – John T. Pless
If Prof. Pless was truly interested in the wealth of Walther's teaching to be made available, he would have rather complimented Drickamer... he would have rather spearheaded the effort for the full translation many years ago!  I want to repeat Prof. Pless's words of “celebration” of Walther in 2011 (emphases mine):
“... Löhe's legacy have been retrieved in LCMS efforts to broaden ecumenical perspective, deepen pastoral theology, enrich liturgical life, give shape to an authentically Lutheran missiology, enhance the place of the female diaconate, sustain the church's corporate life of mercy, or to provide what is seen as a corrective to Walther's understanding of the office” –  John T. Pless
These are Prof. Pless's own words to “celebrate” Walther.  It should be noted that Pless also stated that this new CPH 2017 edition will be “required text for my Advanced Pastoral Theology class.”  With the above quote from 2011, it is a foregone conclusion that Prof. Pless will require other textbooks than Walther's book as a “corrective” to it.  According to Pless, Walther had a flat ecumenical perspective, shallow pastoral theology, poor liturgical life, flat Lutheran missiology, lack of giving place to female diaconates, unsustained corporate life of mercy, and flawed understanding of the office of ministry!  Which does the reader think Prof. Pless prefers in matters of “pastoral theology”: Wilhelm Loehe or C.F.W. Walther? And why would Prof. Pless now on his Facebook page proclaim that Walther's Pastoral Theology will be required for his students?  Could it not be to target Walther's weaknesses needing the “corrective” of Loehe?  Could it possibly be to cover his judgments of Walther with a facade of respect?  Pless and his defenders may plead that my criticism goes too far.  Let them, for Pless's own words condemn himself.
      Now see, Prof. Pless, I did not put my blog's name in the above cross-reference table so that you can have your students link directly to the Google Doc for your "Advanced Pastoral Theology" class without fear of promoting this blog.  But sorry, I did not cross-reference Walther's Pastoral Theology to any of Loehe's works.  You will have to do that yourself in order to "deepen" Walther's pastoral theology.

      In the next Part 2, the shameful treatment of Dr. Drickamer is brought out with more details.  Even Pastor Otten's defense of Drickamer could have been stronger...
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Table of Contents  on Pastoral Theology - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Part 1 - Introduction; Table of Cross-references; Prof. Pless's criticisms of Drickamer &Walther
Part 2 - Defense of Dr. John Drickamer and his 1995 translated edition (still useful!)
Part 3 - Prof. J.H.C. Fritz's 1932 & 1945 editions & unionsm; also 1990 Mueller-Kraus edition
Part 4 - Corrections for new 2017 CPH edition; C.S. Meyer's judgment of Walther; old Ohio Synod request

Added 2017-04-02:
= = = = = = =   Table of Contents on Christliche Dogmatik References to Old Missouri   = = = = = = = =
Part A – this post -- Walther's Pastoral Theology
Part BLehre und Wehre - Walther's essays and other essays
Part CDer Lutheraner articles (including DL Table of Contents)
Part D – Convention essays: old Missouri Synod, Synodical Conference
Part E – Walther's books, old Missouri books (Kirche und Amt, etc.) and lectures: Stoeckhardt books
Part F – Baier-Walther Compendium Theologiae Positivae

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments only accepted when directly related to the post.