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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Stoeckhardt 4: Now our dear one, a true Exegete! (Pieper's address, Part 4d)

      This continues from Part 4c in a sub-series (see Part 4a) of a wider series (Table of Contents in Part 1) of Franz Pieper's addresses at the "going home" (funerals) of  Old Missouri's earliest teachers.  This Part 4x sub-series presents the address at the funeral of Dr. George Stoeckhardt.
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      Up to this point in his address, Pieper showed how Missouri was blessed with Christian teachers.  This led him to present his brief summary and praise of the greatness of the teacher for whom this funeral address was given (continuing Pieper's address from Part 4c; enlargement, bolding is mine):
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George Stoeckhardt
(servant of the Word)

And now our dear Stöckhardt! He came in October 1878 from Germany to St. Louis and was first pastor of the local church at Holy Cross for nine years, and during his pastorate he served as a lecturer in exegetical lectures, and at the same time entered the front ranks in the struggle for the right doctrine of Conversion and Election of Grace. [Cp. Brief Statement, 16-19, 35-40] In the autumn of 1887, the full exegetical professorship was then transferred to him.  He is known to us for all the excellent gifts he has rendered. With language skills absolutely equal to the most prestigious exegetes of our time, he had one advantage over all exegetes of modern times. And this is what makes an exegete a true exegete.  He believed with us all, in his heart, the so-called verbal inspiration, that is, the truth that the Holy Scripture is not to be the word of man, but the majestic, infallible Word of God given by God and to be treated accordingly. Thus his exegetical method was not the method which mastered the Word of God, but the method which serves God's Word merely by setting forth what is expressed in Scripture, and leaving God's sole reign in the Church. These are the glorious teaching gifts which God gave to our synod, and especially to our theological institution. [S. 20, col. 1]
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Pieper highlights the following strengths of Stoeckhardt:

Conversion & Election of Grace
      These two doctrines were the focus of much contention in the American Lutheran Church.  And Pieper includes Prof. Stoeckhardt as one of the top defenders for the truth, and so rooted out all vestiges of synergism.  I have wondered why Pieper did not include the doctrine of Universal Justification as Stoeckhardt was an outspoken defender of this doctrine, but then I remembered that with the other two doctrines, it was actually UOJ (Universal, Objective Justification) that was at the heart of the matter. Pieper will again draw attention to these same doctrines in the final comments of his address on Stoeckhardt – see Part 4e.

A True Exegete
      Pieper asserts that "absolutely" no other exegete, German or otherwise, had better language skills than Stoeckhardt.  This judgment comes from one of the greatest masters of theological languages in the world – Franz Pieper.  But Pieper puts even this aside and claims for Stoeckhardt the higher ground of a true exegete – as a defender of "verbal inspiration".  But if the words of Scripture are divinely inspired then one bows to Scripture, for who would presume to be the master over God? — For some time, I had a bad taste for "Exegetical Theology" because it seemed that all those who claimed proficiency in it actually perverted the meaning of the bare words!  But then I discovered the exegetical writings of George Stoeckhardt, and now I know that there is indeed a place for this branch of theology, because Stoeckhardt restored it to its rightful place – as a servant of the Word, not a master over it.  Any exegete who perverts the plain meaning of the words of Holy Scripture is not a true exegete, but an eisigete.
      Exegetical Theology was the focus of much of Stoeckhardt's attention and he produced several books.  Much of his legacy is in remembering his work in this area.  I recall that as I was returning to my Christian faith 20+ years ago, I had discovered the works of Stoeckhardt in the CTS-FW bookstore and snapped up all the many titles they had then.  I wondered why these were only available from the CTS-FW bookstore, and not from CPH?  Stoeckhardt's writings (true exegesis, Biblical History) built up my faith, taught me that the Bible is absolutely true, set my faith on a solid Rock.
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"Dogmatism"?
      However there arose during Stoeckhardt's later years a faction among some teachers of the Synodical Conference who elevated the importance of "exegesis" of Scripture to the detriment of dogmatics or the teaching nature of Scripture.  The instigator and leader of this movement was Prof. John Philipp Koehler of the Wisconsin Synod (WELS).  He would come to, essentially, drive a wedge among the teachers of the Old Synodical Conference by his new emphasis, his claim of superiority, of "exegesis".  But was it superior?  I am preparing a separate blog post from this series that is quite polemical against the legacy of Koehler... I will take this up soon... (I found a surprising "benefit" to the agitation of Koehler.)
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      The above few words from Pieper were the greatest testament ever to the legacy of George Stoeckhardt.  In final installment of Pieper's funeral address for "our dear Stoeckhardt" he reveals a close conversation with Walther, in the next Part 4e.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Stoeckhardt 3: 4 teachers of Old Missouri; Lange's gem; Part 4c

      This continues from Part 4b in a sub-series (see Part 4a) of a wider series (Table of Contents in Part 1) of Franz Pieper's addresses at the "going home" (funerals) of  Old Missouri's earliest teachers.  This Part 4x sub-series presents the address at the funeral of Dr. George Stoeckhardt.
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      After putting Walther in his proper place, next to Martin Luther, Pieper moves on to comment on 4 other teachers of Old Missouri.  We are still several paragraphs into the funeral address for George Stoeckhardt, yet Pieper takes more time to show his Missouri how blessed it has been by its earlier faithful teachers.  These would compliment Walther's strong leadership in teaching and defending pure Lutheran/Christian doctrine (continuing Pieper's address from Part 4b):
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Schaller used to say in our smaller circles: “God has not made me a warrior.” But he was an extremely valuable gift from God in our faculty meetings. In his silent manner, and with his deep and profound recognition of the Christian teachings, he has strengthened our hearts and hands through counsel and instruction, especially in the contentious points. Lange was rightly said to have a philosophical nature. But in all theological matters, God's Word was his only wisdom.  His preface to Lehre und Wehre in 1884 is an immense exposition of the the "sola Scriptum", the truth that in theology all man’s thoughts are nothing and God's revealed Word has its own validity.  I do not know if ever anything more glorious has been written.   He used to sit in our meetings somewhat apart, listening attentively and covering his face with his hand. But then he often spoke words to us all that were at once teaching and refreshment.  Günther was one of the first students of our institution, when it still was located in Perry County. He had grown up entirely in the spirit of our fathers. He was especially given the gift of distinguishing between truth and error, and with this gift he had served the Church especially in clear, concise written expression, as his years of editorship of our Der Lutheraner proves.  Gräbner, combined an amazing diligence with his extraordinary general knowledge and the clear recording of Christian doctrines. He has worn himself out prematurely by his diligence. His special field of work was the history of the Church; but in the last major doctrinal controversy he also fought in the foremost ranks.
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What struck me in this summary was the special compliment he paid to C.H.R. Lange that he had not done in his earlier address at his funeral – on Lange's "Foreword" ("Vorwort") to the 1884 Lehre und Wehre journal.  My blog has concentrated mostly on presenting Walther and Pieper, but Pieper's immense praise of Lange's "Foreword" caused me to take some time in the Google Books copy, with Google "plain text" and Google Translate to skim over this highly regarded essay.  Would to God someone would take on the project of carefully translating this article into English!  What was it the Pieper said again?
“I do not know if ever anything more glorious has been written.”
Indeed, pure Lutheranism!  Because of Pieper's high praise, I have now also gone back to Lange's periodical, the St. Louis Theological Monthly, the earliest English language Missouri Synod doctrinal journal, a forerunner of the Lutheran Witness and Theological Quarterly. It is freely available in Google Books.  This journal contains the best English writings that give an overview of the “Predestinarian Controversy” and present the clearest defense of the truth, by Rudolf Lange and others.  It shows that Lange was a true pupil of Walther.  It was quite a treat for me to again skim through the many articles, and such good doctrine in so easy-to-read ENGLISH!! Thank God that Prof. Lange produced this wonderful journal... in... English.  Too bad that it only ran 2 years, from 1881 to 1882.  —




      In the next Part 4d, Pieper reaches the point in his address where he highlights perhaps his closest colleague at that time, George Stoeckhardt.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Stoeckhardt 2: Walther- 2nd only to… ? (Pieper's address, Part 4b)

      This continues from Part 4a in a sub-series (see Part 4a) of a wider series (Table of Contents in Part 1) on Franz Pieper's addresses at the "going home" (funerals) of  Old Missouri's earliest teachers.  These Part 4x posts are on Dr. George Stoeckhardt.
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      When I translated the next brief section, I paused in amazement.  Franz Pieper asserted something that even I would hesitate to do – and it will put most modern LC-MS teachers in a tailspin:
C.F.W. Walther – 2nd only to Luther
The American Luther!

Walther, in great humility, called himself a lowly pupil of Luther and the old Lutheran theologians. According to my knowledge of Walther and the old theologians, I must say that Walther, in regard to the clear knowledge of the Christian doctrine, and to the gift of clear representation, is to be placed immediately after Luther, and far surpassed most of the theologians of the later time.”  – Franz Pieper

Oh!  Pieper places Walther, essentially, second only to Martin Luther as a teacher of the Lutheran Church.  I had earlier placed Walther in the top 3 teachers of Lutheranism.  And Pieper had in 1890 apparently ranked Walther behind Martin Chemnitz of teachers of the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification..  But it appears that Pieper, upon further reflection, now in 1913, in the address at Stoeckhardt's funeral, places Walther above both of these two other highly regarded teachers of the Lutheran Church.  I had been thinking to do much the same thing, except for my deep respect for Martin Chemnitz and his authorship of the Formula of Concord in the face of near disaster for the Lutherans. But I knew in my heart that it was Walther who applied the Formula of Concord's teaching on the Election of Grace for the first time in a Church dispute against erring American Lutherans ("intuitu fidei").
      Yes, that is how I will celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, by honoring also the one who practically single-handedly restored and "repristinated" the Reformation in our modern times!  Let the scoffers scoff and go their way!  I know it is so, for Franz Pieper is the best judge of all Lutheran teachers up to… himself.  He is The Twentieth Century LutherThe Second Walther. —  In the next Part 4c, we hear Pieper's brief comments on 4 other early teachers of Old Missouri.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Stoeckhardt 1: Best modern exegete goes home, Pieper's address, Part 4a

      This continues a series of blogs (from Part 3, Table of Contents in Part 1) presenting Dr. Franz Pieper's words of comfort at the passing of fellow teachers of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. -- But this begins another sub-series…
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      Because Pieper was so young when he first became President of the seminary, he was called on to give an address at the funerals of most of Old Missouri's first teachers.  One of the most important of these was the last one to pass away who was pictured at the right, Dr. George Stoeckhardt, on January 9, 1913.
     How these addresses spotlight the Christian's hope in the time of death!  Pieper always referred to the deceased as one who has "gone home".  I have often re-read my quote of the famous Russian scientist Vitaly Ginzburg who said “I envy believers.… I cannot believe in resurrection after death.” Poor, unbelieving scientists!  But this is not the case with the dear teachers of Old Missouri, no envy among them, only this, a longing for "home".
      Pieper's address contains some especially notable statements that have caused me to break it up into a 5-part sub-series.  It was taken from Der Lutheraner, vol. 69-2, January 21, 1913, p. 18-19.  The translation (only the indented text blocks below) is by BackToLuther, highlighting is mine:

† Prof. Dr. G. Stöckhardt. †
Commemorative address, held in the aula of the theological seminary.
By F. Pieper.

In Christ, cordially beloved funeral assembly, especially honored colleagues and dear students of Concordia!
The Holy Scripture, in which God speaks to us, reveals to us God's heart. It reveals to us in particular how God's heart is toward us in all adversity which we have met with and still meet. How is God so worried about our salvation and well-being? The great God is, so to speak, altogether caring for of our salvation, for no man could reconcile God, He Himself took reconciliation into His own hand. He has reconciled us with Himself through the death of his Son. Then He has given the Word of the existing reconciliation, the Gospel, by which He gathers a Church, a Christendom, on Earth. All Christians are wise, spiritually understanding people. They are all taught by God, they know Christ, their Savior, and proclaim the virtues of Him who has called them from darkness into His marvelous light. [1 Peter 2:9]  But even more! [S. 19, col. 1] The Savior, exalted to the right hand of God, also gives his Church special teaching gifts in individual persons. He equips individual members of the Church with special gifts, with which they serve the Gospel and thus the Church. The exalted Savior has set some to apostles, some to prophets, some to evangelists, some to shepherds and teachers.
We are especially reminded of these teaching gifts, which God gives to His Church, where we stand before the fact that God has called from our midst a most excellent teacher. Our dear Dr. Stöckhardt has been transferred from the Church of teachers of the Word and Faith, to the Church of Sight. We stand still for a moment and ask ourselves what we have to retain from the teachers which the risen Savior of his Church has granted to its service. According to God's Word, we recognize it as a gift of His grace, and thank Him heartily for it; and we ask Him, with the confidence of being heard, that He will not refuse such gifts to us.
Indeed! We recognize teachers of the Church as a gift of God. No one, not even all men taken together, can make a Christian teacher. Luther rightly says: “Doctors of art, medicine, law, etc., can the pope, emperor, and universities make; but be assured, a doctor of the Holy Scriptures will make no one but only the Holy Spirit from heaven.”  In the Christian Church, there is nothing at all that is made, here everything is God's gift and work. Only God's gift and work is the faith of Christians. Only God's gift and work are also the right teachers of the Church. What is not God's gift and work is useless.  Then what belongs to a true Christian teacher?  First of all the basis is the personal heart of faith. But the Scripture says, "We believe according  the working  of His mighty power.” [Eph. 1:19]  This includes secondly the facultas docendi, the special gift of public teaching.  On this the Scripture says again, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” [2 Cor. 3:5]  To a true teacher belongs, thirdly, a great inner power and strength, the power and strength to subordinate all his own thoughts and the thoughts of all other men to God's Word, and to hold fast to God's Word, in spite of the enmity of the devil, the world, and his own flesh. No man can do that by himself. This is God's gift and work in us, as St. Paul reminds Timothy: "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." [2 Tim. 2:1]

The reader will note that for several paragraphs, Pieper has said little of the deceased.  He uses considerable time to teach first from God's Word, the true source of all comfort.  He said the first qualification of a true Christian teacher was faith in the heart, or what he elsewhere calls a fides divina or the testimony of the Holy Spirit, a divine faith worked by God. (Pastor Martin Noland stumbles on this.)  But now, he begins to name names:

Such gifts of teaching have been given by God to our synod, and especially to our theological institution. I need only name the names: Walther, Schaller, Lange, Günther, Gräbner, and now also Stöckhardt. All were glorious gifts of God to His Church. It is permissible for me to dwell on the memory of these men for a moment. I have been allowed to work with all of them over a long period.  Five of them I may from this place, where I stand now, in the name of the institution and the church, call words of grateful remembrance.  

Pieper introduces the names of several men, teachers who have gone before George Stoeckhardt.  It is quite a list and it includes the first teachers of Concordia Seminary-St. Louis, men that Pieper worked with personally.  Since Pieper lived well into the 20th Century, he is the best church historian of Old Missouri for our time.  In the next Part 4b, Pieper makes an assertion that will put most modern LC-MS teachers and leaders into a tailspin, especially in this year of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  What would Pieper say about… Walther?
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Part 4a – Stoeckhardt goes home: Pieper's preliminary teaching (this blog post)
Part 4b – Walther is 2nd only to… who?
Part 4c – 4 past teachers of Old Missouri, Pieper's thoughts (Lange complimented)
Part 4d – And now our dear Stöckhardt! Who is a true exegete?
Part 4e – Missourian! On Conversion & Election; at Walther's sickbed (Pieper closes address)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A.L. Graebner, passing of a true teacher- Pieper’s address; Part 3


[2017-07-24: This address was also translated by M. Harrison in his At Home in the House of My Fathers, pp. 617-619.]
      This continues a series of blogs (from Part 2, Table of Contents in Part 1) presenting Dr. Franz Pieper's words of comfort at the passing of fellow teachers of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
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      After Prof. Günther's passing, it would be another 10+ years before President Pieper would again have to speak to an assembly of mourners for a fellow colleague.  This time, in 1904, it was for Prof. A.L. Graebner.  Pieper's address was taken from Der Lutheraner, January 3, 1905, p. 3-4.  Translation by BackToLuther.

Memorial address at the funeral Dr. A. L. Gräbner,
held in the Aula of the Concordia Seminary by F. Pieper.
A teacher has been called by God from our midst. A man has been taken by God out of our midst who was first placed here in our institution as the teacher of the future ministers of the Church, and then served the Church with teachings in wide circles, beyond the borders of our country. God has put an end to this active life. He called his servant that his work  was at an end.  We think that this call came too early. But we Christians also know that our thinking is not the measure by which things are measured in the kingdom of God. Thus we submit ourselves to God's will, but we listen to the reminder which God in His Word (Heb. 13:7) calls to the Church:
Remember your teachers who have spoken the Word of God to you.
Teachers are one of the gifts of God to His Church. The Son of God has devoted much to his Church, and His care is still directed to His Church. He has first redeemed them, that is, purchased with His own blood, from death and condemnation. Then He also gave her His Word through His Prophets and Apostles, which she now possesses in the Holy Scriptures. But even more! He has also arranged a personal teaching office in the Church, whereby His Word is to go forth, and He gives to his Church, up to the very Last Day, men who are capable of teaching not only himself, but others as well. Thus the teachers belong to the gifts of Christ to his Church. Teachers of the Word of God are not a gift which can be bought with gold or silver, but they are a gift which the Son of God has acquired with His blood, and are distributed now to His Church as the exalted Lord of the Church at the right hand of God. This is what the Scriptures teach. St. Paul writes to the Ephesians, (Eph. 4:8): “When he ascended up on high, ... he gave gifts unto men.” And in the enumeration of gifts are expressly named the teachers: “He Has put some to apostles, some to prophets, some to evangelists, some to shepherds and teachers.” (Eph. 4:11.)  The Church is well served when she is amply supplied with teachers of the Word. Thus, in the description of the prosperity of the Church of the New Testament (Psalm 68:11): “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it..” And the Church goes bad when [page 3, col. 2] the right teachers of the Word are missing. Where the teachers of the Word of God are absent, the of Word of Christ is fulfilled: “They fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd,” Matt. 9:36. Therefore, the Christians should deal with their teachers well during their lifetime. “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.,” 1 Timothy 5:17.  And when they are dead, let them remember.  “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God.” [Hebrews 13:7]
It is true that not all of us, who appear within the Church as teachers, are to be counted among the gifts of God. In the Church there are, under God's approval, teachers who teach not the Word of God, but their own Word, as the Holy Scriptures describe such teachers in Jer. 23:16. “They speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.” Such teachers are not a blessing, but a plague for the Church. Such teachers do not praise God, but He threatens them with his wrath, Jer. 23:31: "Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.” The Christians shall not hold themselves to such teachers, but flee after the Apostle’s exhortation Rom. 16:17: “Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them..”  Such a teacher was not the one who has gone home. He was a true teacher, a gift from God. He was one of the teachers who, with great care, carried forward the Word of God pure and unadulterated, and with all sincerity, rejected all false doctrine, which rises above and without the Word of God in the Church. In the hot struggle for the divine truth which our Church had been destined for the past twenty-five years, in the struggle for the Gospel of grace, he was at the forefront of the struggle.  Thus, the one who went home belonged to the gifts of God to his Church, and therefore the Word also applies to him: "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” [Heb. 13:7]  God has given the orthodox Lutheran Church of our country loyal and proficient teachers and preachers in large numbers. What is in abundance, that is easily respected lightly. It should not be so. Let us beware of the contempt of the gifts of God, for that is the way you lose it.
A true teacher must wait out his office under  self-denial, in disinterested spirit, in the profession of God. Neither good rumors nor nasty rumors, neither praise nor reproof, neither abundance nor want, should alienate him from his office, or make him weary.  Such teachers are rare. They were rare even in the apostolic church. The Apostle Paul complained in the letter to the Philippians (Phil. 2:21) of a number of teachers who were working next to him: “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's..”  We must now confess with gratitude to God that God has given a great number of preachers and teachers to our synod, as far as people can judge, who have not the ruling manner of themselves, but look to Christ Jesus and His Church. To these also belonged the one who has gone home. He was prepared for service for others, without asking: What is in it for me? He has served the Church [page 4, col. 1] for 25 years – nine years in the Wisconsin Synod, and sixteen years in our Synod – as a theological teacher and has been satisfied with food and clothing. He could leave no earthly property. That is why we are reminded of the following: “Remember your teachers which ...  have spoken unto you the word of God.”
Luther, in his last sermon, which he preached at Wittenberg in January, 1546, [AE 51:377; SL 12:1168-1177] asked his hearers to ask God with all their heart for right teachers of His Word. This request is also very necessary for us, since God has taken such a tried and tested teacher from our midst. Indeed, God does not look at our sin and ingratitude, but acts with us according to His great grace and mercy.  He gives us and our children pure, faithful, self-denying teachers of His Word for the sake of Christ our Savior. Amen.
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      For myself, I have found the most edifying teaching from Prof. A.L. Graebner to be his presentation of the 1886 essay to the Synodical Conference on the "Divinity of Holy Scripture".  This essay proclaimed to all the world that the Synodical Conference stood on Holy Scripture, and defended against all attacks on the doctrine of Verbal Inspiration.  —  Pieper mentioned that Graebner had traveled outside the country in his work as a teacher.  I believe he traveled also to Australia for which the faithful Church in Australia continues to remember today.
      In the next Part 4, the last colleague of Pieper to pass away (or "go home") in the above faculty picture would be George Stoeckhardt.  And Pieper's address for him would include a grand tour of most of the previous teachers of Old Missouri.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Dogmatik: Baier-Walther Compendium refs. (Part F)

      This concludes from Part E (Table of Contents in Part A) my project of listing Franz Pieper's references to all Old Missouri Synod writings in his Christliche Dogmatik.
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Joh. Wilh. Baier — C.F.W. Walther


Baier-Walther
Compendium Theologiae Positivae
      The last installment in this series turned out to be perhaps the most ambitious for it took some weeks of work to compile this hyperlinked listing.  There are about 232 references (give or take a few) to the Baier-Walther (or Baier only) Compendium Theologiae Positivae in Pieper's Christliche Dogmatik series.
Christian Dogmatics
(in English)

      I have previously blogged several times on this work from Walther, but I wanted to portray just how much of Dr. Franz Pieper's theology was drawn from the Compendium.  The following listing shows that if one reads Pieper's Dogmatics, he will be able to almost fully understand the theology of… C.F.W. Walther, Martin Luther, and the Lutheran Church through the centuries since the Reformation.  It is no small advantage that although the Compendium is in Latin and German, Christian Dogmatics is largely in English.  This becomes a gold mine of translation work, not only of Pieper's own text but in some cases of his source material
      With the following cross-reference, one may (by clicking the hyperlinks) immediately access Pieper's source material directly.  In some cases, I found even a fuller treatment of a particular topic in his source.


      Now I present all references to Baier-Walther Compendium in Franz Pieper's Christian Dogmatics:
This document may be directly accessed >> here <<.

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

May the above cross-reference bring renewed use of both, the works of Franz Pieper and C.F.W. Walther.  They are the prime teachers of Old Missouri!

      With the completion of all Old Missouri references, I will move on to other references in the future:

  • Lutheran Confessions
  • Martin Luther
  • Martin Chemnitz, John Gerhard (maybe Quenstedt and Calov)
  • Other American Lutherans: Adolf Hoenecke, Charles Porterfield Krauth, Theodore Schmauck
  • Friedrich Adolph Philippi, and others yet to be determined

Future blog posts will be forthcoming on these projects.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Triglotta– difficult, impossible, not serious? OR Great work! Golden! (Scaer/LC-MS) Part 3

      This concludes from Part 2c (Table of contents in Part 1) in connection with the unveiling of the complete 1921 Concordia Triglotta on Google Books this year, 2017. —  After thoroughly studying the writings on Lutheranism's "sola fide", I return again to focus on how this book has fared in the 20th century and now in the 21st century.
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     Some may wonder how it came about that the massive Concordia Triglotta book (1551 pages!) came into disuse so quickly after its introduction in 1921.  It is puzzling because it was a massive effort by the old (German) Missouri Synod to bring the Book of Concord into an American edition that included the original Latin and German languages.  World War I had forced them to develop their own supply since their sourcing from Germany was cut off.  The 400th Anniversary of the Reformation in 1917 provided the motivation to commit large amounts of money and teaching staff resources. And there was great joy from "real orthodoxy" (my use of Sasse's term) exhibited at the unveiling of the Concordia Triglotta in 1921.
      In 1989 Dr. Robert Preus gave us a mile-marker on the road to oblivion paved for the Concordia Triglotta.  In his Foreword to the book Concordance to the Book of Concord (edited by K. Larson, published by NPH) he said (all emphases mine):
“Members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and of the former Synodical Conference may wonder why the Tappert text was the preferred choice from which to make a concordance. The reason is quite simple. Even in Missouri Synod circles the Tappert text is the one the overwhelming number of students have been using for the last twenty years. The Triglotta, however, is referenced as well, which will enable older pastors and those who want to check the Latin and German the opportunity to use the concordance to great advantage as well.”  –  Dr. Robert Preus
Preus testifies that the Triglotta was essentially abandoned by 1969.  It seems a bit strange to me why he made no comment about this situation, no reason was given, no expression of sorrow over this… it just happened.  The LC-MS killed it by using the Tappert edition.  Why?

      But the mystery begins to be solved when one sees how quickly the old (German) Missouri Synod morphed into today's (English) LC-MS, a synod that would almost overnight become an enemy of the teachings of its forefathers.  The history of the breakup of the old Synodical Conference and of the separation by some prominent members (OLC, etc.) testifies to this sudden (almost unbelievable) change.  But what about today's LC-MS, here and now, supposedly recovered from its "explosion"?

Dr. David P. Scaer – against the Concordia Triglotta

Dr. David P. Scaer of Concordia Theological Seminary-Fort Wayne is thought of as one who defended against those who left the LC-MS in a walkout in 1974 and formed Seminex.  But his stand for the faithfulness of the old Missouri Synod seems in question as he has issues with the "noble" Concordia Triglotta.  In the following table, I present his comment from the year 2000 and compare it with other Lutheran scholars for a survey on the book that celebrated old Missouri's 400th Anniversary of the Reformation:

Concordia Triglotta
4 comments: 1 critical, 3 praiseworthy
-Chairman, Systematic Theology- CTS-FW
-Editor of CTQ
-Faculty Marshal
Paul T. McCain,
General. Editor
Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions
J. Michael Reu
The Augsburg Confession, 1930
Pres. Franz Pieper
Lehre und Wehre, vol. 67 (1921), pgs 297-301
“The old synodical conference Triglotta, … provides a single English translation for both the Latin and German versions of the Lutheran Confessions that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to appreciate either one. It cannot really be used for serious study, though it has served nobly in our circles for years.”
“ … the Concordia Triglotta was produced in 1921, an edition that used only the texts of the Confessions as they are contained either in the German BOC of 1580 or the Latin BOC of 1584, both being the "received texts" of historic Lutheranism. … For these reasons, the editors of Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions … [followed] the same decision made by editors of the Concordia Triglotta.”
“In their Book of Concord in three languages (Latin, Ger­man, and English) [Triglotta], edited by Dau and Bente 1921, the Synodical Conference, particularly the Missouri Synod, has given the church a great work of lasting value”  “... the Synodical Conference, particularly the Missouri Synod, has given the church a g
Just read the Confessions, check their Scripture evidence and convince yourself that a more than adequate Scriptural proof is made. … As for the exterior features of the Concordia Triglotta, our Concordia Publishing House has particularly succeeded this time in providing a suitable dress for the "golden Concordia”.
Logia 09-1 (2000), p. 62
Quoted at this blog post.

J. Michael Reu
Hmmm, it seems that Dr. David Scaer is more of an opponent of the old (German) Missouri Synod than the noted Professor Johann Michael Reu of the opposing Iowa Synod (later ALC).  Having read from Reu's book from 1930 that is still sold by CPH (The Augsburg Confession, ebook only), I wonder that he is a greater scholar of the Lutheran Confessions than Dr. David Scaer.  And Prof. Reu called the Triglotta (p. 205

"a great work of lasting value".

My "apologies" to Dr. Scaer, but I have been able to seriously study all three languages of the Apology, Art. IV in the Concordia Triglotta, especially on its teaching of "sola fide".  —  Is it any wonder why the Triglotta fell into disuse?… when its teachers not only abandoned it, but also practically condemned anyone who would use it for "serious study"?  How quickly the Tappert edition killed almost all use of the Concordia Triglotta.  (What greater enemy of old Missouri is there than today's LC-MS teachers?)
      I would suggest to Dr. Scaer that he should seriously study Article IV of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession in the Concordia Triglotta (in whatever language) and then explain to his students and to all alumni that Rev. Richard John Neuhaus abandoned the heart of Christianity when he left Lutheranism to become a Roman Catholic priest.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
      Enough of today's LC-MS!  How happy I have been to:
  • re-discover J. Michael Reu's scholarly work on the Augsburg Confession and his great tribute to the Concordia Triglotta
  • study in the "Triglot" what the Lutheran Confessions laid down in writing for its defense of "SOLA fide"
  • discover and glory in these two great treasures…
Sola fide!
The Lutheran Shibboleth!

Concordia Triglotta 
now in Google Books in 2017!