Search This Blog

Sunday, October 15, 2017

“God's Word & Luther's Doctrine…” motto – 4a of 5

      This Part 4a (of 5) continues from my Part 3b (see Intro for Table of Contents), my publication of a serial essay by Prof. E. Pardieck which explains and defends the great Lutheran motto.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Translation by BackToLuther.  All emphasized words are from the original.  Highlighting is mine.

“God's Word and Luther's Doctrine Pure.”
[by Prof. E. Pardieck]

We have stated that with this well-known little verse we do not want to place Luther's word above or beside God's Word, but, like everything else, under God's Word, indeed, that we may rather say: Luther has no word or doctrine of his own. His teaching is the doctrine of the Word of God.  It is the Word of God because it is taken from Scripture, which is the Word of God.

Thus we say of Luther's doctrine, the doctrine of the Scripture, what we say of Scripture. It would be pure madness, if someone wanted to say: God's Word does not pass away, but one can not say that of the doctrine of the Word of God.
One could ask: Why exactly do we say this of Luther's doctrine? If Luther's doctrine is the Word of God because it is a doctrine taken from Scripture, can not that be said of every pure teacher?  Indeed, one can and should do this.  One can say, however, that every right preacher, who has a good conscience in his preaching, must say: I preach to my congregation God's Word, my preaching is the Word of God, my doctrine and preaching brings people salvation, God's Word and my doctrine and preaching, or what is the same: the doctrine of the Word of God which I preach shall not pass away, now or nevermore. A preacher, who can not say this of his sermon, should rather seek a different occupation. Luther expresses this as follows: “A preacher must say and boast with Jeremiah, “Lord thou knowest that which came out of my lips is true and pleasing to thee” [Jer. 17:16]; indeed, with St. Paul and all the apostles and prophets, he should say firmly, Haec dixit dominus, ‘God himself has said this’ [1 Cor. 1:10]. And again, “In this sermon I have been an apostle and a prophet of Jesus Christ’ [1 Thess. 4:15]. Here it is unnecessary, even bad, to pray for forgiveness of sins, as if one had not taught truly, for it is God’s Word and not my word, and God ought not and cannot forgive it, but only confine, praise, and crown it, saying, ‘You have taught truly, for I have [page 181, col. 2] spoken through you and the word is mine.’

Whoever cannot boast like that about his preaching, let him give up preaching, for he truly lies and slanders God.”  [St. L. 17, 1343-1344, #66, Against Hanswurst ; Am. Ed. 41, p. 216]  In such a [false] preacher the listeners may not sing at the beginning of worship:
Dear Jesus, we are here,
To listen to you and your Word.
Before such a sermon, it would be pointless to sing:
Lord, open the door of my heart,
Draw my heart through your Word to them!
And when the congregation wanted to sing,
Amen, we have heard,
What God has taught us;
The Holy Spirit from above
Seal it in us, Amen,
then such a preacher would have to run away from shame and horror if he is not a miserable hireling, who is concerned only with the idea of ​​how long it will be until the next pay day comes.
However, the doctrine of the Word of God, the doctrine derived from Scripture is God’s Word, may it be preached by whoever will. This is a thought which Luther often expresses. He says, for example, “It is indeed thine, not our word. So He wants us, too, to see the Word alone. He is talking about how or where He wants.” (St. L. III, 412, #15 end; not in Am. Ed.)  “God now takes an angel, now Peter or Magdalene, or even an ass, as with whom He spoke His Word. "(St. L. 3, 726, #22; not in Am. Ed.). Luther was far from believing that only he could teach God's Word. That would have made him very sad, if it were so. With joy he also recognized in other pure teachers — of course only such — the doctrine, sermons, and books of God's Word. Yea, in his humility, he preferred other men's books to his, and wished his books might subside. In a recommendation for a book by Melanchthon, he writes: “I myself have rather such as master Philipp's books than [page 182, col. 1] mine, also prefer to see the same both in the Latin and in the German on the plaza than mine.” (St. L. 14, 176, #1; not in Am. Ed.). On Jan Hus, who had appeared about a hundred years before Luther and was burned by the Papists for his faithful testimony, he said, "Thus I hold that John Hus has brought the Gospel that we have now through his blood to the light." (St. L. 6, 87, #20; not in Am. Ed. 16, p. 101, different version)  At the end of his interpretation of the Epistle to the Galatians, he expressed the wish that his little work might serve the Christian ministry, and then continues: "For here, because it is God’s affair and surely of the utmost importance, I am eager to be instructed by any child." (St. L. 8, 1362-1363; Am. Ed. 27, p. 159)  He says to every pure preacher: "Such a priest may then proceed from God to the people, to present God's answer and command. And such a priest's word shall be as much as the Word of God itself, for it does not lead, but God's Word. He that hath the Word of God is a priest: and he that heareth him, heareth God "(St. L. 3, 1016, #15; not in Am. Ed.).
- - - - - - - - - -  Continued in Part 4b  - - - - - - - - - - -

I believe Prof. Pardieck's answer to this reader's concern about the Lutheran motto is much more glorious than the reader might have imagined.  Pardieck's essay rings out to all of Christianity … today! — In the next Part 4b, Pardieck gets rather bold in his statements about... Martin Luther.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments only accepted when directly related to the post.