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Thursday, October 19, 2017

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

      This Part 4b (of 5) continues from my Part 4a (see Intro for Table of Contents), my publication of a serial essay by Prof. E. Pardieck which explains and defends the great Lutheran motto.
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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]

If one can now say of every pure teacher who brings the doctrine of Scripture, his doctrine is the Word of God, then why do we speak with special emphasis on Luther: "God's Word and Luther's Doctrine Pure"?  

In the church, Luther was not just a preacher of the Word, who is only one of the Church's preachers, but he is the Reformer of the Church whom God has awakened. The apostles of Jesus Christ, whom He had trained and sent, which the Holy Spirit guided in all truths which were spoken, driven by the Holy Spirit, and to such an extent that the Savior said to them, “It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in [through] you.” [Matt. 10:20] they preached to the Christians of their time the most pure Word of God. They have laid down for the Church of all times the Word in the Scriptures, in the Scriptures of the New Testament. With this Word of God Christianity would be well cared for until the Last Day. But then came the papacy, the antichrist sat down in the temple of God, repressed God's Word, and put his word in its place. There were sad times in the church, so that there was not much left of the Christian religion. After many futile attempts, as men tried to reform the papacy at least outwardly, God sent his reformer Luther, who revealed the abomination of anti-Christianity, helped the enslaved church again, brought Christianity and the Gospel back to sinners. This he did through his doctrine and preaching. And what he preached was nothing new, but the old eternal Gospel. But this had been completely forgotten, the old Gospel seemed to be a new doctrine.

The people who did not accept it, did not want to be reformed, spoke abusively of God's Gospel, which had a new clarity, as of Luther's doctrine.

But the people who were won for the truth spoke of Luther's doctrine this way: it is God's Word. And on the other hand, they may rage and rave as they will, they will not exterminate it; it “shall to eternity endure”.
The fact that God's Word and truth is named after a human teacher is nothing new in the Church. When, in ancient Christendom, the heresy of Arius [page 182, col. 2] raged and threatened to keep the upper hand, who taught that Christ was not the Son of God and God, but a creature of God, there the faithful Athanasius resisted this heresy, and defended the divinity of Christ. The pure doctrine was also called the doctrine of Athanasius, and the orthodox Christians were called Athanasians. As they were not ashamed of the name of their teacher Athanasius nor could be ashamed, we must not be ashamed of the name of Luther. If we call ourselves Lutherans, then we mean that we are people who believe God's Word, as God brought it to light through Luther after the papacy.
And Luther is such a teacher, of whom we need not be ashamed. Even strenuous opponents of Luther could not refuse their esteem of him. Calvin, for example, says, “This I beg, wishing you well: first, what a great man is Luther, and by what great gifts he is distinguished, with what courage, with what steadiness, with what dexterity, with what penetrating power he has up to now to overthrow the realm of the Antichrist, and at the same time to spread the doctrine of salvation. I often say to myself: If he also called me a devil, I should be so honorable toward him as to regard him as an excellent servant of God.”  Beza, an even more fierce disputer of the Lutheran doctrine than Calvin, must say: “Luther was a truly admirable man; and whoever does not notice the Spirit of God in him notices nothing.”
Der Luth v06 - crop angel w border, Eternal Gospel callout box.jpg
Indeed, we regard Luther not only as a pure teacher among others, but we regard him as the God-awakened Reformer of the Church. We apply to him the Word from the angel who brings the eternal Gospel to all peoples, tongues and languages. And because Der Lutheraner wears this Scripture passage, Rev. 14:6-7, at its top, so this little verse fits very well beside it:

God's Word and Luther's Doctrine Pure
Shall to Eternity Endure.

- - - - - - - - - -  Continued in Part 5a  - - - - - - - - - - -

That's right, Prof. Pardieck identifies only one person to be the Reformer of the Church, and makes no apologies in stating it. — In the next Part 5a

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