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Sunday, April 29, 2018

The most hated man… ever?

From Luther's Works, Volume 54 (Table Talk), #491: "No. 491: How to Deal with Thoughts that Trouble You" p. 83 (excerpt) -- April 6, 1533:

I hold that there has been nobody in a thousand years whom the world hated so much as me. I hate the world, too, and I know of nothing in all of life that attracts me any longer. I am quite tired of living. May our Lord God come soon and quickly take me away! Especially may he come with his last day! I shall await him. I shall gladly stretch out my neck so he can strike me to the ground with a thunderclap. Amen.”
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: 
but he that endureth to the end 
shall be saved.
Matt. 10:22

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

In praise of Prof. Theodore Engelder & God's Word

[2018-04-24: added material at bottom in red.]
Prof. Theodore Engelder 
(1865 – 1949)

On page 392 of his 1944 book Scripture Cannot Be Broken, Prof. Engelder stated the following in defiance of all modernist / liberal theology:
“But when they call us legalists and literalists and bibliolaters 
because we are bound by every letter of Scripture
they are out of order. 
Rather, we shall let them do that and 
consider these nasty slurs 
high praise.”

I have taken too long to praise the dear Engelder – he should have been chosen to succeed as president of Concordia Seminary to Franz Pieper in 1931.  Instead, the Missouri Synod chose Ludwig Fuerbringer and a long, painful slide into the abyss of hellish modernism accelerated.

There is more that I may comment on this. But for now, may this post be for a true high praise in honor of the dear Prof. Engelder and
To God Be the Glory!
Soli Deo Gloria!
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 
2018-04-25: Ewald Plass, in his 1959 book What Luther Says, published the following (p. 1630) concerning Engelder's book Scripture Cannot Be Broken:
A 448-page defense of verbal inspiration which reveals an amazing breadth of reading. The book contains a wealth of quotations from contemporary literature dealing with the Bible. Fine index of 45 pages by Professor Emeritus Wm. Schaller. A "must" volume. Copious quotations and references to Luther. From 1926 to 1946 Dr. Engelder was professor of Christian doctrine at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
I have elsewhere exposed Plass's modernistic tendencies.  But this judgment of Plass shows that he was a somewhat mitigating force against the free-fall of the LC-MS away from the Word in 1959.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Fick 15: Epilogue–“I Know That My Redeemer Liveth”, Last Poem of Missouri's “Hans Sachs” (Easter 2018)

      This concludes from Part 14 (Table of Contents in Part 1), publishing an English translation of C.F.W. Walther's biography of Pastor C.J. Hermann Fick. —
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      I did not plan the timing of this epilogue for Walther's biography of "Our Unforgettable Fick" to fall on the Easter festival... it just came out that way.  But I believe the Lord had a hand in this timing for the most beautiful confession of Job in Job 19:25,
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth”, 
as it comes to life today, Easter, in the year of our Lord (Anno Domini) 2018.  The following poem was composed by Pastor C. J. Hermann Fick days before he passed away, and went home  It was published in Der Lutheraner, vol. 41 (1885), April 15, 1885, p. 57.  It was reported in Walther's biography of Fick in Der Lutheraner, vol. 42, Sept. 15, 1886 p. 139.
      Because this blog is viewed also in Germany, I am publishing this poem in both the original German, where the rhyming works, and in my English translation, with my very poor attempts to make the rhymes work.  Would to God that Pastor Joel Baseley or Matthew Carver would translate “Fick’s last poem” better than I!  May the Lord Jesus, the destroyer over the last enemy, death, be glorified! (1 Cor. 15:26)
Easter 2018
Soli Deo Gloria!

Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt.

Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt,
Drum darf mein Herz nun nicht verzagen.
Wenn gleich es vor dem Tode bebt
Und mächt'ge Sünden mich verklagen:
So weiß ich doch, daß JEsus Christ,
Mein HErr, unendlich mächt'ger ist.

Ich weiß, daß ein Erlöser kam,
Der alle Sünden weggenommen.
Der aller Welt Schuld auf sich nahm,
Ist für mich Aermsten auch gekommen.
Ich weiß, er hat auch mich erlöst
Und will, daß ich mich seiner tröst'.

Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt;
Ich laß mir diesen Trost nicht rauben.
Obgleich die Welt ihm widerstrebt
Und alle haßt, die an ihn glauben,
So weiß ich doch, daß Er mich liebt
Und alle Sünden mir vergibt.

Ich weiß, daß dieser Trost nicht trügt,
Daß ein Erlöser kam auf Erden.
Unmöglich ist es, daß Gott lügt;
Kann auch die Schrift gebrochen werden?
Wie Gott, so steht sie ewig fest:
Wohl dem, der sich auf sie verläßt.

Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt,
Er lebt auch in der Gläub'gen Herzen.
Wenn sich des Kreuzes Sturm erhebt,
Erquickt er sie in ihren Schmerzen,
Bis sich der Sturm geleget hat
Und endlich die Erlösung naht.

Ich weiß, wenn ich im dunklen Tal
Nun mit dem letzten Feinde ringe,
Daß ich trotz aller Not und Qual
Doch siegreich in den Himmel dringe,
Da mein Erlöser mir verheißt,
Daß nichts mich seiner Hand entreißt.

Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt:
Nun darf der finstre Tod nicht schrecken
Noch auch das Grab, das man mir gräbt,
Denn mein Erlöser will mich wecken,
Wenn die Posaune Gottes schallt,
Die einst durch alle Gräber hallt.

Ich weiß, ich werde auferstehn.
Mag auch mein Leib in Staub zerfallen,
Doch werd ich aus dem Grabe gehn,
Und schön verklärt gen Himmel wallen,
Und leuchten in des Vaters Reich,
Dem Glanz der hellen Sonne gleich.

Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt.
Wie wird es mich dereinst entzücken,
Wenn nun mein Geist zu Gott entschwebt,
Und meine Augen ihn erblicken,
Und ich mit der Erlösten Schaar
Ihn fröhlich preise immerdar!     H. Fick.
I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.

I know that my Redeemer liveth,
Therefore my heart must not now despair.
If it quakes before death
And powerful sins for me sue:
So I know that Jesus Christ,
My Lord, is infinitely more powerful.

I know that a Redeemer came,
Who took away all sins.
Of all the world's debt took,
For me the poorest one also came.
I know he has redeemed me too
And wants me to have his consolation.

I know that my Redeemer liveth;
I do not let this comfort be robbed from me.
Although the world is against Him
And hates all who believe in Him,
So I know that He loves me
And forgives me all my sins.

I know that this consolation does not deceive,
That a Redeemer came to earth.
It is impossible for God to lie;
Can the Scripture also be broken? [John 10:35]
As God, so they stand fast eternally:
Blessed is he who relies on them.

I know that my Redeemer liveth,
He also lives in the believer's heart.
When the cross rises in a storm,
He refreshes her in her pain,
Until the storm has set
And finally salvation is approaching.

I know when I'm in the dark valley
Now rings with the last enemy,
That I, in spite of all need and torment
But victorious into the sky,
Since my Redeemer promises me,
That nothing snatches me from his hand.

I know that my Redeemer liveth:
Now, the dark death must not frighten
Even the grave that is dug for me,
Because my Redeemer wants to wake me,
When the trumpet of God sounds,
That once echoed through all the graves.

I know I will again be raised.
May my body also fall into dust,
But shall I go out of the grave,
And beautifully transfigured to heaven float,
And shine in the Father's realm,
Like the brightness of the bright sun.

I know that my Redeemer liveth.
As it will delight me,
If now my spirit escapes to God,
And my eyes behold Him,
And I with the flock of the Redeemer
Cheerfully praising Him forever!    H. Fick.

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Hans Sachs,  Germany's Reformation poet 
C. J. Hermann Fick, America's Reformation poet

      The high esteem that Hermann Fick held as the master Lutheran poet of America reflects the same esteem that the greatest poet of the Reformation, Hans Sachs, held in Germany during the times of the Reformation.  More can be learned about Fick's partially completed epic “Luther Song” here and in Part 11. To further honor Fick's work, I would append to this post a “Read more »” section below republishing Pastor Joel Baseley's English translation of another great poem of Hermann Fick: “I Am A Lutheran” (ref. Part 7):