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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Piepkorn 4: Luther on “Science”: pile of “Schiet”; Piepkorn’s final dishonorable discharge

      This concludes from previous Part 3, (Part 2Part 1) where I defend against the most recognized name among Concordia Seminary's 40+ professors who were censured in 1973 – Prof. Arthur Carl Piepkorn († 1973).
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      In Walther's 1886 Foreword to Lehre und Wehre, he gives a striking quote from a letter of Martin Luther which is most noteworthy for the Church today.  I have used Walther's quote before in my series on Copernicanism.  But because Walther's quote is only a snippet, I decided that I would “honor” the “sheer intellectual prowess”, the “astounding scholarly competence” of Dr. Arthur Carl Piepkorn by publishing my translation of Luther's letter.  It seems amazing to me that this letter has apparently never been published in an English translation.  I wonder that the “scholars” were so offended by it that they passed on it.
      If one searches the German word “Schietrupe” (go ahead, try it), one discovers the sources that have published Martin Luther's original use of this word in a letter, both in the German and Latin versions. – See here for German (StL # 2067) and here Latin language (De Wette IV, 544 f.) versions.
      The background of this letter is not so important except to know that Erasmus represented “Science” or “learning” or “letters” or “scholarship”... over Holy Scripture.

Translation is by BackToLuther; also all hyperlinks, bolding, and highlighting.
(full Latin text here, full German text here)
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(Wittenberg)                                                                       (June 28, 1534)
To Nicolaus von Amsdorf
(from Martin Luther)

Grace and peace in Christ! Good Amsdorf, also I did not see the answer of Erasmus; so they hide this thing from me with great zeal; maybe they're afraid that I'm going to get hot.

Dr. Jonas, Pommer and Philip have read it. A single copy, they say, is now in Dessau. Jonas says the same thing that is in the letter that is sent to the valley is almost that in your book, whose transcript I have seen, and you have also seen as you write. I expected great things from him whom I had challenged so much. I have not decided yet what I will do until I have seen his answer. Yet one piece of advice that you have given is that we should with contempt, along with such people as Witzel, Crotus, Haner, and Cochlaeus, turn the weapons against Erasmus, their head and authority.  Just as Eck promotes the pope by his defense of him, so these people promote Erasmus by their praise.

For he has created for us these writers through his ambiguous and vain chatter. Therefore the attack must be directed against him, who, like a butterfly, threw such armies of caterpillars into the garden of the Church;

“It is,” as the Saxons call it, “Schietrupe.” [probably “a pile of shit] So it pleases me that you publish your comments against him (as you write) publicly.

For it is better that the sciences fall than religion, when the sciences do not serve but want to trample Christ under foot. If we allow this, we will be guilty of trampling Christ, and He will (if we will not) awaken others who will be bold, for Christ will reign.

Many want to bring into harmony Christ and Belial by means of wisdom: “Nothing will come of it.” Go well in Christ and pray for me. On Sunday after John [June 28] 1534.
Your Martin Luther.
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      It is reported (Mary Todd, Authority Vested, p. 252) that Arthur Carl Piepkorn (“the synod’s foremost authority on the Lutheran confessions”) defended “historical development” (in a “Dialogue” with Roman Catholics) to have validity over “an unconditional approach to the use of scripture”. But Piepkorn is caught here by what Martin Luther condemned in Erasmus, “learning”, “letters”, “science” over Holy Scripture.
      Yes, that is what I will call the “scholarship”, the so-called “confessionalism” of Arthur Carl Piepkorn:
A Pile of ‘Schiet’.
Is that enough (satis est) to fulfill Arthur Carl Piepkorn's wish to be “retired dishonorably”? — I return now to the much happier task of publishing Ludwig Fuerbringer's laudatory essay “Dr. F. Pieper as Theologian”, Part 6.

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