Introduction by Conrad H L Schuette, Richard C H Lenksi
Contributions by H A Allwardt, H Ernst
Edited by George H Schodde
Translated by C B Ghodes, W E Tressel, Richard C H Lenski
This volume, first printed in 1897, was occasioned by the 1880s schism in American Lutheranism. It presents three lengthy treatises on the subject of predestination defending the mainstream Lutheran "intuitu fidei" (Latin: in view of faith) perspective over against a revived deterministic view held by some Lutherans.
The Missouri Synod headed by CFW Walther believed the Bible taught an absolute "single election", which is Augustine's deterministic (and some say, fatalistic) view, but only affecting the saints, a view held by some theologians early in the Reformation.
The Ohio Synod believed the Bible taught an election that preserved some of man's responsibility and freedom in matters of salvation, whether they be saved or damned (Lutheran Scholasticism's view since the 1600s). Using his foreknowledge, God identified and elected those who naturally would resist at times, but would overall cooperate willingly with God's Gospel grace, and have faith at the end of their mortal lives. In other words, none are saved against their will.
|F. W. Stellhorn|
The first treatise, by Dr. F. W. Stellhorn (translated from the German by R.C.H. Lenski), has three parts: 1) a dogmatic-historical introduction, 2) what the Formula of Concord and the Old Lutheran theologians say, and 3) a debunking the Missouri Synod's doctrine called the election of grace.
The second treatise is by Dr. F.A. Schmidt, titled "Intuitu Fidei." It is translated by Lenski and C.B. Ghodes. Its three parts are: 1) explicating the doctrine of "intuitu fidei," 2) whether the Old Lutheran theologians departed from the Lutheran confessions when they taught "intuitu fidei," and 3) whether "intuitu fidei" is taught in the Book of Concord.
The third treatise is a testimony against the false doctrine of predestination recently introduced by the Missouri Synod, translated by Lenski and W.E. Tressel. The treatise begins with theses prepared by H.A. Allwardt and Prof. H. Ernst, and a discussion of those theses by pastors who left the Missouri Synod over that doctrine. Appended is a history of controversy by H. A. Allward.
GJ - Fox Valley called this Inuitu Fidei, the Faith of the Eskimo, a funny reflection on their reactionary opposition to anything against the Great Walther, not to mention their obsession with pretending to know something.
I confess to never reading this entire book, but it is a classic benchmark in the history of the LCMS. I would rather start with St. Paul, the Reformation leaders, Concordists, and post-Concordists, but the LCMS-ELS-WELS grows misty-eyed about the Good Olde Synodical Conference.
Stellhorn came over with the Perryville sex cult, so we can see that a division developed.
As I understand it, Lenski's family was pushed out by Waltherian fundamentalists.
Walther referred doubters to his own work, but this one has hundreds of quotations from the European Lutherans, who were real scholars, not just college graduates like Stephan's disciple and disciplinarian.
This book is a bargain, so it is well worth buying for those who want to study the history. We know that the LCMS and tourist sites deceive everyone about the sex cult origin of their synod. This is, at the very least, another look at the original debates by those who took part in them.
Walther himself was a bully who had to have things his way. Missouri was keen on driving away anyone who disagreed with Walther, as the CFW sycophants took over. They lost the Lenski family and a universally acknowledged New Testament scholar. They divided Lutherdom, which is now united around justification without faith - a sad, tragic victory for Stephan's waterboy.