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Thursday, September 13, 2007

UOJ Questions Answered Here

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Dr. Robert Preus on Justification by Faith":

But doesn't that Calov quote speak of justification in two different senses?

"Although Christ has acquired for us...justification, God...does not justify us prior to our faith."

In one sense, says Calov, justification has already been acquired for the world. In another sense, that justification doesn't benefit us until we come to faith.

That sounds awfully similar to the WELS/ELS/LCMS teaching to me.

I'm still convinced that this is merely an issue of terminology. You see, there are two sets of passages that we deal with.

One says things like "Christ reconciled the WORLD to himself. God so loved the WOLRD. God wants ALL men to be saved, etc..." One group calls this UOJ. The other calls this atonement.

The other set says things like, "You are saved through FAITH. BELIEVE and you will be saved, etc..." One group calls this subjective justification. The other calls simply calls this justification.


GJ - I am glad this question was asked. I will address it later today. A comment came in, reciting WELS dogma, so I am posting it below.


Mike Schottey
has left a new comment on your post "UOJ Question":

1st let me apologize that it has taken so long to respond. I am recently married and that seems to take quite a bit of my time. In addition I work part-time, and am a full-time theological student. Greek and Hebrew vocs leave little time for blogging.

I feel that the argument needs to focus on the truth of two statements.

God hates all people.
God loves all people.

Both statements are true statements. One is true law. "For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God" No one is righteous in his sight. Proverbs 6:16 and following...God hates you he hates everything about you, he hates everything about me.

God loves all people. Pure Gospel. Are you a sinner? Am I sinner? Yes. God loves us. Why? Because of the all-sufficient sacrifice of his son. "For God so love the world..."

God loves you and me because of his son, not because of our faith. Faith is the means by which that promise is grasped and taken advantage. It is not the object, it grabs the object.

Christ's atonement, his holy blood, covers all of humanity. Sin no longer has any power to condemn. This is not to say everyone is saved. Subjective Justification deals with those who will be saved. I am saved by grace through faith.

(Universal)Objective Justification
deals with a proclamation from eternity. God through his mercy has declared ALL not guilty by the death of his son.

Saying otherwise, that is, denying UoJ walks a fine calvinist line (I would know, I am originally from western Michigan). For if you say that only those with faith have been declared righteous, then you say that only some were predestined, and then you must logically say that those who were not declared righteous (the etymological meaning of Justification) must have been declared not righteous on the basis of their lack of faith. And then salvation is based on a quality, not the all-sufficient merit of our savior.

Now, all of this hinges on the WELS teaching of such things. Which as we all no, when dealing with failible men (some moreso than others) will never be perfect.

One must understand however, that while The Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel is a very fine book, it is not a evangelism handbook. For as a pastor wish (of course) to spread the Word. Which glorifies God more? You standing on the street corner screaming "God hates homosexuals."--Or a new message that they haven't heard from the religious right--You are saved.

Now, do they need to hear the law? Most certainly. Do they need to hear the Gospel? Most certainly. And if the words "I'm saved so are you" even crack the door open and let in the opportunity to further planting of the seed of salvation. And that allows me to be an instrament of the Holy Spirit who is creating faith in that person's heart, then so be it.

It can also be understood to be misinterpreting scripture. Certainly some believe that "God is too loving to damn anyone to hell." And I can look at a statement of the WELS and perhaps wonder if this pamphlet is heading down that road.

However, I know what that statement means to me on the basis of scripture and the Lutheran confessions. I cannot look into my brother's hearts yet I know that they also have said on oath to uphold scripture and the Lutheran confessions. I must, put off all dispariging thoughts, and as a Christian, my first thought must be that they mean it correctly.

GJ - Of course a UOJ fanatic will quote a shortened form of the Calov citation, which is similar to how we got "in view of faith."

The complete citation from the Preus book:

Although Christ has acquired for us the remission of sins, justification, and sonship, God just the same does not justify us prior to our faith. Nor do we become God's children in Christ in such a way that justification in the mind of God takes place before we believe.

1. Lutherans do not have a quia subscription to the works of Calov, not even to the complete works of Luther, so proving Calov an OJ fan, with or without pulp, is irrelevant.
2. Nevertheless, Calov speaks about justification being acquired as a synonym for atonement.
3. Still, Calov says that we not children of God, we are not justified until we believe. This is what Luther and the Book of Concord say in harmony with Scriptures.

UOJ false doctrine is distinguished by various toxic claims, making it clear that UOJ is not atonement, but a special, apostate, anti-Christian opinion:
A. Two thousand years ago, the entire world was forgiven. This is the heart of UOJ, endlessly repeated in various forms.
B. This forgiveness was declared by God, although no one can find it once in the Bible or in the Book of Concord.
C. This forgiveness has already taken place apart from the Means of Grace (Enthusiasm, repudiated by the Smalcald Articles).
D. This universal forgiveness happened the moment Christ rose from the dead, or the moment He died. The fanatics are certain about UOJ but not certain about the Moment of Universalism.
E. Anyone who questions UOJ is accused of being a TULIP Calivinist or an advocate of "in view of faith." In fact, UOJ is limited to a few Midwestern sects of the last century and ELCA.
F. UOJ Enthusiasts claim their false doctrine "protects the Gospel." That proves they are Schwaermer. God's Word does not require protection.
G. UOJ Enthusiasts are always at war against faith, although the Bible constantly commends faith, especially in the New Testament (the most common word in the NT). They rave against faith when they get coffeed-up and clearly have no sense of faith, no grasp of God's activity exclusively through the Word. That is why they love to fellowship with ELCA, Fuller, Willow Creek, and Rome: Schwaermer all.

Let's look at the Easter Absolution passage of Romans. Walther's Easter Absolution sermon is fodder for the ELS UOJ view and echoed in WELS. The Wisconsin Synod would rather parrot Sig Beck and J. P. Meyer since they generally hold that all of Missouri is wrong all of the time.

Here is the verse they cite, a favorite of Rolf Preus:

KJV Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

They say, "Aha. UOJ." This verse by itself does not contain Mike Schottey's proclamation from eternity. (Fine words, repeating Calvin's doctrine of double-predestination, which was God's horrible decree from eternity.) Notice that UOJ fantics always say or refer to verse 25, but I am saying they clearly cannot get their alien opinion from that verse. We can see what "raised again for our justification" really means by including the previous verse. After all, Romans was composed as a letter, not as a series of sound bytes.

KJV Romans 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Yes, Christ is the righteousness of God. He has already earned forgiveness through His death and resurrection. But His righteousness is imputed to us when we believe. That is why the only justification in the Bible--the only justification in the Book of Concord-- is Justification by Faith.

So, it is just a matter of terminology? "Error loves ambiguity," as Krauth said in his forgotten and neglected book. If we are all saying the same thing, why have UOJ fanatics everywhere have freaked over my critique of their favorite false doctrine. Pastors are afraid to touch the topic, either due to ignorance (being brain-washed in seminary) or fear of retaliation.

My experience so far has been:
1. All UOJ fanatics are pastors. The laity do not buy UOJ for a moment.
2. UOJ fanatics are remarkably devious, double-tongued, and vindictive. But of course, they were forgiven without faith and apart from the Word, so the basics of Christianity are foreign to them. I do not include Mike Schottey, who is not yet a pastor and is honest enough to sign his name. If he ever expresses doubt in OJ, he will be squeezed, pulped, and frozen out until he relents.

Laymen encouraged me to pursue this topic. They asked many tough questions and provided me with good sources to use. I gathered all the quotations in this chapter of Thy Strong Word. I have analyzed all the arguments for UOJ in the chapter. No one has ever answered the chapter.