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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two Justifications from Pietism

UOJ dog singing da blues, da St. Lewie blues.

Some of us are just starting to pursue some leads about the origin of two justifications. I first mentioned the Pietistic seedbed of UOJ in Thy Strong Word, citing Hoenecke (who studied at Halle under Tholuck).

I suggest Googling terms and names but also going to Google Documents for the same kind of search. GD will find the names in obscure books and highlight them. For example, I found a reference to George Christian Knapp (Mr. Two Justifications) in The Education of Philips Brooks, about a well known New England divine.

Here is the citation.

The point made is that Knapp (Halle University) was a Pietist and a very dull writer. Amen to both! He was not in harmony with Luther. Yes, I hear you brother.

And Knapp was used at Andover Seminary until 1898. That means the two justification book was being used as a text while the Synodical Conference was building a fence around their precious UOJ.

Dates to consider:
Woods (very prominent Protestant leader) translated Knapp into English, 1833.
C. F. W. Walther took credit for founding the LCMS 1847.
Knapp was still being used at Andover Seminary, 1898.
UOJ made canonical in the Brief Statement of the LCMS, 1930.

Here is material on Tholuck the Universalist.

This paragraph establishes how influential Knapp was in America, at least in the view of one author:

"Now, to the bold assertion of Mr. Lecky, we shall oppose the assertion of Dr. George Christian Knapp; whose great, calm, judicial mind, as well as great learning and piety, has gained for him an enviable reputation in both the Old and the New Worlds, and from all sections of the Christian Church. Indeed, although a decided Arminian himself, his Theological Lectures have, for the benefit of theological students, been translated from the German by an eminent and learned Calvanistic divine ; an act which reflects equal honor on both the translator and the original author."

Here is an 1832 notice of the Knapp book being made available in English. Figures and institutions of Pietism are reverently highlighted in red - by me. Knapp was thoroughly trained in Pietism:


"Lectures on Christian Theology, by
LEONARD WOODS, Jan., Abbot Resid. at the
Theol. Seminary in Andover, Mast., in two vol-
umei, vol. I. New York : published by G. & C.
& H. Carvill, 108, Broadway. Andover: printed
at the Codman Fress, by Flagg & Gould, 1831.
pp. 539.

Dr. Knapp, late Professor at the University of Halle, was born at Glancha,in Halle, on the 17th of September, 1753, and received his early education in the Royal Paedagogium, one of the institutions of the pious Francke. At the age of 17, he entered the university at Halle, and attended the lectures of Semler, Noesselt and Gruner, with more than common success. The Bible was his great object of study, while the Latin and Greek classics still received a degree of attention which enabled him ever afterwards to adorn, enrich and illustrate from classical literature whatever he said or wrote in the department of Theological science. In 1774 he completed his course of study, and in 1775, after a short absence, he began to lecture, at Halle, with much success upon Cicero, the New Testament, and the more difficult portions of the Old Testament. He was appointed Prof. Extraordinary in 1777, and Prof. Ordinary in 1782. He then lectured in Exegesis, Church History, and in Jewish and Christian Antiquities.

On the death of Freylinghausen (1785), he and Niemeyer were appointed Directors of Francke's Institutes ; and continued jointly to superintend these establishments for more than 40 years. In the division of duties, the Bible and Missionary establishment fell to Dr. Knapp, which brought him into near connection with the Moravians. The lectures, of which this volume forms a part, he commenced during the summer of the same year. In consequence of illness, and the variety and extent of his other duties, he did not complete them, however, until 1789, when they were first read before a class of 186 students. He continued to lecture on Theology, until his death, to auditories no less numerous. Such was his popularity (notwithstanding his orthodox sentiments !) that when in 1825 he closed the 50th year of his connection with the theological faculty of the university, and the accustomed jubilee was held in his honor, the most flattering marks of affection and respect were poured upon him from every side. He died the 14th day of October, 1825, in the 73d year of his laborious life. At his request he was interred privately in his family tomb ; and in the public notices of his decease, nothing was to be said in his honor, except that he lived in the faith of these words, I know that my Redeemer liveth. The volume before us is an important addition to our helps in the department of Theology."

In another notice:

The Author of these Lectures appeared on the stage at the time when the theologians of Halle began to be " divided into different schools, according as they adhered more closely to the principles of Spener and Franke" (the founders of the University) " or fell in, either with the more ascetic, or the more free and liberal principles then prevailing."

In a history book by the great Henry Eyster Jacobs:

But as historical truth demands it, we let the story be told by a later Halle professor, the eminent Professor Tholuck, whom no one can charge with prejudice against the school of Spener and Francke. "Pietism in Halle," says Professor Tholuck, " reached the summit of its power under Frederick William I. [1 713-40], the soldier king with the Christian soldier's heart, the particular patron of the Halle theological faculty. Under him was issued in 1729 the edict which was promulgated anew in 1736, according to which no Lutheran theologian should hold a position in the Prussian state who had not studied at least two years in Halle, and received a testimonial from the Halle faculty of being in a state of grace.

Gradually the nursery of piety was transformed into a nursery of rationalism. ' God's gifts descend not by inheritance;' this is proved also in the history of the Halle institutions. Every director had the right to chose his own successor; and yet with Ludwig Schultze and Niemeyer the direction passed gradually into the hands of rationalism. Under Baumgarten the interests of piety yielded to those of learning ; and through Semler, Gruner, Nosselt, and Niemeyer, rationalism became the prevalent theology. Only in George Christian Knapp a branch of the old Halle school remained, but reserved and timid, and without any extensive influence. At my [Tholuck's] entrance in Halle in 1826 I found still two citizens who traced their faith to this one deceased advocate of the old school among the clergy." This deterioration, however, was gradual.

Once again, the Unitarian-Universalists have donated a book to Harvard about Knapp, who agreed with them! Your precious advocate of Objective and Subjective Justification provided a historical argument for Unitarianism.

To this effect I will quote the authority of George Christian Knapp an eminent Trinitarian writer, whose " Lectures on Christian Theology," as translated by Leonard Woods, Jr., are a standard work with Trinitarian believers. After a full and learned discussion of the whole subject, he distinctly admits that it is " impossible to prove the agreement of the earliest Christian writers with the common Orthodox doctrine as established in the fourth century." Vol. I. pp. 294, 299, &c.


Tholuck was A. Hoenecke's mentor at Halle University, a school founded for Pietism by the leader of Pietism. That does not make Hoenecke a Universalist, but it helps illustrate why UOJ is just one step away from Universalism. Note what Jacobs said above about Pietism degenerating into rationalism.

About Tholuck:

Tholuck, though only in his twenty- first year, was commanded to fill the chasm, by delivering Lectures in the Exegesis of the Old Testament. In 1823, he was appointed to succeed the venerable George Christian Knapp, in the University of Halle, where " he maintains his standing with growing honour and usefulness."

One WELS DP claims that the UOJ leaders are not Universalists, but WELS ran a so-called evangelism campaign with this slogan: "I am saved, just like you." Grace without the Means of Grace = Enthusiasm, which leads to Universalism. That is a Universalist slogan, but WELS swallowed that lump of toxic leaven, too.

I have a church for the UOJ Universalists - right near my house.

Here it is.

"Love is the doctrine of our church;
The quest for truth is our holy rite;
And service is our prayer.
To dwell together in peace;
To seek knowledge in freedom;
To serve humankind in friendship;
Thus do we covenant."