the efficacy of the Word in the Means of Grace."
I. Luther, The Book of Concord, Lutheran Orthodoxy
"The second argument is that 'God desires all men to be saved' (1 Timothy 2:4), and He gave His Son for us men and created man for eternal life. Likewise: All things exist for man, and he himself exists for God that he may enjoy Him, etc. These points and others like them can be refuted as easily as the first one. For these verses must always be understood as pertaining to the elect only, as the apostle says in 2 Timothy 2:10 'everything for the sake of the elect.' For in an absolute sense Christ did not die for all, because He says: 'This is My blood which is poured out for you' and 'for many'--He does not say: for all--'for the forgiveness of sins.'
Luther's Works, 25 p. 375. 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:4; Mark 14:24; Matthew 26:28.
"The apostle says 'our,' 'our sins;' not his own sin, not the sins of unbelievers. Purification is not for, and cannot profit, him who does not believe. Nor did Christ effect the cleansing by our free-will, our reason or power, our works, our contrition or repentance, these all being worthless in the sight of God; he effects it by himself. And how? By taking our sins upon himself on the holy cross, as Isaiah 53:6 tells us."
Sermons of Martin Luther, ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 180. Hebrews 1:1-12; Hebrews 1:3;
"Christ did indeed suffer for the whole world; but how many are there who believe and cherish this fact? Therefore, although the work of redemption itself has been accomplished, it still cannot help and benefit a man unless he believes it and experiences its saving power in his heart."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 705f. Smalcald, 1537.
"For neither you nor I could ever know anything of Christ, or believe on Him, and obtain Him for our Lord, unless it were offered to us and granted to our hearts by the Holy Ghost through the preaching of the Gospel. The work is done and accomplished; for Christ has acquired and gained the treasure for us by His suffering, death, resurrection, etc. But if the work remained concealed so that no one knew of it, then it would be in vain and lost. That this treasure, therefore, might not lie buried, but be appropriated and enjoyed, God has caused the Word to go forth and be proclaimed, in which He gives the Holy Ghost to bring this treasure home and appropriate it to us. Therefore sanctifying is nothing else than bringing us to Christ to receive this good, to which we could not attain ourselves.
"The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #38, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 689. Tappert, p. 415. Heiser, p. 194.
"But outside of this Christian Church, where the Gospel is not, there is no forgiveness, as also there can be no holiness [sanctification]. Therefore all who seek and wish to merit holiness [sanctification], not through the Gospel and forgiveness of sin, but by their works, have expelled and severed themselves [from this Church]."
The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #56, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693. Tappert, p. 418. Heiser, p. 195.
Formula of Concord
"These treasures are offered us by the Holy Ghost in the promise of the holy Gospel; and faith alone is the only means by which we lay hold upon, accept, and apply, and appropriate them to ourselves. This faith is a gift of God, by which we truly learn to know Christ, our Redeemer, in the Word of the Gospel, and trust in Him, that for the sake of His obedience alone we have the forgiveness of sins by grace, are regarded as godly and righteous by God the Father, and are eternally saved."
Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III. #10. Of the Righteousness of Faith before God. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 919. Tappert, p. 541. Heiser, p. 250.
"Accordingly, the word justify here means to declare righteous and free from sins, and to absolve one from eternal punishment for the sake of Christ's righteousness, which is imputed by God to faith, Philippians 3:9. For this use and understanding of this word is common in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament. Proverbs 17:15: He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord. Isaiah 5:23: Woe unto them which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Romans 8:33: Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, that is, absolves from sins and acquits."
Formula of Concord, SD III. #17. Righteousness of Faith. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921 Tappert, p. 541f. Heiser, p. 251. Philippians 3:9; Proverbs 17:15; Isaiah 5:23; Romans 8:33.
"The entire Scripture testifies that the merits of Christ are received in no other way than through faith, not to mention that it is impossible to please God without faith, Hebrews 11:6, let alone to be received into eternal life. In general, St. Paul concludes concerning this [matter] in Romans 3:28: Thus we hold then that a man becomes righteous without the works of the Law--only through faith."
Johann Gerhard, A Comprehensive Explanation of Holy Baptism and the Lord's Supper, 1610, ed. D. Berger, J. Heiser, Malone, Texas: Repristination Press, 2000, p. 165. Hebrews 11:6; Romans 3:28.
The sainted Jack Preus (l.) translated Chemnitz and presided over the LCMS after leaving the Little Sect on the Prairie. David Preus (r.) was cousin to Jack and Robert; he led The ALC into altar fellowship with the Reformed. Robert Marshall, next to David Preus, led the LCA into women's ordination. Robert Preus (no photo available) was a UOJ warrior in the springtime of his Norwegian Pietism, but reformed late in life. No one told his sons Rolf and Dan. Well, I did, but they did not listen. I was acquainted with three of these men.
"But the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the sinner takes place when the Holy Spirit brings him to faith through Baptism and the Word of the Gospel. Our sins were imputed to Christ at His suffering and death, imputed objectively after He, by His active and passive obedience, fulfilled and procured all righteousness for us. But the imputation of His righteousness to us takes place when we are brought to faith." [procured in italics in text]
Robert D. Preus Justification and Rome, St. Louis: Concordia Academic Press 1997, p. 72.
Abraham Calov: "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." [Apodixis Articulorum Fide, Lueneburg, 1684]
Robert D. Preus Justification and Rome, St. Louis: Concordia Academic Press 1997, p. 131n.
"The danger is that by use of the term 'subjective justification' we may lose the objective divine act of God by which He declares the individual sinner righteous ex pistews pistin in the instant faith (embracing Christ) is wrought in him, leaving only the one divine declaration regarding the whole world of sinners, calling this an actus simplex, the only forensic act of God, and expanding this to mean that God declared every sinner free from guilt when Christ was raised from the dead, so many millions even before they were born, irrespective of faith, apart from and without faith. This surely wipes out 'justification by faith alone.' Only his faith is reckoned to him for righteousness."
R. C. H. Lenski, Interpretation of Romans, Augsburg Publishing House: Minneapolis, 1963 p. 85. Romans 1:17.
"Nowhere in the bible is any man constituted or declared righteous without faith, before faith; all asservations and argumentations to the contrary notwithstanding." Lenski, Romans, p. 382? Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 86.
"As to the doctrine in general, he [Lenski] repudiates and ridicules the teaching that on Easter morning God forgave, really forgave, all the world all its sins, really and truly justified the world. He protests against making objective reconciliation, general justification, mean that God on Easter morning did actually pronounce the world, all individuals making up the world, really innocent of all sin and guilt."
Theodore Engelder, Objective Justification, Concordia Theological Monthly, 1933, Ft. Wayne: Concordia Seminary Press, n.d. p. 508. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.
II. Halle Established Pietism and the Cancer Spread
Anyone interested in Universal Objective Justification (God declaring, in His grace, without the Means of Grace, that the entire world is forgiven but not really forgiven) needs to know about J. A. Bengel, the radical Pietist.
Bengel's daughter married Philip David Burk, who worked closely with his father-in-law on the Gnomon. Burk also published extensively, his works in German still available in various libraries. As far as I can tell, Burk is the first theologian to support justification without faith (UOJ).
And Ph. D. Burk (Rechtfertigung und Versicherung, p. 41) rightly said:
"The difference between general justification and the more common usage of the term justification can be expressed as follows. The latter takes place precisely upon the appropriation of the former." Adolph Hoenecke, Dogmatik, III, p. 354-5
Burk, Philip David, a Protestant theologian of Germany, was born July 26, 1714, at Neu Ren. He studied at Tubingen, was in 1742 pastor nt Bolheitn, and in 1750 at Hcdelfingen, near Stuttgard. In 1758 he was appointed superintendent at Markt-Groningen, and in 1766 he was called for the same position to Kirchheim, where he died, March 22, 1770. He is the author of fïnowmn in Dundecini Prophetus Minores (Heilbronn, 1753), with a Preface by his father-in-law, the famous J. A. Dengcl: — Gnomon Psalinorum (Stuttgard, 1760): — Knuigelischer Fingerzeig auf den wahren Verstand und heilsamen Gebrauch der geirohnlichen Sonn-Fest-itml Feiertäglichen Kvangflien, etc. (Leipsic and Tübingen, 1760-67, 7 vols.) -.—Die Lehre rnn der Reehljerttyiiiig und decen GeiciJtshfit im Jlerzen und Geirissen des Sünden, etc. (Stuttgard, 1763-65, 7 pts.). Sec Winer, Handbuch der then!. Lit. i, 99; During, Die gelehrten Theologen Deutschlands, i, 208 sq. (Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature by John McClintock)
Otto Heick has an interesting paragraph in his History of Christian Thought, volume II. (Heick was my Christology professor at Waterloo Seminary. He often took Mrs. Ichabod and me to supper.)
"Johann Albrecht Bengel spent much time and effort to unlock the mystery of the Book of Revelation. He toyed with the idea of a 'restoration of all.' He also developed in detail a doctrine of the blood of Christ. The body of Christ, he taught, was totally drained of blood on the cross. In the resurrection it was not reunited with the body , but is retained in heaven as the precious ransom of man's sin. In the act of justification the believer is sprinkled in a mysterious manner with the blood of Christ and thus cleansed from his sin. This emphasis on the blood of the Savior played a very important part in the theology of Zinzendorf." (Heick, II, p. 25)
Bengel is pivotal because his creative approach to theology opened the doors to inventing additional theories of justification and a rationalistic approach to the Scriptures. (Read more about Semler below.)
I am only speculating at the moment, but I can see a direct connection between Bengel's blood theory, which is pure Enthusiasm, and his son-in-law's quoted statement in Hoenecke, which is also Enthusiasm. Bengel's version seems to be an allegory of OJ (blood in heaven) and SJ (given to believers). I can only find advocates for UOJ among the Pietists, Universalists, and Methodists (English Pietists).
Here is a description of Bengel from a doctoral student at Trinity Divinity School in Deerfield. The student's words carry great weight because WELS is in fellowship with Trinity.
To have Bengel on your side as a critic of inerrancy is to have a "heavy hitter" in the history of the Christian church. Although he is now largely confined to a passing comment in discussions of the history of textual criticism, Bengel has been described as a leading figure in the history of Lutheran theology-comparable to Martin Luther, J. C. K. von Hofmann, and Adolf Schlatter.7 he has been described as "the exegete of pietism"8 and even "the most important exegete since Calvin."9 In fact, although he is readily recognized as the father of modern textual criticism,10 Helmbold claims that he is also the father of modern scientific exegesis, modern eschatological study, and even the father of those seeking unity among Evangelicals.11
Whether or not one agrees with these estimations (Helmbold's claims, in particular, seem rather generous), Bengel can hardly be dismissed as an "uncritical" pietist with a simplistic faith and little intellectual ability. In addition to a master's degree in philosophy and an honorary doctorate from the University of Tubingen, he published work on the accents of the Hebrew Bible, Spinoza, new editions of classical and patristic texts, the history and methods of textual criticism, a harmony of the Gospels, a history of interpretation and commentary on the book of Revelation, and a study of biblical chronology and salvation history (Ordo Temporum). Bengel also spent twenty-eight years in leadership of the preparatory school at Denkendorf preparing students for the University of Tübingen and ordination for the Lutheran ministry.12
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.
Tholuck's Universalism, from The Modern History of Universalism:
Professor Sears, of the Baptist Church in New England, speaks very decisively, on the point that Tholuck was understood to believe in the restitution of all things. "Though as a theologian, Dr. Tholuck is on the side of Orthodoxy, it must be remembered that it is the Orthodoxy of Germany. I feel the more called on to state frankly what I know to be the truth, from the fact that the works of several German critics, of whom he is the safest, have now become so popular in England and America as to demand a translation. This distinguished and excellent man, in common with the great majority of the evangelical divines in Germany, though he professes to have serious doubts, and is cautious in avowing the sentiment, believes that all men and fallen spirits will finally be saved. The current hypothesis (meaning in Germany) is that in the middle state, intervening between death and the resurrection, the righteous will gradually attain to perfection ; and that to all the wicked, whether men or angels, the gospel will be preached, and that they will ultimately accept it and be restored.1"
Professor Sears afterwards gave the subject of a conversation which he had with Tholuck as follows : "One evening, at his house, there was a debate between us on the subject, in the presence of two American gentlemen, now in this country. It made such a painful impression on the mind of the writer, that he can remember not only the ideas, but many of the identical words and phrases employed at that time. The following is the substance of that conversation, which was held in English : —
Tholuck: I suppose that my American brethren would consider me orthodox in general, except in my Universalism. — Sears : They would, most certainly. But with them that one point would be a 1 This announcement was made by Professor Sears, A. 1). 1834. We refer those who wish to look more fully into this subject, to an article entitled, " Professor Tholuck and Universalism," from the pen of Rev. T. J- Sawyer, in the Expositor and Universalist Review, vol. iii. New series, edited by Rev. Hosea Balkm 2d., Boston. Published by Q. W. Bazin & A. Tompkius, 1839.
But with them that one point would be a serious matter. With this sentiment you could not hold a standing in our Orthodox churches. Now, where did you find this doctrine, — in the Bible, or in your philosophy ? — Tholuck: In both. — Sears : What are the passages of Scripture on which you principally rely ? — ' Tholuck: My main passage is 1 Cor. xv. 28. Christ shall overcome all, and hring them in complete subjection to God, who to all men will be their all, their everything. Such language cannot well be applied to those who shall still remain his enemies. Also Rom, xi. 36. For out of him, and through him, and into him, are all things ; i. e. all things proceed out of him as their source of being; by him they are conducted to their proper destination ; and into him they all return, as their eternal resting place. It follows, of course, that they will all be happy ; for happiness consists in being in God. Another passage is, ' Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess,' &c. (Philip, ii. 9-11.) — Sears: Do you find no passages of Scripture which positively declare the everlasting punishment of the •wicked ? Tholuck : Yes. Matt. xxv. 46, and others like it.— Sears : Can those passages, which you think favor Universalism, be understood in any other sense without violating the fundamental laws of interpretation ? — Tholuck: Yes, they can, but the construction would not be so easy and natural. — Sears : Can the other passages, which speak of endless punishment, possibly bear any other construction ? Tholuck : I do not see how they can. — Sears : Well, what are you going to do with them ? — Tholuck: This is my onlv difficulty. These two classes of texts seem to me contradictory ; I cannot reconcile them. But when I reflect upon the character of God, as a Being of love, I lose all my doubts.
III. The Synodical Conference Drew Its UOJ from the latter, rationalistic stage of Halle Pietism
"For God has already forgiven you your sins 1800 years ago when He in Christ absolved all men by raising Him after He first had gone into bitter death for them. Only one thing remains on your part so that you also possess the gift. This one thing is--faith. And this brings me to the second part of today's Easter message, in which I now would show you that every man who wants to be saved must accept by faith the general absolution, pronounced 1800 years ago, as an absolution spoken individually to him."
C. F. W. Walther, The Word of His Grace, Sermon Selections, "Christ's Resurrection--The World's Absolution" Lake Mills: Graphic Publishing Company, 1978 p. 233. Brosamen, p. 138. Mark 16:1-8
"Christ's Glorious Resurrection from the Dead the Actual Absolution of the Entire Sinful World Here I would point out two things: 1. That This Is Certain And True, and 2. That Therefore Every Man Who Wants To Be Saved Must By Faith Accept This General Absolution As Applying Also To Him,"
C. F. W. Walther, The Word of His Grace, Sermon Selections, "Christ's Resurrection--The World's Absolution" Lake Mills: Graphic Publishing Company, 1978 p. 230. Brosamen, p. 138. Mark 16:1-8.
"The fact of the redemption and reconciliation of the entire human race through Christ, and with it the forgiveness of all sins for all men on God's part--which, indeed, is precisely what the Gospel proclaims, presents and gives--can by no means become a lie through the unbelief of men...even when the unbelievers don't receive it, but reject it for themselves and for this reason--indeed, for this reason alone--are lost."
Walther's colleague, Theodore Brohm, 1808-1881 Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 16.
See Valleskey Below for the Same Confusion
"It is contrary to Scripture and the pure Gospel to teach: That forgiveness and justification before God do not involve each other, or that justification and reconciliation are entirely different from each other, as though a person can be reconciled without being justified or justified without being reconciled." Commission on Theology and Church Relations "Theses on Justification" St. Louis: May, 1983, #3.
Valleskey – OJ and CG
"In Christ, God has effected a universal justification, a universal reconciliation, a universal ransom, a universal atonement. Different terms, but all communicating the same message: God in Christ has declared the whole world to be not guilty."
David J. Valleskey, We Believe--Therefore We Speak, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1995, p. 71.
"The starting point in presenting the doctrine of the means of grace must be the universal objective reconciliation or justification. This is the procedure of Scripture."
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 105.
"Now, then, if the Father raised Christ from the dead, He, by this glorious resurrection act, declared that the sins of the whole world are fully expiated, or atoned for, and that all mankind is now regarded as righteous before His divine tribunal. This gracious reconciliation and justification is clearly taught in Romans 4:25: 'Who was delivered for our offenses and was raised again for our justification.' The term dikaiosis here means the act of divine justification executed through God's act of raising Christ from the dead, and it is for this reason called the objective justification of all mankind. This truth Dr. Walther stressed anew in America. He taught that the resurrection of Christ from the dead is the actual absolution pronounced upon all sinners. (Evangelienpostille, p. 160ff.)" part one
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1951, II, p. 321. Romans 4:25
"The resurrection of Christ is, as Holy Writ teaches, the actual absolution of the whole world of sinners. Romans 4:25: 'Who was raised again for our justification.' At that time we were objectively declared free from sin."
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1951, II, p. 348 Romans 4:25
"Scripture teaches the objective reconciliation (o.r. in italics). Nineteen hundred years ago Christ effected the reconciliation of all men with God. God does not wait for men to reconcile Him with themselves by means of any efforts of their own. He is already reconciled. The reconciliation is an accomplished fact, just like the creation of the world. Romans 5:10: 'We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.' When Christ died, God became reconciled." pt. 1 of paragraph
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1951, II, p. 347f. Romans 5:10
J. P. Meyer, WELS
"Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinner's attitude toward Christ's sacrifice, purely on the basis of God's verdict, every sinner, whether he knows about it or not, whether he believes it or not, has received the status of a saint. What will be his reaction when he is informed about this turn of events? Will he accept, or will he decline?"
J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 103f. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.
"This applies to the whole world, to every individual sinner, whether he was living in the days of Christ, or had died centuries before His coming, or had not yet been born, perhaps has not been born to this day. It applies to the world as such, regardless of whether a particular sinner ever comes to faith or not."
J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 109. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.
"Before Christ's intervention took place God regarded him as a guilt-laden, condemned culprit. After Christ's intervention and through Christ's intervention He regards him as a guilt-free saint."
J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 107. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.
"The administration of the katallage is carried out by means of the Word. The Word is made the vehicle for conveying and applying the katallage to the world. There is no other way of administering it...It is the Word which God established through which the katallage is brought to us and through which we bring it to the world."
J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 110f. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.
"This doctrine of general justification is the guarantee and warranty that the central article of justification by faith is being kept pure. Whoever holds firmly that God was reconciled to the world in Christ, and that to sinners in general their sin was forgiven, to him the justification which comes from faith remains a pure act of the grace of God. Whoever denies general justification is justly under suspicion that he is mixing his own work and merit into the grace of God.
[George Stoeckhardt, Concordia Theological Quarterly, April, 1978, p. 138.] Pastor Vernon Harley "Synergism--Its Logical Association with General Justification," 511 Tilden, Fairmont, Minnesota 56031, August, 1984, p. 1.
"The entire Pauline doctrine of justification stands and falls with the special article of general justification. This establishes it beyond peradventure that justification is entirely independent of the conduct of man. And only in this way the individual can have the assurance of his justification. For it is the incontrovertible conclusion: Since God has already justified all men in Christ and forgiven them their sins, I, too, have a gracious God in Christ and forgiveness of all my sins."
[Quoted with approval by Theodore Engelder, from George Stoeckhardt, Commentary on Romans, p. 264.] Pastor Vernon Harley, "Synergism--Its Logical Association with General Justification," 511 Tilden, Fairmont, Minnesota 56031, August, 1984, p. 2.
"The resurrection is God's public absolution of the entire world: 'Your sins are forgiven, all sins of all human beings; and there is no exception.' This is the meaning of the technical term 'objective justification.' The objective justification is central to the doctrine of salvation and derives logically from the facts that God's reconciliation, forgiveness, and declaration of 'not guilty' in no wise depend on the attitude or behaviour of human beings. If objective justification is denied, then it must follow that those who are declared righteous in some way have contributed to God's change of heart; justification is then no longer solely the result of God's grace."
[Theodore Mueller, Concordia Theological Quarterly, January, 1982, p. 29.] Pastor Vernon Harley, "Synergism--Its Logical Association with General Justification," 511 Tilden, Fairmont, Minnesota 56031, August, 1984, p. 3.
"The doctrine of the means of grace is understood properly only when it is considered in the light of Christ's redemptive work (satisfactio vicaria) and the objective justification, or reconciliation, 2 Corinthians 5:19-20, which He secured by His substitutionary obedience (satisfactio vicaria). If these two doctrines are corrupted (Calvinism: denial of the gratia universalis; synergism: denial of sola gratia), then also the Scripture doctrine of the means of grace will become perverted."
John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, A Handbook of Doctrinal Theology, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 442. 2 Corinthians 5:19-20.
"The chief purpose, however, is to keep this article (general justification) before the people for its own sake. It cannot be presented and studied too often. Its vital relation to the subjective, personal justification by faith, cannot be stressed too strongly. It forms the basis of the justification by faith and keeps this article free from the leaven of Pelagianism. Unless the sinner knows that his justification is already an accomplished fact in the forum of God, he will imagine that it is his faith, his good conduct, which moves God to forgive him his sins. And unless he knows that God had him personally in mind in issuing the general pardon on Easter morning, he will have no assurance of his justification."
[Theodore Engelder, Concordia Theological Monthly, July/August/September, 1933. Reissued by the seminary printshop, Ft. Wayne, 1981.] Pastor Vernon Harley, "Synergism--Its Logical Association with General Justification," 511 Tilden, Fairmont, Minnesota 56031, August, 1984, p. 1f.
"Does Missouri teach 'that this, an actus simplex, is the only justification there is'? Yes and no. We do not teach that the objective justification of Easter morning is the only justification there is...But most readers of the Pastor's Monthly know that Missouri teaches that there is a) an objective justification and b) a subjective justification."
Theodore Engelder, Objective Justification, Concordia Theological Monthly, 1933, Ft. Wayne: Concordia Seminary Press, n.d. p. 514. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
"It's just easier for many people to work backwards from the subjective to the objective in their thinking. In fact, upside-down evangelism may start with gospel and work back to law, stating the solution as a prelude to the problem and clarifying both at the cross."
[This is Moravian Pietism, as shown by Walther's Law and Gospel.] Paul Kelm The Evangelism Life Line (WELS), Fall, 1985 p. 5.
"At the time of the resurrection of Christ, God looked down in hell and declared Judas, the people destroyed in the flood, and all the ungodly, innocent, not guilty, and forgiven of all sin and gave unto them the status of saints." (Pastor Charles Papenfuss) WELS, Kokomo Four Statements, 1979. "When God reconciled the world to Himself through Christ, He individually pronounced forgiveness to each individual sinner whether that sinner ever comes to faith or not."
(J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, p. 109) WELS, Kokomo Four Statements, 1979.
"After Christ's intervention and through Christ's intervention God regards all sinners as guilt-free saints."
(J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, p. 107) WELS, Kokomo Four Statements, 1979.
"Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinner's attitude toward Christ's sacrifice, purely on the basis of God's verdict, every sinner, whether he knows it or not, whether he believes it or not, has received the status of saint."
(J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, p. 103) WELS, Kokomo Four Statements, 1979.
"Here the panel feels itself compelled to distinguish between form and content. While the form of the Four Statements is inadequate, the doctrine of objective justification it grapples with is Scriptural. The Four Statements have served to show that there is a doctrinal difference between Faith Congregation and the appellants."
Report of the WELS Review Committee, Hartman, Pohlman Appeal, June 30, 1980. Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 133.
E. Preuss, LCMS then Roman Catholic
"So, then, we are reconciled; however, not only we, but also Hindus, and Hottentots and Kafirs, yes, the world. 'Reconciled', says our translation; the Greek original says: 'placed in the right relation to God'. Because before the Fall we, together with the whole creation, were in the right relation to God, therefore Scripture teaches that Christ, through His death, restored all things to the former right relation to God."
F. R. Eduard Preuss, 1834-1904, Die Rechtfertigung der Suender vor Gott. Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 24.
"The chief differences between the contestants [Norwegians and Swedish Augustana] seems to have been in the essence rather than in the effect of Absolution. Both agreed that the Gospel offered the forgiveness of sins, but the one side held that it was given only to those who in faith received it, while the other side said that it was given also to unbelievers, though they did not accept it. Both agreed that unbelievers received no benefit from such an absolution."
J. Magnus Rohne, Norwegian Lutheranism up to 1872, New York, Macmillan, p. 231. Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 20.
"The teaching of the [Norwegian] Wisconsin Synod is this, that in and with the universal reconciliation, which has occurred in Christ for the whole world--even Judas; the world--even Judas--has been justified and has received the forgiveness of sin. Therefore, according to Luther's clear words ("for where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation"), (even Judas) has become a child of God and an heir of heaven."
Quotation from Gottfried Fritschel, "Zur Lehre von der Rechtfertigung," Theologische Monatshefte, vol 4, 1871, (1-24), p. 7. Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 2. Wisconsin Synod of the old Norwegian Synod - Charge made by Hasselquist.
"But if forgiveness comes first, if it is always there, if it is true whether I believe it or not, I do not need to know whether I have faith or not before I can cling to God's promise. I know that my sins are forgiven whether I feel forgiven or unforgiven. I know that my iniquity is pardoned whether I believe it or not. And when I know that, then I know also that I am a believer."
Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated
"Three of the four [Kokomo] statements, because of their lack of clarity, tend to confuse the issue. But since the disciplined laymen used them to advance their false doctrine, it was understandable that the congregation should also use them in its rejection of the falsehood being advocated. I do not consider any of the four statements to be false doctrine, but I would rather not use the language used in the first, second, and fourth." [conclusion of paper] Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated.
"Every one of the statements can be understood correctly, even though one must swallow a little hard to accede to the fourth [Kokomo Statement]." Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated "The first three statements are taken verbatim from WELS sources."
Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated.
"The forgiveness comes first. Faith is merely the response to the message."
Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated.
"The doctrine of universal justification is often ridiculed with the argument that if God really forgives sins prior to faith then the Lutheran doctrine of justification by faith becomes meaningless. Such conclusions demonstrate a rationalistic spirit that consciously or unconsciously refuses to be guided by Scriptures alone."
Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated .
"The two terms are relatively modern. They are not used in the Lutheran Confessions. They are also not really synonymous. 'Universal justification' is a term denoting the doctrine that God has forgiven the sins of all men. Strictly speaking, the term 'objective justification' expresses the thought that the sins of a man are forgiven by God whether he believes it or not. Objective justification is not necessarily universal, but if justification is universal it must of necessity be objective."
Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, p. 1.