The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Do Babies Believe and Comprehend?





rlschultz has left a new comment on your post "From Someone in WELS":

There are also other little odd variants of UOJ which emanate from the Reformed camp, naturally. One that I heard was some nonsense called "salvific knowledge". Some Babtists use it as just another reason to withhold the Sacrament of Holy Baptism from infants. Their reasoning is that since infants are not developed intellectually, therefore they cannot know that they are saved, even if they are baptized. The Means of Grace are given short shrift, as comprehension is made a factor in salvation. It is akin to the false doctrine of the age of accountability. If it all sounds confusing, you are correct. It is.

***

GJ - When the daughter of a Baptist asked me about babies being able to believe, I asked her:
"Have you witnessed me baptizing babies?"
"Yes."
"What often happens when I hold the baby for the baptism itself?"
"He cries."
"Why?"
"He doesn't trust you."
"And when I hand him back to his mother? What happens then?"
"He stops crying."
"Why?"
"He trusts his mother."
"So you are saying that tiny babies know enough to trust their mothers and not trust a stranger, but they are unable to trust God?"
"I see."

Luther said to some adults who claimed that babies could not reason, "You can reason and you still don't believe."

Comprehension is an interesting concept with babies. They are born with a PhD in psychology, as proven by the expert way they handle their parents. This capacity is lost just in time to raise children, unfortunately.

I have known a number of late-talking children. Tis funny how everyone wants children to behave according to norms. Late-talking babies are usually boys, often math and computer geniuses. Thomas Sowell's son was one, so he wrote two books about the phenomenon. One late-talking boy unleashed a torrent of words once he began to talk, making his mother laugh. She was all worked up about norms before that. One late-talking girl was clearly able to talk but always resisting while showing a definite streak of mischief. She did very unusual tricks on the computer as a tiny child, once erasing a program while two of us were at computer but busy talking. I looked down the hall as the files disappeared and said, "Did you do that?" She doubled over laughing.

Baptists deny the astonishing capacity of babies to know, understand, comprehend, and believe, not just the same as adults, but better in many ways. Most troubling is how "conservative" Lutheran leaders have jumped in the sack with the Baptists - Rick Warren, C. Peter Wagner, Ed Stetzer, Andy Stanley.

Babies do not believe, these leaders of Lutheran lupines claim, but Jesus said, "Unless you believe as a child, you shall not enter the Kingdom of God."

WELS Salvation Army?



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Two Study Bibles, Almost Identical Titles":

A blessed Reformation to you.

Question:
Should I be bothered by this? Is this a form of unionism?

http://www.stmatthewsonline.org/News%20and%20Notes.htm

Salvation Army Bell Ringers

From Pastor Enderle:

We have been asked as a church if we could supply enough people to man the Salvation Army Bell Ringers Stand in front of Wal-Mart on Friday, November 27th from 5:00pm to 9:00PM and Sunday, November 28th from 11:00AM to 9:00PM. 80% of all money raised stay in this community for:

Families First

St. Claire Health Mission

Local Police Department

My questions to you:

1. Is there anyone who would be offended by this?

2. Would we be able to come up with enough people to staff the two bells at Wal-Mart for two days?

Your thoughts and comments are very much appreciated.

---

GJ - The Salvation Army is a church. Someone just asked about them. I hope the congregation publishes photos of the WELS Bells. I cannot get the image of Guys and Dolls out of my mind.

NICELY
I got the horse right here
The name is Paul Revere
And here's a guy that says that the weather's clear
Can do, can do, this guy says the horse can do
If he says the horse can do, can do, can do.
(Benny starts singing his part at this time, while Nicely continues:)
Can do - can do - this guy says the horse can do
If he says the horse can do - can do, can do.

(Rusty starts singing his part as the time, while Nicely and Benny continue:)
For Paul Revere I'll bite
I hear his foot's all right
Of course it all depends if it rained last night

Likes mud, likes mud, this X means the horse likes mud
If that means the horse likes mud, likes mud
Likes mud.

I tell you Paul Revere
Now this is no bum steer
It's from a handicapper that's real sincere
Can do, can do, this guy says the horse can do.
If he says the horse can do - can do - can do.
Paul Revere. I got the horse right here.

BENNY
I'm pickin' Valentine, 'cause on the morning line
A guy has got him figured at five to nine
Has chance, has chance, this guy says the horse has chance
if he says the horse has chance, has chance, has chance

I know it's Valentine, the morning work looks fine
Besides the jockey's brother's a friend of mine
Needs race, needs race, this guy says the horse needs race
If he says the horse needs race, needs race, needs race.
I go for Valentine, 'Cause on the morning line,
The guy has got him figured at five to nine
Has chance, has chance, this guy says the horse has chance
Valentine! I got the horse right here.

RUSTY CHARLIE
But look at Epitaph. he wins it by a half
According to this here in the Telegraph
"Big Threat" - "Big Threat"
This guy calls the horse "Big Threat"
If he calls the horse "Big Threat",
Big Threat, Big Threat.

And just a minute, boys.
I've got the feed box noise
It says the great-grandfather was Equipoise
Shows class, shows class.
This guy says the horse shows class
If he says the horse shows class
Shows class, show's class.

So make it Epitaph, he wins it by a half
According to this here in the Telegraph.
Epitaph! I got the horse right here!

Two Study Bibles, Almost Identical Titles




Lutheran Study Bible
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Lutheran Study Bible or The Lutheran Study Bible can refer to two different study bibles released in 2009 in the United States.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America released their Lutheran Study Bible on March 1 2009. It is published by Augsburg Fortress and uses the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod released their The Lutheran Study Bible on September 1, 2009. It is published by Concordia Publishing House and uses the English Standard Version of the Bible.

***

GJ - That is not very impressive, after ELCA and Missouri have spent so much time in bed together. One would hope a little pillow talk would resolve such issues. Let me guess - the two translations are almost identical. CPH has a lot of cash, I hear. Augie/Fortress is always on life support.

Reformation II, 2009






Reformation Sunday, II, November 1, 2009

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bethany-lutheran-worship

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 10 AM Central Standard


The Hymn #265 Thine Honor Save Erhalt Uns Herr
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual Rev 14:6-7
The Gospel Matthew 11:12-15
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #262 A Mighty Fortress Ein feste Burg
          God Works Through His Pure Word
The Hymn #308 Invited Lord By Boundless Grace Das walt Gott
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #651 Be Still My Soul Finlandia

KJV Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

KJV Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. 15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

All Saints' Day
O almighty and everlasting God, who through Thine only-begotten and beloved Son, Jesus Christ, wilt sanctify all Thine elected and beloved: Give us grace to follow their faith, hope, and charity, that we together with them may obtain eternal life: through Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

God Works Through His Pure Word

Book of Concord, Solid Declaration, II. Free Will. Triglotta, p. 903.
54] Through this means, namely, the preaching and hearing of His Word, God works, and breaks our hearts, and draws man, so that through the preaching of the Law he comes to know his sins and God's wrath, and experiences in his heart true terrors, contrition, and sorrow, and through the preaching and consideration of the holy Gospel concerning the gracious forgiveness of sins in Christ a spark of faith is kindled in him, which accepts the forgiveness of sins for Christ's sake, and comforts itself with the promise of the Gospel, and thus the Holy Ghost (who works all this) is sent into the heart, Gal. 4:6.

55] Now, although both, the planting and watering of the preacher, and the running and willing of the hearer, would be in vain, and no conversion would follow it if the power and efficacy of the Holy Ghost were not added thereto, who enlightens and converts the hearts through the Word preached and heard, so that men believe this Word and assent thereto, still, neither preacher nor hearer is to doubt this grace and efficacy of the Holy Ghost, but should be certain that when the Word of God is preached purely and truly, according to the command and will of God, and men listen attentively and earnestly and meditate upon it, God is certainly present with His grace, and grants, as has been said, what otherwise man can neither accept nor give from his own powers. 56] For concerning the presence, operation, and gifts of the Holy Ghost we should not and cannot always judge ex sensu [from feeling], as to how and when they are experienced in the heart; but because they are often covered and occur in great weakness, we should be certain from, and according to, the promise, that the Word of God preached and heard is [truly] an office and work of the Holy Ghost, by which He is certainly efficacious and works in our hearts, 2 Cor. 2:14ff; 3:5ff.

KJV 1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

The Free Will or Powers of Man section of the Formula of Concord was written for two reasons. One was the error of the Roman Catholic party. But the other was the error of some theologians of the Augsburg Confession. The passage quoted above from Free Will is a clear reference to 1 Corinthians 3:6-8.

Those errors are still prevalent today. On the Roman side, the Catholic Church teaches that man cooperates in his salvation. They also emphasize adding good works, which are required but rarely considered sufficient. Therefore, Purgatory is a long season of torture to finish the purification of the soul, making it ready for heaven. Purgatory is a semi-Hell for the partially saved.

Although Purgatory is not popular among Protestants, the other error addressed in this article is quite popular. There are many “have-to” statements among the modern Protestants, and the Lutherans often follow the errorists down the same path. Some have-to statements are:
1. You have to think exponentially. (Rick Warren, Southern Baptist) Would that be the theme of the Exponential Conference attended by WELS leaders? http://www.exponentialconference.org/
2. You have to grow in numbers.
3. You have to make disciples, who must be soul-winners.
4. You must transform lives and be relational and relevant.

This can be condensed to the cooperation of man in salvation. That sounds appealing to people, and it has appealed to millions, but the thoughts of man are not the thoughts of God (Isaiah 55:8-10)

Paul’s comparison to agriculture is devastating, because no one with experience in the field can claim, “This is what I did.”

Let’s take the planting of sweet corn. First of all, the gardener/farmer wants to have the best seed possible. Thanks to hybrids, we can select early-maturing, short, or late-maturing corn, white or yellow or bi-color. I favored Silver Queen, which tended to be short in stature but had a long growing season and famous sweetness.

Corn wind-pollinates, so it will not do to plant all varieties together. The root system is large because of the water and nutrition absorbed by the corn plant as it grows and matures. I watered corn in Midland because the plants often wanted more than the rain provided, even though I heavily mulched the corn patch with grass and newspapers. I also grew pumpkins between the rows to deter varmints and keep moisture in the ground. I planted pole beans to climb the corn stalks, too. Beans add fixed nitrogen to the soil while corn takes nitrogen compounds away to build plants.

The complications of raising corn are infinite. If the soil is too cold, sweet corn will not germinate. Pests can eat the corn. A gaudy necktie on the ground may serve to deter birds and make the neighbors wonder. Nothing short of electricity stops a squirrel. Rain can be supplemented, but too much rain causes smut, a mold problem in corn. Insects get into corn and some birds attack the corn to get the insects. If the corn is perfect, raccoons and squirrels harvest it at the perfect time. I thought I had a corn patch in Columbus. Instead, a crop of weeds grew up. They looked just like corn at first, but the produced nothing but additional weed seeds (nutgrass).

These are only some of the complications, because the entire created world works together in the formation of one crop. Soil is not dirt, but an ocean of life, comprising many different chemicals, mixes, organisms, and animals, from the tiny springtail to the prolific earthworm.

Watching a crop grow successfully is a great experience. Anyone with that experience can see the parallel created by Paul – I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. The glory does not belong to Paul or Apollos but to God.

I am astounded that so many have talked about growth and written about growth in the church, but all of them carefully avoid the clear, plain words of Scripture. Any Scripture about growth emphasizes the effective Word, not the human effort.

The Gospel is the living seed of the Church. Just like God’s created seed, it is full of potential far beyond our imagination or knowledge. Just like seed, no one knows what will happen when the Gospel is broadcast.

Someone asked once, “If God does everything, then what do we do?”

I could also ask, “If everything depends on man, how weak is God?”

The positive answer is clear – God does everything through His Word, but He allows us to share in what He does. We enjoy the accomplishments of the Word just as we enjoy the product of the garden.
Luther did not start the Reformation. The Word of God started the Reformation. Luther’s spiritual struggles and his study of the Word (doctorate, Biblical studies) enabled him to teach what was revealed in the Scriptures and teach against what was not in the Scriptures.

So many people claim they love the Church or their synod. They want their favorite institution to do well. Or they want others to share in the blessings of the Gospel.

Neither preacher nor hearer is to doubt this grace and efficacy of the Holy Ghost, but should be certain that when the Word of God is preached purely and truly, according to the command and will of God, and men listen attentively and earnestly and meditate upon it, God is certainly present with His grace, and grants, as has been said, what otherwise man can neither accept nor give from his own powers. (Formula of Concord, Free Will)

The ministers and members are not to doubt the grace and efficacy of the Holy Spirit. Those who doubt both are bound to start altering the Word to achieve the fruits they desire from their human perspective. The Pietists of yesteryear and today develop methods to accomplish what they desire. Human methods are at war with the divine Word.

KJV Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (method – the Greek word);

KJV Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (methods - Greek) of the devil.

False doctrine is the method of the devil, to deceive the simple and seduce the crafty ones. Those who equate worldly success with God’s blessing are bound to

Believing in God means trusting in Him completely, so His Word must accomplish His will.

One reason we do not trust His Word is that we want other results or better results. It is easy to blame someone or something for the results we do not like.

Another reason we do not trust the Word - The true Gospel brings the cross, so we shun the cross and the Word with it. That is subtle. People do not claim to be doing this, but our Old Adam recoils from paying a price. And many are glad to gloat that sincere Christians seem to have a much harder time in life. False teachers gloat that they repudiate the Word and do fabulously well anyway.

The Reformation began when the Word of God threatened the vast money scheme of the papacy, building St. Peter’s in Rome with indulgence money. In fact, the deal was more complicated. Huge loans were obtained for the construction project. The loans were paid back through indulgence sales, so the salesmen were highly motivated to get good results.

Luther’s 96 Theses asked whether the pope really had the keys to the heavenly treasure of merits. If the pope did, why not open up this treasury for the whole world to enjoy?

This threatened indulgence sales, where people could buy forgiveness in advance (pre-UOJ). The theses also attacked the tourism of the day, visiting shrines dedicated to saints in order to obtain release from some time in Purgatory. Like carbon credits, these saintly relics were bought and sold, gaining value with the pilgrims they attracted. If touching the relics did not gain release from Purgatory, then they were worthless bones.

To this day, every Roman Catholic church has a certified fragment of a saint embedded, to make it an official and approved congregation.

Christianity is the only world religion where people receive from God instead of giving to God. If people have works added to faith, they imagine they have to do various things to please God. This is contrary to the Gospel and guilt-inducing, anxiety-provoking. True, people can be motivated to do a lot through fear and the hope of a reward, but that is not what Jesus taught. It is what the Pharisees taught. The Savior taught:

John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. 28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

KJV John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

False doctrine always turns things around. The false teachers look for works and demand works.

The Gospel teaches that the works of God are believing in the Messiah sent by God the Father. Everyone comes into this world condemned. Those who do not believe remain in that state of condemnation. But all who believe in Christ become children of God and heirs of salvation. Good works follow naturally as the fruit of faith.

This is such a simple message, yet people rage against it, from the outside of the Church and from the inside.

Quotations

Augsburg Confession


  • J-525
    "Also they teach that the Word, that is, the Son of God, did assume the human nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, so that there are two natures, the divine and the human, inseparably conjoined in one Person, one Christ, true God and true man, who was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, that He might reconcile the Father unto us, and be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men."
    Augsburg Confession, III. #1. Of the Son of God. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 45. Tappert, p. 29. Heiser, p. 12.







  • J-526
    “Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for Christ’s sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. Romans 3 and 4.”
    Augsburg Confession, IV. #1. Of Justification. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 45. Tappert, p. 30. Heiser, p. 12f.
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession







  • J-527
    "The Third Article the adversaries approve, in which we confess that there are in Christ two natures, namely, a human nature, assumed by the Word into the unity of His person; and that the same Christ suffered and died to reconcile the Father to us; and that He was raised again to reign, and to justify and sanctify believers, etc., according to the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, III. #52. Of Christ, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 119. Romans 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:19ff. Tapper, p. 107. Heiser, p. 32.







  • J-528
    "Faith is that my whole heart takes to itself this treasure. It is not my doing, not my presenting or giving, not my work or preparation, but that a heart comforts itself, and is perfectly confident with respect to this, namely, that God makes a present and gift to us, and not we to Him, that He sheds upon us every treasure of grace in Christ."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #48. Of Justification. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 135. Heiser, p. 36.







  • J-529
    "Now, that faith signifies, not only a knowledge of the history, but such faith as assents to the promise, Paul plainly testifies when he says, Romans 4:16: 'Therefore it is of faith, to the end the promise might be sure.' For he judges that the promise cannot be received unless by faith. Wherefore he puts them together as things that belong to one another, and connects promise and faith."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article IV. #51. Of Justification, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 135. Romans 4:16. Tappert, p. 114. Heiser, p. 36.







  • J-530
    "This faith, encouraging and consoling in these fears, receives remission of sins, justifies and quickens. For this consolation is a new and spiritual life [a new birth and a new life]. These things are plain and clear, and can be understood by the pious, and have testimonies of the Church [as is to be seen in the conversion of Paul and Augustine]. The adversaries nowhere can say how the Holy Ghost is given. They imagine that the Sacraments confer the Holy Ghost ex opere operato, without a good emotion in the recipient, as though, indeed, the gift of the Holy Ghost were an idle matter."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article IV. #63. Of Justification,, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 139. Tappert, p. 115. Heiser, p. 37.







  • J531
    "Now we will show that faith [and nothing else] justifies."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #69. Of Justification. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 141. Tappert, p. 116. Heiser, p. 37.







  • J-532
    "But to believe is to trust in the merits of Christ, that for His sake God certainly wishes to be reconciled with us. Likewise, just as we ought to maintain that, apart from the Law, the promise of Christ is necessary, so also is it needful to maintain that faith justifies. [For the Law does not preach the forgiveness of sin by grace.] For the Law cannot be performed unless the Holy Ghost be first received. It is, therefore, needful to maintain that the promise of Christ is necessary. But this cannot be received except by faith. Therefore, those who deny that faith justifies, teach nothing but the Law, both Christ and the Gospel being set aside.”
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #69. Of Justification. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. p. 141. Tappert, p. 116. Heiser, p. 37.







  • J-533
    "We do not believe thus {that faith is just a beginning of justification} concerning faith, but we maintain this, that properly and truly, by faith itself, we are for Christ's sake accounted righteous, or are acceptable to God. And because 'to be justified' means that out of unjust men just men are made, or born again, it means also that they are pronounced or accounted just. For Scripture speaks in both ways. [The term to be justified is used in two ways: to denote, being converted or regenerated; again, being accounted righteous.] Accordingly we wish first to show this, that faith alone makes of an unjust, a just man, i. e., receives remission of sins."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #71-2. Of Justification. Concordia Triglotta. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 141. Tappert, p. 116f. Heiser, p. 38.







  • J-534
    "But since we receive remission of sins and the Holy Ghost by faith alone, faith alone justifies, because those reconciled are accounted righteous and children of God, not on account of their own purity, but through mercy for Christ's sake, provided only they by faith apprehend this mercy."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #86. Of Justification. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 147. Tappert, p. 119. Heiser, p. 39.







  • J-535
    "In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul discusses this topic especially, and declares that, when we believe that God, for Christ's sake, is reconciled to us, we are justified freely by faith."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #87. Of Justification. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 147. 2 Corinthians 5:19ff. Tappert, p. 119f. Heiser, p. 39.







  • J-536
    "These things are so plain and so manifest that we wonder that the madness of the adversaries is so great as to call them into doubt. The proof is manifest that, since we are justified before God not from the Law, but from the promise, it is necessary to ascribe justification to faith."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, III. #177. Of Love and the Fulfilling of the Law. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 205. Tappert, p. 153. Heiser, p. 60.








  • J-537
    "Scripture thus uses the term faith, as the following sentence of Paul testifies, Romans 5:1: Being justified by faith, we have peace with God. Moreover, in this passage, to justify signifies, according to forensic usage, to acquit a guilty one and declare him righteous, but on account of the righteousness of another, namely, of Christ, which righteousness of another is communicated to us by faith...1 Corinthians 1:30. Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. And 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. But because the righteousness of Christ is given us by faith, faith is for this reason righteousness in us imputatively, i. e., it is that by which we are made acceptable to God on account of the imputation and ordinance of God, as Paul says, Romans 4:3, 5: Faith is reckoned for righteousness."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, III. #184. Of Love and the Fulfilling of the Law. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 205f. Romans 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:21. Tappert, p. 154. Heiser, p. 60.







  • J-538
    "But as the Confutation condemns us for having assigned these two parts to repentance, we must show that [not we, but] Scripture expresses these as the chief parts in repentance and conversion. For Christ says, Matthew 11:28: Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Here there are two members. The labor and the burden signify the contrition, anxiety, and terrors of sin and of death. To come to Christ is to believe that sins are remitted for Christ's sake; when we believe, our hearts are quickened by the Holy Ghost through the Word of Christ. Here, therefore, there are these two chief parts, contrition and faith."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XII (V). #44. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 263. Matthew 11:28. Tappert, p. 187. Heiser, p. 81.







  • J-539
    “That absolution, however, is not received except by faith can be proved from Paul, who teaches, Romans 4:16, that the promise cannot be received except by faith. But absolution is the promise of the remission of sins [nothing else than the Gospel, the divine promise of God’s grace and favor]. Therefore, it necessarily requires faith. Neither do we see how he who does not assent to it may be said to receive absolution.”
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, XII. #61-62. Of Repentance. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 269. Romans 4:16. Tappert, p. 190. Heiser, p. 83.







  • J-540
    "The Gospel teaches that by faith we receive freely, for Christ's sake, the remission of sins and are reconciled to God."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, XV. #5. Human Traditions. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 317. Tappert, p. 215. Heiser, p. 96.
    The Smalcald Articles







  • J-541
    “Likewise: All have sinned and are justified without merit [freely, and without their own works or merits] by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood, Romans 3:23f. Now, since it is necessary to believe this, and it cannot be otherwise acquired or apprehended by any work, law, or merit, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us, as St. Paul says, Romans 3:28: For we conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the Law. Likewise, v. 26: That He might be just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Christ.”
    Smalcald Articles, The Second Part, Article I. #4. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 461. Tappert, p. 292. Heiser, p. 137.







  • J-542
    “What I have hitherto and constantly taught concerning this I know not how to change in the least, namely, that by faith, as St. Peter says, we acquire a new and clean heart, and God will and does account us entirely righteous and holy for the sake of Christ, our Mediator. And although sin in the flesh has not yet ben altogether removed or become dead, yet He will not punish or remember it. And such faith, renewal, and forgiveness of sins is followed by good works.”
    Smalcald Articles, The Third Part, Article XIII. #1-2. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 499. Tappert, p. 315. Heiser, p. 148.


  • From Someone in WELS


    Working on the sequel to Night of the Lepus.



    Good morning Greg,

    Another amazing Ichabod! Loved all the Luther quotes. Great work.



    ***

    GJ - The "Party in the Fire Island Pines" fans seem to disagree. Is WELS divided? Yes. The Church and Changers have polarized the synod. But I hear that many young brains have not turned to mush. According to sources, the hot stuff for aging Boomers is not going over well with many college students.

    ---

    DK has left a new comment on your post "Atonement versus Justification Without Faith - The...":

    Awesome post Professor! Thank you: Very enlightening.

    You started by saying:

    "Someone asked about the difference between the Atonement and Universal Objective Justification."

    Were you referring to my question? I understand the difference between Atonement vs. Justification and completely agree with you about UOJ, but speaking to the nitty gritty semantics:

    Are you suggesting that the statement "Justification by Grace, through Faith" isn't accurate or evidence of a misunderstanding about Atonement? Is "Justification by Faith" more accurate?".

    ***

    GJ - Various people ask about this and you were one of several who wanted more information.

    Emphasizing grace is perfectly fine, and so is an emphasis upon faith. The UOJ Stormtroopers rail against faith, even though the Word of God is revealed to us so that we might believe in the Gospel as the revealed will of God. Luther encountered opposition because he said by faith alone, apart from the works of Law. The alone is understandable because of efforts to slide some form of works into the Word.

    Let me try an analogy about the UOJ confusion. The Holy Spirit always works with the Word and never apart from the Word. However, we never claim that the Holy Spirit is the Word, that the Word is the Holy Spirit. The UOJ Stormtroopers identify, in a confusing way, the Atonement with justification/absolution. The Atonement is directly related to justification by faith, but they are not identical. I hope that helps.

    Atonement versus Justification Without Faith - The Differences



    CFW Walther and F. Pieper borrowed the two justification concept from a Halle Pietist, Knapp, who published his strange opinions in German and English before the Missouri Synod began.

    Someone asked about the difference between the Atonement and Universal Objective Justification.

    The Scriptures teach without contradiction that Christ died for the sins of the world and rose from the dead. The Book of Concord, Luther, Chemnitz, Gerhard, and the orthodox Lutheran theologians taught the same.

    For many, Universal Objective Justification sounds like the Atonement, and many have assumed that UOJ was a synonym for an event which has several names - reconciliation, redemption (two different Greek verbs, one for purchase, one for releasing), etc.

    However, UOJ is not the same. When Robert Preus still advocated UOJ, he made that point.

    UOJ has confused justification by faith with the Atonement by creating two justifications. I will quote Walther on this:

    "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 J-5 p. 230. Mark 16:1-8.

    "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 J-5 p. 233. Mark 16:1-8.

    What does Romans say, in context?

    KJV Romans 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 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.

    The UOJ Stormtroopers like Romans 4:25, but they never mention that Romans 4 teaches Abraham as the Father of Faith, that Romans 4 reaches its climax with:

    KJV Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    Ichabod:

    From the English translation of Knapp's Christian Theology, which was widely read in German and English, in America and Europe, before the Missouri Synod began and throughout the 19th century -

    § 113. UNIVERSALITY OP JUSTIFICATION. 817

    It is universal as the atonement itself; vid. § 111, II. If the atonement extends to the whole human race, justification must also be universal; i. e. all must be able to obtain the actual forgiveness of their sins and blessedness, on account of the atonement of Christ. But in order to obviate mistakes, some points may require explanation. Justification, then, is universal,

    (1) In respect to the persons to be pardoned.

    All men, according to the Bible, may partake of this benefit. It was designed for all; vid. especially Rom. 3: 23. 5: 15 (§ 111),

    318 ART. X. § 113. UNIVERSALITY OP JUSTIFICATION

    in opposition to Jewish exclusiveness. It is bestowed however conditionally ; certain conditions are prescribed which are indispensable. Those who do not comply with these conditions, are excluded from the enjoyment of the benefit. Justification and forgiveness are not, therefore, universal in effect (actu); and this solely through the fault of men.*

    Another conclusion from the universality of justification is, that every one may be sure of his forgiveness. This certainty, however, must not be founded upon inward/ee/ing-s, which are frequently deceptive ; but upon an actual compliance with the conditions on which God will forgive sins. If any one finds in himself the signs of true faith, of sincere love to God and Christ, of a renewed heart, and of a virtuous Christian disposition, he is justified. Rom. 8: 16, " The holy, Christian temper wrought in us by God, gives us the clearest and surest proof, that we are the children of God." 1 John 3: 7. 2 Pet. 1: 9, 10. This certainty is in the highest degree necessary to our tranquility and happiness. 1 Tim. 1: 16. ICor. 6: 11. 1 John 5: 18—20.

    (2) In respect to sins and the punishment of sin.

    (a) As to sins; the position that all sins, without exception, are forgiven for Christ's sake, is proved partly from the power and efficacy of the atonement of Christ, which is extended to all sins (vid. § 111, and the texts there cited) ; and partly from the texts which promise forgiveness of all sins, even the greatest and blackest, to those who comply with the prescribed conditions of pardon. Ezek. 18: 21, 22. Ps. 103: 3. 1 Cor. 6: 11. Ephes. 2: 5. 1 Tim. I: 15. The sin against the Holy Ghost cannot be regarded as an exception ; vid. § 84.

    (6) As to the punishment of sin ; the answer to the question whether the pardoned are exempt from all the punishments of sin, whether therefore justification is plena et perfecta, may be learned from § 111, II. The natural and physical evils which result from past sins, indeed, remain ; but they are mitigated and rendered more tolerable, and are divested of the terror of punishment, by the ces-

    * [Translator - This is very conveniently expressed by the terms objective and subjective justification. Objective justification is the act of God, by which he proffers pardon to all through Christ; subjective, is the act of man, by which he accepts the pardon freely offered in the Gospel. The former is universal, the latter not.]


    ---


    In brief, the Book of Concord agrees with the Scriptures in asserting the Atonement as the great treasure of the Gospel. The Atonement is objectively true because the truth of Christ's sacrifice does not depend upon man's belief.

    Justification by faith is different from the Atonement because the message of the Atonement, through Word and Sacrament, creates and sustains faith. Through this faith, individuals receive the grace promised in the Gospel: justification by faith.

    Justification is God's declaration of forgiveness, because of the grace earned by His Son. To say the entire world is absolved or justified--an act of grace--without the Word, without the Means of Grace, is a travesty of Enthusiasm. When the Holy Spirit is separated from the Word, foul errors rush in, as Luther taught.

    Knapp and Tholuck were considered the last believing theologians to teach at Halle University. However, neither one was an orthodox Christian, as contemporaries know. Knapp did not think the confession of the Trinity was in harmony with early Christian teaching. Tholuck was a Universalist. Do Lutherans today want to identify with Knapp and Tholuck? They do when they teach UOJ.

    No one can claim that the Christian Church always taught two justifications. Nor can anyone claim that Lutherans have always taught OJ and SJ. Sig Becker had to admit they were new terms.

    My tentative conclusion is that Walther took over Knapp's ideas from the German edition, because Walther came from Pietistic circles and never really gave up Pietism entirely. The two justification formula arose in Pieper's Dogmatics, perhaps for the first time among Lutherans. That formulation could be explained by his or his translator's use of Knapp in English. To sort all that out, someone would have to explore all the German-American publications and make comparisons.

    General or Universal Justification appears in Hoenecke, who was taught by Tholuck. Hoenecke's citation for General Justification is David Burke, the son-in-law and publishing partner with the Pietist Bengel. So far I have only found those two Pietistic sources for UOJ and the two justifications.

    UOJ is inconsistent with everything else in Christian theology. What is the use of the Law when everyone is declared forgiven, absolved. Why baptize? Why repent?

    The UOJ Stormtroopers have not been able to put up an argument, except for attacking anyone who remains faithful to the Book of Concord.

    Justification by Faith




    “...God in His purpose and counsel ordained [decreed]:
    1. That the human race is truly redeemed and reconciled with God through Christ, who, by His faultless [innocency] obedience, suffering, and death, has merited for us the righteousness which avails before God, and eternal life. 2. That such merit and benefits of Christ shall be presented, offered, and distributed to us through His Word and Sacraments. 3. That by His Holy Ghost, through the Word, when it is preached, heard, and pondered, He will be efficacious and active in us, convert hearts to true repentance, and preserve them in the true faith. 4. That He will justify all those who in true repentance receive Christ by a true faith, and will receive them into grace, the adoption of sons, and the inheritance of eternal life."
    Formula of Concord, SD, XI. #15. Of God's Eternal Election, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1069. 2 Corinthians 5:19ff  

    "On this account, as the Augsburg Confession in Article XI says, we also retain private absolution, and teach that it is God's command that we believe such absolution, and should regard it as sure that, when we believe the word of absolution, we are as truly reconciled to God as though we had heard a voice from heaven, as the Apology explains this article. This consolation would be entirely taken from us if we were not to infer the will of God towards us from the call which is made through the Word and through the Sacraments."
    Formula of Concord, SD, XI. #38. Of God's Eternal Election, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1075.       

    "The Third Article the adversaries approve, in which we confess that there are in Christ two natures, namely, a human nature, assumed by the Word into the unity of His person; and that the same Christ suffered and died to reconcile the Father to us; and that He was raised again to reign, and to justify and sanctify believers, etc., according to the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, III. #52. Of Christ, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 119. Romans 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:19ff.       

    "Faith is that my whole heart takes to itself this treasure. It is not my doing, not my presenting or giving, not my work or preparation, but that a heart comforts itself, and is perfectly confident with respect to this, namely, that God makes a present and gift to us, and not we to Him, that He sheds upon us every treasure of grace in Christ."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. 48, Of Justification Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 135.         

    "Now we will show that faith [and nothing else] justifies."{that faith justifies italicized} Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. 69, Of Justification
    Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 141.  

    "We do not believe thus {that faith is just a beginning of justification} concerning faith, but we maintain this, that properly and truly, by faith itself, we are for Christ's sake accounted righteous, or are acceptable to God. And because 'to be justified' means that out of unjust men just men are made, or born again, it means also that they are pronounced or accounted just. For Scripture speaks in both ways. [The term 'to be justified' is used in two ways: to denote, being converted or regenerated; again, being accounted righteous.] Accordingly we wish first to show this, that faith alone makes of an unjust, a just man, i. e., receives remission of sins."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. 71, Of Justification. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 141.     

    "It is, therefore, needful to maintain that the promise of Christ is necessary. But this cannot be received except by faith. Therefore, those who deny that faith justifies, teach nothing but the Law, both Christ and the Gospel being set aside."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #70. Of Justification, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 141.

    "In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul discusses this topic especially, and declares that, when we believe that God, for Christ's sake, is reconciled to us, we are justified freely by faith."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. 87, Of Justification Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 147. 2 Corinthians 5:19ff.

    "But since we receive remission of sins and the Holy Ghost by faith alone, faith alone justifies, because those reconciled are accounted righteous and children of God, not on account of their own purity, but through mercy for Christ's sake, provided only they by faith apprehend this mercy." Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #86. Of Justification.
    Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 147.

    "The Gospel teaches that by faith we receive freely, for Christ's sake, the remission of sins and are reconciled to God."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, XV. #5. Human Traditions, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 317.  

    "Also they teach that the Word, that is, the Son of God, did assume the human nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, so that there are two natures, the divine and the human, inseparably conjoined in one Person, one Christ, true God and true man, who was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, that He might reconcile the Father unto us, and be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men."
    Augsburg Confession, III. 1. Of the Son of God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 45.       

    "Therefore there is here again great need to call upon God and pray: Dear Father, forgive us our trespasses. Not as though He did not forgive sin without and even before our prayer (for He has given us the Gospel, in which is pure forgiveness before we prayed or ever thought about it). But this is to the intent that we may recognize and accept such forgiveness."
    The Large Catechism, The Lord's Prayer, Fifth Petition, #88, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 723. Matthew 6:12        

    "This article concerning justification by faith (as the Apology says) is the chief article in the entire Christian doctrine, without which no poor conscience can have any firm consolation, or can truly know the riches of the grace of Christ, as Dr. Luther also has written: If this only article remains pure on the battlefield, the Christian Church also remains pure, and in goodly harmony and without any sects; but if it does not remain pure, it is not possible that any error or fanatical spirit can be resisted. (Tom. 5, Jena, p. 159.) And concerning this article especially Paul says that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."
    Formula of Concord, SD, III. 6, Righteous of Faith before God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 917.     

    "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, SD, III 10, Righteous of Faith before God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 919.       

    "Moreover, neither contrition nor love or any other virtue, but faith alone is the sole means and instrument by which and through which we can receive and accept the grace of God, the merit of Christ, and the forgiveness of sins, which are offered us in the promise of the Gospel."
    Formula of Concord, SD, III 31, Righteous of Faith before God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 925.

    "For good works do not precede faith, neither does sanctification precede justification. But first faith is kindled in us in conversion by the Holy Ghost from the hearing of the Gospel. This lays hold of God's grace in Christ, by which the person is justified. Then, when the person is justified, he is also renewed and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, from which renewal and sanctification the fruits of good works then follow."
    Formula of Concord, SD, III 41, Righteous of Faith before God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 929.        

    "But to believe is to trust in the merits of Christ, that for His sake God certainly wishes to be reconciled with us."
    Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #69. Of Justification, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. p. 141.  

    "#305. Why do you say in this article: I believe in the Forgiveness of Sins? Because I hold with certainty that by my own powers or through my own works I cannot be justified before God, but that the forgiveness of sins is given me out of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also true justification. Psalm 130:3-4; Psalm 143:2; Isaiah 64:6; Job 25:4-6 (Q. 124)."
    Kleiner Katechismus, trans. Pastor Vernon Harley, LCMS, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1901, p. 164ff.       

    "#306. What is justification? Justification is that activity (Handlung) of God by which He out of pure grace and mercy for the sake of Christ's merits forgives the sins of a poor sinner who truly believes in Jesus Christ and receives him to everlasting life."
    Kleiner Katechismus, trans. Pastor Vernon Harley, LCMS, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1901, p. 164ff.

    "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."
    Sigbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, p. 1.        [GJ - This is utter nonsense. Some say "Objective Justification" while others say "Universal Justification" and still others say "Universal Objective Justification." The original term, from Pietism, was General Justification and the German word really means Universal Justification.]

    "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."
    Sigbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated.    [GJ - I am still looking for the Scriptural citation where God teaches that we are forgiven without faith, apart from the Means of Grace. Becker's position is Enthusiasm and Universalism.]     

    "The forgiveness comes first. Faith is merely the response to the message."
    Sigbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated. [GJ - This claim is very close to J. P. Meyer's decision theology in Ministers of Christ.]

    "The first three statements are taken verbatim from WELS sources."
    Sigbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated.    [GJ - The first three Kokomo Statements are from WELS' own J. P. Meyer, from the NPH book, Ministers of Christ. But see the claim below.]

    "Every one of the statements can be understood correctly, even though one must swallow a little hard to accede to the fourth [Kokomo Statement]."
    Sigbert 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]
    Sigbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated. [GJ - Becker argued that the Kokomo laymen used Meyer verbatim to advance "false doctrine," so the congregation used the same statements to refute them. Are you confused yet? Becker also stated that he did not like the language used, but that is why he came to Chicago - to defend the Kokomo Statements used to extend the Left Foot of Fellowship to two WELS families.]       

    "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."
    Sigbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated. [GJ - Did Becker mention rationalism before? This twisting and turning is beyond belief, to use a pun.]      



    "The third controversy which has arisen among some theologians of the Augsburg Confession is concerning the righteousness of Christ or of faith, which God imputes by grace, through faith, to poor sinners for righteousness."
    Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III. 1 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 917. 

    "If this only article remains pure on the battlefield, the Christian Church also remains pure, and in goodly harmony and without any sects; but if it does not remain pure, it is not possible that any error or fanatical spirit can be resisted."
    Dr. Luther, Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III. 4 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 917. [GJ - Pietism gave UOJ to the Synodical Conference, and UOJ gave Receptionism and Church Growth to its victims. Now the Means of Grace are movie screens, popcorn or coffee during church, and friendship networks.]

    "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, Thorough Declaration, III 17 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921 Philippians 3:9; Proverbs 17:15; Isaiah 5:23; Romans 8:33.   

    "For when man is justified through faith [which the Holy Ghost alone works], this is truly a regeneration, because from a child of wrath he becomes a child of God, and thus is transferred from death to life, as it is written; When we were dead in sins, He hath quickened us together with Christ, Ephesians 2:5. Likewise: The just shall live by faith, Romans 1:17; Habakkuk 2:4."
    Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 20 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921.         

    "Here belongs also what St. Paul writes Romans 4:3, that Abraham was justified before God by faith alone, for the sake of the Mediator, without the cooperation of his works, not only when he was first converted from idolatry and had no good works, but also afterwards, when he had been renewed by the Holy Ghost, and adorned with many excellent good works, Genesis 15:6; Hebrews 11:8. And Paul puts the following questions, Romans 4:1ff.: On what did Abraham's righteousness before God for everlasting life, by which he had a gracious God, and was pleasing and acceptable to Him, rest at that time? Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 33 Righteousness.
    Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 927. Romans 4:3; Romans 4:1ff; Genesis 15:6; Hebrews 11:8.     

    Friends Are the Means of Grace - No, Really - Fuller Said So




    Didja ever wonder why all the Chicanery churches are relational and transformational? They get their deep, deep, deep spiritual insights from seminars at Fuller and Willow Creek, from traveling road shows led by crypto-Babtists Stetzer and Andy Stanley.

    "MYTH #3: MOST PEOPLE BECOME BELIEVERS THROUGH EVANGELISTIC PREACHING. Many think that if you can bring an unbeliever to church, the pastor can 'save' them. The reality is that they are much more likely to come to faith in Christ through friends or family. The survey reveals that only one of eight people came to faith because of a preaching presentation." Rev. Michael Ruhl, "Here Are Five Evangelism Myths..." The Michigan Lutheran, January 1996 Board of Evangelism and Church Growth. [GJ - LCMS, I recall, and also felony stupid about Lutheran doctrine.]



    "George Barna is a Christian researcher/author/marketer/social analyst who tends to 'turn a lot of heads' when he speaks. He usually couches his provocative and interpretive comments to the church with honesty and reality. On occasion he has been retained by leaders of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to facilitate mission interpretation from an outside perspective." Rev. Michael Ruhl, "Here Are Five Evangelism Myths..." The Michigan Lutheran, January 1996 Board of Evangelism and Church Growth. 1 Thessalonians 2:13. [GJ - Cite an efficacy passage, touch base with Holy Mother Synod, and promote a parasite of the CGM, Barna.]



    "Church. An assembly of professed believers under the discipline of the Word of God, organized to carry out the Great Commission, administer the ordinances, and minister with spiritual gifts."
    C. Peter Wagner, ed., with Win Arn and Elmer Towns, Church Growth: The State of the Art, Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986, p. 283f. Matthew 28. [GJ - Many a WELS worker has joined the Pentecostal hive, leaving behind the Biblical Means of Grace in favor of ordinances, alleged gifts, and making disciples.]



    "The means of grace are thus limited for Barth. The preacher descending from the pulpit can never quote Luther and say with joyful assurance that he has preached the Word of God. Of course, he can hope and pray; but he can never know whether the Holy Spirit has accompanied the preached Word, and hence whether his words were the Word of God. To know this, or even to wish to know it, would be a presumptuous encroachment of man upon the sovereign freedom of God." Hermann Sasse, Here We Stand, trans. Theodore G. Tappert, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1946, p. 161.



    (1) "Almighty Father, bless the Word Which through your grace we now have heard Oh, may the precious seed take root, Spring up, and bear abundant fruit. (2) We praise you for the means of grace As homeward now our steps we trace. Grant, Lord, that we who worshiped here May all at last in heaven appear." Scandinavian, The Lutheran Hymnary, 1913, Lutheran Worship, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1982, Hymn #216. Mark 4.





    "Hence, too, the lack of emphasis, even in the best of Reformed preaching, upon the divine Word as the vehicle of regenerating grace and on the Sacraments. The office of the Word, then, is merely to point to the way of life, without communicating that of which it conveys the idea. The Word and Sacraments are declared to be necessary; their office in the Church is a divine institution; but they are only symbols of what the Spirit does within; and the Spirit works immediately and irresistibly." "Grace, Means of," The Concordia Cyclopedia, L. Fuerbringer, Th. Engelder, P. E. Kretzmann, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1927, p. 298.



    "The doctrine of the means of grace is a peculiar glory of Lutheran theology. To this central teaching it owes its sanity and strong appeal, its freedom from sectarian tendencies and morbid fanaticism, its coherence and practicalness, and its adaptation to men of every race and every degree of culture. The Lutheran Confessions bring out with great clearness the thought of the Reformers upon this subject."

    "Grace, Means of," The Concordia Cyclopedia, L. Fuerbringer, Th. Engelder, P. E. Kretzmann, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1927, J-101 p. 299. [GJ - Name a Shrinker who believes, teaches, and confesses this basic Biblical doctrine.]

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    Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "Friends Are the Means of Grace - No, Really - Full...":

    This post reminded me of the following information that I ran across while researching the MLC homosexual romp video. It's a flyer for the January 21, 2009 Evangelism Day at WELS' Martin Luther College.

    http://www.mlc-wels.edu/home/administration/pastor/evangelismday/evanday2009sched/

    The long list of workshops the students are subjected to are provided by the Who's Who in the Emergent Church Growth movement. The topics and descriptions are also full of CGM's solutions to their belief that the Holy Spirit's work through Word and Sacrament alone is not supremely and solely efficacious.

    Luther Anticipated Valleskey's Spoiling the Egyptians Justification for Church Growth Doctrine



    Figs From Thistles? Not According to Martin Luther


    Luther, House Postil: "No one is so foolish as to go into a field full of thorns and thistles and look for grapes and figs. Such fruits we seek on a different plant, which is not so full of barbs and prickles. The same thing happens in our gardens. Seeing a tree full of apples or pears, everybody exclaims: Ah, what a fine tree that is! Again, where there is no fruit on a tree or the fruit is worm-eaten, cracked, and misshapen, everybody says the tree is worthless, fit to be cut down and cast into the fire, so that a better tree may be planted in its place. These tests, the Lord says, you must apply to the false prophets, and you will not make a mistake, no matter how good their appearance may be. If f wolf had put on twenty sheepskins, still you must know him to be a wolf and not be deceived by him." C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, trans. W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House 1897, p. 412.



    "There is a fourth option, which is the choice of this writer. It is the same kind of approach Lawrence Crabb, a Christian counselor, advocates over against the use of secular counseling resources. He calls it 'spoiling the Egyptians' (Exodus 12:36, KJV), after the action of Israel at the time they left Egypt, when they took from the Egyptians what would stand them in good stead on their journey." David J. Valleskey, "The Church Growth Movement: An Evaluation," Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Spring, 1991 88, p. 115. Holidaysburg, Pa, 10-15-90. Exodus 12:36.                                                     

    "Yet this writer is confident we won't go astray in adopting a 'spoiling the Egyptians' approach to the various Church Growth Movement sociological principles and the research that produced them." David J. Valleskey, "The Church Growth Movement: An Evaluation," Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Spring, 1991 88, p. 116. Exodus 12:36.                                                        

    Psalms 119:160-163 (KJV)  Thy word true the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments for ever. {161} SCHIN. Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. {162} I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. {163} I hate and abhor lying: thy law do I love.       
                                                           
                                                           
    "In reading Prof. Valleskey's article, I did not see him practicing the art of exegesis when he referred to "spoiling the Egyptians," but merely using that incident as an illustration to make his point..Your article published in the Orthodox Lutheran Forum leaves little room for the reader to conclude anything but the inference that Prof. Valleskey is an inept exegete, at least on this point. And that he advocates borrowing false doctrine from false teachers." District President Marcus Nitz, Letter to Pastor Gregory L. Jackson, October 23, 1991. [GJ - Nitz got one thing right!]                                                          

    "Speaking of Promise Keepers, it seems we lost one of our pastors over the subject a few weeks ago. A classmate of mine, Bob Rhyne, finally resigned from the WELS. It remains to be seen whether or not his church will follow him. I have it on good authority that he has quite a following in the congregation. There are two more [WELS pastors] 'on the ropes,' and ready to leave also. Isn't it ironic that by 'spoiling the Egyptians,' we've actually lost more pastors than we've gained. Funny, but you don't see flocks of ELCA, LC-MS, or CLC pastors coming over to us so that they can take advantage of our unique take on the Church Growth Movement! I keep warning our leaders that the stuff is poison in any amount." Letter to Gregory L. Jackson, 7-8-96.                                                      

    "In Crabb's works pagan theorists are praised, while the efforts of truly biblical counselors are debunked as 'nothing buttery.' Crabb also decries the teachings of integrationists as 'tossed salad.' But Palizay and the Bobgans demonstrate that Crabb himself is as fully an integrationist as those from whom he attempts (unsuccessfully) to divorce himself. Crabb's well-known allusion to 'spoiling the Egyptians' is singularly inept. The Egyptians were spoiled of clothes, silver, and gold--not values, ideas, beliefs and methodologies having to do with the problems in living address by counselors...It is one thing to buy automobiles manufactured by unregenerate Sintoists; it is another to turn to the unsaved for counseling beliefs and practices." Martin and Deidre Bobgan, Prophets of Psychoheresy I, "Comments," by Jay E. Adams Santa Barbara: Eastgate Publishers, 1989, p. 105f.                                                  

    "Like other integrationists, Crabb seeks to combine psychological theories and therapies with the Bible. In his book Effective Biblical Counseling, he describes his method of integration as 'Spoiling the Egyptians.' The label 'Egyptians' represents psychological and psychiatric theorists." Martin and Deidre Bobgan, Prophets of Psychoheresy I, Santa Barbara: Eastgate Publishers, 1989, p. 111.                                                         

    "To asset that the Christian counselor or pastor cannot use or adapt any technique or procedure that was discovered by or used in psychotherapy goes beyond Scripture. Crabb's appraoch using the analogy of 'spoiling the Egyptians,' rejected by the authors, has validity. Unscriptural principles and presuppositions must be rejected." Review of Psychoheresy: The Psychological Seduction of Christianity, by Martin and Deidre Bobgan, Santa Barbara: Eastgate Publishers, 1987. Armin W. Schuetze, Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Fall, 1991 88, p. 308.                                                       


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    VALLESKEY

    CHURCH GROWTH QUOTATIONS



    "2. The distinction between a witness and an evangelist. a. Some are evangelists (Eph. 4:11-12) 1) C. Peter Wagner: 'The average church can realistically expect that approximately 10 per cent of its active adult members will have been given the gift of evangelist' (Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow, Glendale: Gospel Light, 1979, p. 176)...3) but don't expect everyone to have that gift – C. Peter Wagner (op. cit.): 'It is a misunderstanding of biblical teaching, in my opinion, to try to convince every Christian that he or she has to be sharing the faith constantly as a part of their duty to the Master."

    Prof. David J. Valleskey, Class Notes, The Theology and Practice of Evangelism, PT 358A p. 51. [C. Peter Wagner is a prominent Church Growth leader.]



    "Assignments:...2. Prepare a term paper on the subject of evangelism and/or church growth."
    Prof. David J. Valleskey, Class Notes, The Theology and Practice of Evangelism, PT 358A p. 3.



    "Useful Ideas for My Ministry from the Church Growth Movement...The Church Growth Movement—Strengths and Weaknesses...The Church Growth Movement—An Evaluation...Church Growth Sounds Good, But...Dangers of the Church Growth Movement...Friendship Evangelism...Rationale for Friendship Evangelism..."

    Prof. David J. Valleskey, Class Notes, The Theology and Practice of Evangelism, PT 358A



    Theses very close to Valleskey's Quarterly article (Spring, 1991, p. 117). Questionnaire mentions CG "underemphasizing the Means of Grace as the power of the Holy Spirit." [That is like saying that Lutherans underemphasize the Assumption of Mary.]

    David J. Valleskey, P.T. 418, The Church Growth Movement—An Evaluation, Summer Quarter, Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, June 23-July 11, 1986



    "This downplaying of the importance of the means of grace on the part of many in the Church Growth Movement would seem to stem from several factors." [That is like saying that many Lutherans downplay the infallibility of the pope.]

    David J. Valleskey, "The Church Growth Movement—An Evaluation," Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Spring, 1991 88, p. 105. Holidaysburg, 10-15-90



    "There is a fourth option, which is the choice of this writer. It is the same kind of approach Lawrence Crabb, a Christian counselor, advocates over against the use of secular counseling resources. He calls it 'spoiling the Egyptians' (Exodus 12:36, KJV), after the action of Israel at the time they left Egypt, when they took from the Egyptians what would stand them in good stead on their journey."

    David J. Valleskey, "The Church Growth Movement—An Evaluation," Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Spring, 1991 88, p. 115. Holidaysburg, Pa, 10-15-90. Exodus 12:36.



    "Yet this writer is confident we won't go astray in adopting a 'spoiling the Egyptians' approach to the various Church Growth Movement sociological principles and the research that produced them."

    David J. Valleskey, "The Church Growth Movement—An Evaluation," Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Spring, 1991 88, p. 116. Exodus 12:36.



    "The instructor may find it best not to distribute the Spiritual Gifts Analysis (pp. 33-49) until the end of the course, when the time has come for class members to work through it."

    David J. Valleskey, Gifted to Serve, Parish Services, WELS. [Spiritual Gift Analysis was widely promoted through Fuller Seminary.]



    "So, what should the members of St. John evangelism committee do with [C. Peter Wagner's] Your Church Can Grow?...They can probably pick up a few helpful hints. They might, for example, appreciate research which provides an insight into the way unchurched people think."

    Prof. David Valleskey, "The Church Growth Movement, Just Gathering People or Building the Church?" The Northwestern Lutheran, May 5, 1991, p. 185. See Oct 15 NWL Jeb Schaefer editorial



    Bob: "..I'd like to share with you a book I came across the other day. It's interesting, easy to read, and may be the answer to our problem..." [Could this be the Bible, The Book of Concord, What Luther Says?] "Its title is Your Church Can Grow, and it's filled with all sorts of practical hints that could help us turn things around here." Author: "Bob didn't realize it at the time, but in his browsing he had stumbled upon one of many similar books written from the perspective of the church growth movement, books with such titles as How to Grow a Church, Ten Steps for Church Growth, Church Growth: Strategies that Work, and Leading Your Church to Growth."

    Prof. David Valleskey, "The Church Growth Movement, Just Gathering People or Building the Church?" The Northwestern Lutheran, May 5, 1991, p. 184.



    "Accordingly, when Christ says, Disciple (matheteusate) all nations by baptizing them, matheteusate can mean nothing other than to make disciples, to turn unbelievers into believers; for that is the Spirit-produced effect of baptism."

    David J. Valleskey, We Believe—Therefore We Speak, The Theology and Practice of Evangelism, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1995, p. 127. Matthew 28:18-20. [Fuller Seminary promotes the manufacture of disciples.]



    "It is true that only God the Holy Spirit can effect the end result of making a disciple out of an unbeliever; all we can do is sow the seed. But it is also true that our Lord, by speaking specifically of making disciples in his commission to his church, is encouraging it to keep that intended goal in mind when it does its seed sowing."

    David J. Valleskey, We Believe—Therefore We Speak, The Theology and Practice of Evangelism, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1995, p. 135. Matthew 28:18-20



    "Is the mission of the church to preach the gospel or to make disciples? The two--preaching the gospel and making disciples--are closely connected. Making disciples is the goal, or end result, our Lord had in mind. He does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance and faith. He wants all to be saved, to come to a heart knowledge of the truth. Preaching the gospel (employing the means of grace) is the means by which the Lord will achieve his goal of making disciples and so of gathering in his elect before he returns."

    David J. Valleskey, We Believe—Therefore We Speak, The Theology and Practice of Evangelism, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1995, p. 134.



    "David Hubbard, president Fuller Seminary: 'Not all of us have the gift of evangelism. I admire people who can lead others to Jesus Christ right on the spot...."

    Prof. David J. Valleskey, Class Notes, The Theology and Practice of Evangelism, PT 358A p. 52.



    "Introduction to the Church Growth Movement by Lutheran authors, Hunter, Kent R., Foundations for Church Growth (New Haven, MO: Leader Publishing Co., 1983) - the author, an LC-MS clergyman who has now set up his own church growth consulting service, performs the valuable service in this 204 page book of presenting an introduction to church growth goals and terminology. Werning, Waldo, Vision and Strategy for Church Growth, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1977) - Werning, active for years in LC-MS stewardship work, explains the foundations, presuppositions and principles of church growth and then shows how a congregation can benefit from making use of certain church growth principles - of the two books listed in this category, Werning's is the more practical."

    Prof. David J. Valleskey, Class Notes, The Theology and Practice of Evangelism, PT 358A p. 6.



    "3. Establish your goals. a. definition: goals are those things that are required for an organization to carry out its objectives ('How') 1) short-range targets 2) SMART, Specific...Measureable...Acceptable...Realistic...Timed...."

    Prof. David J. Valleskey, Class Notes, The Theology and Practice of Evangelism, PT 358A p. 101.



    "But a cold heart can beat close to a correct mind. There are too many churches with impeccable credentials for orthodox theology whose outreach is almost nil. They are 'sound,' but they are sound asleep." Leighton Ford, The Christian Persuader. Valleskey asks: "true to a certain degree of us?"

    Prof. David J. Valleskey, Class Notes, The Theology and Practice of Evangelism, PT 358A p. 24.



    "a receptivity rating scale (adapted by Win and Charles Arn in The Master's Plan for Making Disciples, p. 91...."

    Prof. David J. Valleskey, Class Notes, The Theology and Practice of Evangelism, PT 358A p. 58. [More Church Growth manufacturing of disciples.]



    "The term 'spiritual breathing' originated with Dr. William Bright in his booklet, 'Have You Made the Wonderful Discovery of the Spirit-filled Life?'"

    David Valleskey, Forest Bivens, New Life in Christ, September, 1981 p. 1. [Does anyone wonder why so many Mequon graduates have turned Pentecostal?]

    Church Growth at Ft. Wayne
    "In an initial burst of enthusiasm reflecting Preus's concern for missions, the Fort Wayne faculty had petitioned the 1977 convention of the Missouri Synod to have each of its subdivisions or districts "make a thorough study of the Church Growth materials." What is more, the districts were to be urged to "organize, equip, and place into action all of the Church Growth principles as needed in the evangelization of our nation and the world under the norms of the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions." By the time of the 1986 synodical convention, however, the same faculty, while appreciating the "valuable lessons of common sense" to be learned from Church Growth, asked that "the Synod warn against the Arminian and charismatic nature of the church-growth movement."
                Kurt E. Marquart, "Robert D. Preus," Handbook of Evangelical Theologians, ed., Walter A. Elwell, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1995, pp. 353-65. Reprinted in CN, 6-26-95, p. 21.  

    Wagner, Pentecostal Baptist, Likes Werning’s Work
    Who’s Who in Church Growth!
    "Waldo Werning is director of the Stewardship Growth Center of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and an adjunct professor at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. He teaches a seminar course and conducts seminars which focus on 'supply side stewardship,' integrating church growth principles with a stewardship program."
                C. Peter Wagner, ed., with Win Arn and Elmer Towns, Church Growth: The State of the Art, Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986, p. 274.         

    Like A Mighty Shallow Creek
    "A second example of this homogenization is Waldo J. Werning's Vision and Strategy for Church Growth, published by Moody Press in 1977." [Ed. note: The foreword is by C. Peter Wagner. Werning studied at Fuller.] "Werning is a Missouri Synod Lutheran executive. Although Werning's denominational publishing house did not publish his book, it is nevertheless an attempt by Werning to create an instrument for church growth among Missouri Synod Lutherans. If you read Werning, you can readily see that he is exceedingly eclectic, drawing from everywhere, including his own tradition."
                Delos Miles, Church Growth, A Mighty River, Nashville: Broadman Press, 1981, p. 33f.      

    OK, I Joined to Get the List
    Lutheran members of the North American Society for Church Growth: Harold S. Drageger, Grace Lutheran, Visalia, CA; Bradley Hoefs, King of Kings Lutheran, Omaha, NE; Kent Hunter, Church Growth Center, Corunna, IN; Elmer Matthias, Emeritus Concordia St. Louis, MO; Dale Olson, Cross of Hope Lutheran, Ramsey, MN; Waldo J. Werning, Stewardship Growth Center, Ft. Wayne, IN; Gregory L. Jackson, Columbus, OH. Doris M. Wagner, Fuller Theological Seminary, December 10, 1991 

    WELS Noticed and Liked
    "There are other church growth programs which have been developed along more conservative lines. Here we are thinking of adaptations of McGavran's principles such as developed by Waldo J. Werning of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. In his study entitled "Vision and Strategy for Church Growth" Werning has modified some of McGavran's extreme positions. Using some of his own adaptations Werning has conducted many seminars and workshops in applying church growth principles to a local congregational setting in America." [Werning is Who's Who in Church Growth]
                Ernst H. Wendland, "Church Growth Theology," Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, April, 1981, 78, p. 117.      

    Valleskey Loves Werning’s Doctrine
    "Introduction to the Church Growth Movement by Lutheran authors, Hunter, Kent R., Foundations for Church Growth (New Haven, MO: Leader Publishing Co., 1983) - the author, an LC-MS clergyman who has now set up his own church growth consulting service, performs the valuable service in this 204 page book of presenting an introduction to church growth goals and terminology. Werning, Waldo, Vision and Strategy for Church Growth, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1977) - Werning, active for years in LC-MS stewardship work, explains the foundations, presuppositions and principles of church growth and then shows how a congregation can benefit from making use of certain church growth principles - of the two books listed in this category, Werning's is the more practical."
                Prof. David J. Valleskey, Class Notes, The Theology and Practice of Evangelism, PT 358A p. 6.      

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    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Luther Anticipated Valleskey's Spoiling the Egypti...":

    WELS made one grievous error after another by being so permissive and tolerant of Valleskey. The mistaken reverence for Valleskey seems to place him between above Luther next to Christ.