GJ - Not surprisingly, the Central Southern Babtist District of WELS is having a doctrinal confab to promote Kokomo Justification. I wrote before that some pastors tried to do this at another gathering, and the layman ate their lunch, doctrinally speaking.
This April meeting is a great opportunity to watch, listen, and confront false doctrine. All the CG gurus love Kokomo Justification (UOJ) because the Pietistic error simply erases all need for sound doctrine. It is the Olestra of Christian doctrine, because no one can absorb it - including the UOJ Stormtroopers themselves.
Olestra was invented by certain chemistry wizards so people could eat fatty foods all day and not gain weight. Olestra cannot be used by the body. I know people who tested it by eating Olestra snacks, not realizing what the body does to indigestible food. To spare the readers, let me simply observe that the results were immediate, volcanic, and long-lasting.
Walther's Law and Gospel has many good insights in it, especially when he quoted Luther. Nevertheless, his Luther lectures also touch on UOJ, which remains like an alien lump in a good book. Synodical Lutherans jump at the suggestion that Walther might have erred in his Human Nature, although they are quick to pan Luther.
Likewise, Valleskey stumbled badly trying to blend UOJ with his hodge-podge of Christian doctrine in We Believe, Therefore We Speak.
No one can make sense out of UOJ, so they leave the statements alone - like Delphic oracles, to be understood differently by each person. Some hear the Atonement, so UOJ is the Atonement (contrary to the facts). Others hear Universalism (they are condemned as trouble-makers). Still others hear Gospel Reductionism, another form of Universalism. Those people are the best Shrinkers, but they are cautioned not to use an ELCA/Seminex term like Gospel Reductionism. No, far better to cloak this Misthaufen with confusing doctrinal terms.
Many times a summary statement gives away the agenda, thus in FIC:
"Faith: the personal touch
Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we are personally justified, as we are given the gift of faith.
Author: Jon D. Buchholz
God loves all people. Jesus died for all people. God’s verdict of “not-guilty” stands for all people.
But not all people are going to heaven."
DP Buchholz has tried to clean up Kokomo, but that is like cleaning up after Olestra - difficult, painful, and ultimately a failure.
Notice two characteristics of Kokomo - "the verdict" (which is Walther's absolution of the entire world) and "personal justification" (which implies Objective Justification, another term for everyone absolved without faith).
Like all false doctrine, and the most effective lies, UOJ begins with some facts and twists them. Christ did die for the sins of the world. That is the Atonement, the Reconciliation, the message of the Gospel. But that cannot be blended with forensic justification in the same breath.
Forensic justification is a term from the Reformation, meaning that God declares the individual believer forgiven of his sins. When the pure Word of God is preached, the Gospel treasure is distributed by the Holy Spirit and received in faith by individuals. We use the term Means of Grace to summarize God's use of the Word and Sacraments to convey Christ and His Atonement to us.
Grace cannot come to people without the Means of Grace, because God has appointed those instruments to do His work and give us confidence in His mercy.
The UOJ advocates continue to claim that God has absolved the entire world--given everyone grace--without the Means of Grace, so their opinion is pure Enthusiasm. I can find that opinion in Walther's Easter absolution sermon and in the work of Halle Pietists, but I cannot find that insight in the Scriptures, Luther, the Book of Concord, or any source before the era of Pietism.
UOJ Stormtroopers try to wiggle out of Enthusiasm by using rationalism. "Christ took on our sins on the cross, so that made everyone righteous the moment He died." (Or they misuse Romans 4:24-25 to say - at His resurrection. Now they combine the two because I have chided them about the Moment of World Absolution.)
They cannot hide their rationalism by calling it Gospel. The Scriptures simply do not say that the world became sin-free the moment Christ died, alternatively the moment He rose from the dead, or in the new combo - the moment He died and rose again.
The double-justification scheme comes from the Wood translation of Knapp, the Halle Pietist. Was Wood a Lutheran? No. Was Knapp a doctrinal Lutheran? Hardly. Knapp was not even an orthodox Trinitarian. He believed that the Trinitarian confession of the Church was at odds with the first era of Christianity.
Once again, the Unitarian-Universalists have donated a book to Harvard about Knapp, who agreed with them! Your precious advocate of Objective and Subjective Justification provided a historical argument for Unitarianism. To this effect I will quote the authority of George Christian Knapp an eminent Trinitarian writer, whose " Lectures on Christian Theology," as translated by Leonard Woods, Jr., are a standard work with Trinitarian believers. After a full and learned discussion of the whole subject, he distinctly admits that it is " impossible to prove the agreement of the earliest Christian writers with the common Orthodox doctrine as established in the fourth century." Vol. I. pp. 294, 299, &c.