The Glory Has Departed

Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central Daylight Time.
April 11th - First Greek Romans Lesson 7 PM CDT

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

which works as too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Calov on Justification by Faith Alone.
Prolific Genius of the Post-Concord Theologians

Although Christ has acquired for us the remission of sins, justification, and sonship, God just the same does not justify us prior to our faith. Nor do we become God's children in Christ in such a way that justification in the mind of God takes place before we believe.[1]

[1] Apodixis Articulorum Fidei, Lueneburg, 1684. Cited with approval in Robert D. Preus, Justification and Rome, St. Louis: Concordia Academic Press 1997, p. 131n.       


GJ - See this excellent essay on Calov, by Timoth Schmeling, quoted in part below.

Timothy R. Schmeling

It has been said that Johann Gerhard (1582-1637) was third in the series of Lutheranism’s most preeminent theologians and after him there was no fourth (Fischer. The Life of Johann Gerhard. 98-99). First and second place naturally belong to Martin Luther (1483-1546) and Martin Chemnitz (1522-1586) respectively. If one were to speak of a fourth in this distinguished list, the position would no doubt have been assigned to Abraham Calov.

Abraham Calov ranks not only as one of the greatest theologians in Lutheranism, but also as one of the greatest teachers in Christendom. He was a man of exceptional learning and scholastic tendencies. At the same time, he was a man of deep piety and practicality. Very few were impartial in their assessment of Abraham Calov. He was a very polarizing individual. His opponents feared him, but his adherents loved him.

The legacy of Abraham Calov has been tarnished over time. Prior to the recent renaissance, sparked by the rediscovery of missing portions of the Codex Epistolarum theologicarum (his collected letters), Calov research had depicted him as the prototype of a controversialist and a preacher of an unattainable doctrinal orthodoxy. This questionable caricature can be explained by a number of factors. First of all there has been a strong bias against Lutheran Orthodoxy even within Lutheranism. Gotthold Lessing (1729-1781) writes, “Many people want to be Christians, but certainly not Wittenberg Lutheran Christians; certainly not Christians of Calov’s grace” (Lessing. Gesammelte Werke. 170).

In his revisionist History of Lutheranism, Eric Gritsch [GJ - Jim Heiser buddy] denounces the doctrines of verbal inspiration and fellowship as taught by Calov and finally writes him off as Ultraconservative (Gritsch. A History of Lutheranism. 135). Second, the chief nineteenth century biographer of Abraham Calov was a mediating theologian named August Tholuck (1799-1877). This Prussian Union historian [GJ - Halle University, Hoenecke mentor] had more in common with Calov’s syncretistic arch-nemesis than with Calov. Third, there is very little primary source material available on Calov and much of it may not have survived the war or is possibly buried somewhere in the Bibliotheca Gdanska PAN (formerly Stadtsbibliothek Danzig). Finally Calov’s research is a difficult task due to the linguistic, cultural, and intellectual barriers that divide us from this critical juncture in Lutheran history. In spite of these facts, it is the purpose of this paper to help familiarize Lutheranism with one of its lost teachers.