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.
Wednesdays Romans 1-5 in Greek

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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jon Techlin Wrote On Light From Light

Jon Techlin
I think Mr. Palmer’s point is brilliant. Using the passive voice is an act of cowardice. If those who made this decision were proud of their actions, they would state with the active voice, “I, Pastor Glende/We, the church council … have decided/have voted to … ”

Instead they intentionally use passive verbage in order to distance themselves from the decision they made, as if this decision came into being on its own, without a creator, through the Big Bang. Using the passive voice in explaining one’s actions betrays a reluctance to take responsibility for them.
This reminds me of a situation where I witnessed an adult questioning a guilty child over a broken dish. The adult asked, “What happened?” The child responded, “It broke.”

Indeed. No one broke it. It just broke.

No one kicked my brother out of the church. He was just kicked out.

If Hottentots Are Already Justified, Why Attend Church?

AC V has left a new comment on your post "Heidenreich and the LutherQueasies":

This is practical theology in the light of justification by faith alone. People ask, "If I'm fully and freely forgiven of all my sins by Christ on the cross, then why should I come to church?" UOJ answers, "Because you need to be reminded of UOJ, show your appreciation for UOJ, and encourage others in UOJ." The Scriptures and the Confessions say, "You need to come to church because you daily sin much and the means of grace will give you the actual forgiveness of sins."

I've come to believe and confess that a major reason why fewer (W)ELS & LCMS people are attending worship services is because of UOJ. It's the reason Private Confession and Absolution fell into disuse. It's the reason Communion is offered infrequently. It's the reason sermons are Power Point pep talks. Why cherish and encourage the regular use of the means of grace when it's only a reminder of the forgiveness of sins and not the actual, real-time forgiveness of sins?


Scott E. Jungen has left a new comment on your post "If Hottentots Are Already Justified, Why Attend Ch...":

"...pure scripture-based presentations of law and gospel". Are these people watching the same ToG that I have watched? All I've seen is Pastor Jeske walking around in a suit giving Dr. Phil-like prescriptions to lead a better life on earth.

Scott E. Jungen

Back from the Dead, Carl Vehse Defends the Felononious Founders of the Missouri Synod

"Carl Vehse" is a regular writer for LutherQuest.
I would not pick a felon's name as a nom de plume.

Carl Vehse said...
Why are you providing a link to such a erroneous website? Even the title of the website's thread, "Pietism's Saxon Migration Began with Kidnapping Three People, Violating the Confessional, Leading a Riot, And Robbery" is inaccurate. Only two people were kidnapped and not as the thread describes; there was no violating of the confessional, primarily because the pastor was not really a pastor; there was no riot; and any robbery was primarily done by Martin Stephan. The website thread bases its history on a equally, if not more, inaccurate book written by Philip Stephan, a descendent of deposed Missouri Saxon Bishop Martin Stephan.

A key document often referenced throughout Philip Stephan’s book, especially on controversial claims with no other substantiating historical documentation is Frederick William (Wilhelm Friedrich) Koepchen’s unpublished manuscript, “Martin Stephan and the Saxon Emigration of 1838.” Rev. Koepchen was a pastor at St. Luke’s Church in New York City in the early 20th century, when he began preparing a manuscript for the centennial anniversary of the 1838 Saxon Emigration.

When Rev. Koepchen died, either in 1935 (per Stephan, p. 5) or in 1936 (per Concordia Historical Institute), his collaborator and editor who ended up completing the manuscript was none other than... Rev. Theodore M. Stephan, the grandson of the deposed Martin Stephan. Rev. Theodore Stephan also wrote in 1929 another unpublished manuscript used repeatedly as a reference in Philip Stephan’s book. Thus Philip Stephan’s book of revisionist history is critically dependent on claims made in unpublished manuscripts, which were finally edited and completed by Theodore Stephan, the grandson of Martin Stephan, based in part on documents contributed by a number of Stephan ancestors.

The most reliable historical book on the events of the Missouri Saxon Emigration is Walter O. Forster's Zion on the Mississippi (Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1953), along with voluminous references to original sources. Forster's book is a revised and expanded version of his Ph.D. Thesis in History at Washington University-St. Louis.

Finally, in what may be "only for the brave" some additional discussion regarding the kidnapping of Walther's niece and nephew, Maria and Theodor Schubert, can be read in the Review, Part III of August R. Suelflow's Servant of the Word: The Life and Ministry of C.F.W. Walther (CPH, St. Louis, 2000). Some additional information about the Schubert children was obtained a number of years ago. According to the records of Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, Missouri, Maria Schubert was born on May 10, 1823, and died on July 19, 1840, at the age of 17, a year and a half after the Olbers arrived at New Orleans. The cause of death was listed as "gallstone fever". Theodor Schubert was one of the first eleven students in the Dresden, Missouri, school started on December 9, 1839, by Carl Walther, Johann Burnger, Ottomar Fuerbringer, and Theodor Brohm. According to Carl S. Meyer (Log Cabin to Luther Tower, CPH, St. Louis, 1965, p. 6) Theodor Schubert had died prior to September 12, 1841, when the remaining students signed a birthday poem for Brohm. No information on Theodor Schubert's death is in church records of Concordia or Trinity (Altenburg), but it is known that some deaths during that difficult time were not recorded.

LPC said...
I link for the intetest of balanced reporting and let the reader decide. I find your reaction funny. For you erroneous reporting is more evil than kidnapping 2 children which you admit Walther did.
Brett Meyer said...
Including the kidnapping and subsequent robbery and abandonment of Stephan I count three (3). Heinous!
Carl Vehse said...
"For you, erroneous reporting is more evil than kidnapping 2 children which you admit Walther did." I pointed out erroneous reporting. I said nothing that would suggest I consider such faulty reporting more evil than kidnapping. What evidence do you have to support your accusation?


GJ - The attorney Carl Vehse was responsible for hiding the children Walther kidnapped from his own father's parsonage, with the help of his brother, who was also a pastor and a Stephan follower.

The attorney Marbach also helped in this felony, so both attorneys were felons for obstructing justice.

The writer has offered the additional material that both children died young in America, which would have been heart-breaking for the family back in Europe.

Zion on the Mississippi is a good book. All the historical documents have to be weighed. The eye-witness accounts are valuable, even when they are not entirely accurate or they engage in outright distortions. People try their best and still get facts wrong. The official archives of the LCA had A. D. Mattson dying in the wrong city and state. How could the official archives be wrong?

Those things happen all the time. History is quite messy and much of it lies buried forever.

Stephan was a known adulterer in his old parish, who should have been removed, following the Scriptures, in Europe, but that would have been difficult, with the Walther brothers fleeing the police and the attorneys lying and hiding the children.

One can remove a pastor or bishop without threatening his life, robbing him of all his goods & all his gold coins, and kidnapping him. Many people realize that the Missouri Synod (St. Louis and Perry County) began with a series of crimes. Lying about the past does not solve any problems in the present.

If UOJ is true because Walther taught it, then people should re-evaluate whether they want to follow a pastor who committed multiple felonies, which gave him:
  1. His niece and nephew in America, contrary to the court, where they died;
  2. Control of the sect;
  3. Acres of free land (which Stephan bought with his own money), plus 40 acres they took back from him;
  4. Two valuable chalices;
  5. Many personal effects;
  6. And a big pile of gold.
The material above was kelmed from Dr. Cruz's Extra Nos.

Church Does Not Have To Be Boring...Or Lutheran...Anymore

bruce-church ( has left a new comment on your post "Trifecta Imperfecta: What Thrivent Hath Put Togeth...":

LCMS youth go to synodical gathering where contemporary worship is put on, and now don't want to attend their boring church back home:

This comment came in on an ancient (March 6th, 2010) post of ours, LCMS Youth Gathering Praise Music Now Comes with a Theological Disclaimer. The commenter was someone who attended the conference as a chaperone. To gain context for the comment, you should read some of the other comments on the original post. Tracy makes some excellent points about the gathering, but what’s interesting to me is that two of the youth who attended NYG no longer attend church because they have seen how church “can be done” and are bored at their home church now.

Some Wondered about Mt. Olivet
In Minneapolis Leaving ELCA -
Less Likely Now

ELCA bishop quits to lead Mount Olivet

  • Article by: ROSE FRENCH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 27, 2011 - 8:35 PM
The Rev. Craig Johnson steps down from largest synod to lead the largest congregation in place of the late Rev. Paul Youngdahl.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Minneapolis Area Synod Bishop Craig Johnson
Photo: Jeffrey Thompson, Star Tribune

The Rev. Craig Johnson, bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is resigning to take over as interim senior pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church.
Johnson, who leads the largest ELCA synod in the country, will now be chief religious leader of the largest ELCA congregation in the country following the death of Mount Olivet's senior pastor, the Rev. Paul Youngdahl, last week.

"My primary role will be to build a foundation for helping the members and staff heal from this trauma and move the congregation forward in its mission," Johnson said Monday.

Johnson, 64, will step down as bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod on July 31 and take over at Mount Olivet in Minneapolis on Aug. 1.

Elected bishop in 2001, Johnson was re-elected June 1, 2007. Bishops serve six-year terms and are limited to two terms in the Minneapolis Area Synod. Johnson's second term was scheduled to end in two years.

John Kapanke, Mount Olivet's vice president, said Johnson is a "known commodity" at Mount Olivet, where he was an associate pastor from 1977 to 1991. He said the church is happy Johnson decided to accept the job leading the congregation of nearly 13,500.

"He's well-respected not just in the Minneapolis Area Synod but throughout the ELCA," Kapanke said. "He was just a logical choice. There's no question in my mind he's the ideal person for this position. We're all grieving over the loss of our senior pastor. God in his wisdom has really sent us a wonderful person to serve that senior pastor role. He's a humble man and wonderful pastor."

Youngdahl, 73, died unexpectedly June 20 after suffering a thoracic aneurysm. He led the church for nearly four decades, taking over from his father, Reuben Youngdahl, who arrived at the church in the late 1930s and was senior pastor until 1968. The father-and-son preachers are largely credited with building Mount Olivet into one of the largest megachurches in the country.

The Minneapolis Area Synod has about 214,000 baptized members and 162 congregations in seven metro counties. Minnesota has more ELCA members than any other state, with close to 800,000 baptized members. Nationwide, the ELCA has nearly 4.5 million members.

Finding a permanent replacement for Johnson could take up to a year or more. An interim synod bishop will likely be appointed in the near future and could serve between six months and a year, ELCA officials say. The synod will hold a special election to find a replacement for Johnson.

John Brooks, a spokesman for the ELCA, said it's not uncommon for bishops like Johnson to leave their posts and return to leading congregations. Johnson, in fact, seems happy to do so.

"Rarely do pastors receive an opportunity to give back to a congregation later in life that has so profoundly shaped their ministry," Johnson said. "Rarely are we able to honor the legacy of a friend, mentor and colleague."


GJ - How convenient - to keep Mt. Olivet from bolting. The interim has the advantage of a previous long association with the congregation.

So far, the largest congregations in ELCA have been the ones to leave first. They are more independent in spirit.

Mt. Olivet, with 900 staff, has more employees than most congregations have members.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bored Makes Sister-in-Law Read LutherQueasy

bored has left a new comment on your post "Heidenreich and the LutherQueasies":

I introduced my sister-in-law to Lutherquest this morning. She called me back twenty minutes later and said " huh... I dunno, seems more like Loser-quest to me".

The lady hath a fine tuned wit.

Trifecta Imperfecta:
What Thrivent Hath Put Together (with ELCA),
Let Not Man Put Asunder.
Walther's Dream of Lutheran Union, via UOJ, Achieved


An independent, liberal pan-Lutheran newspaper serving the Greater Twin Cities area

Featured Stories, National Lutheran News

Is there a conservative Lutheran coalition on the horizon?

Leaders within three U.S. Lutheran church bodies are contemplating a resurrection. They were once part of a century-old partnership called The Synodical Conference (SC). It once included a number of Lutheran synods now merged into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but all of them ended their SC connections decades ago.

When the SC started winding down in the early 1960s, there were three members — the relatively small Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS), headquartered in Mankato, Minnesota; the middle-sized Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), centered in Milwaukee; and the large (by U.S. Lutheran standards) Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), based in St. Louis.

After nearly a decade of voicing their misgivings about LCMS’ commitment to Lutheran confessionalism, the two smaller members of SC decided their larger partner was no longer fit to be a member of the group. That left LCMS on the outside, with ELS and WELS remaining.

The Rev. Mark Schroeder, president of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, was featured presenter at the Emmaus Conference, a gathering of UOJ Lutherans held in Tacoma, Washington.
“True confessionalists” insist on adherence to the unaltered version of the Augsburg Confession.
The issue that created the standoff, and the glue that previously held the SC together, was a commitment to a faithful adherance to the Lutheran confessions. The idea was (and still is) that the charter document of the Lutheran Reformation, the Augsburg Confession, is foundational for faithful Lutheranism. The Augsburg Confession, first presented in Augsburg, Germany, in 1530, was later revised by its chief author, Philip Melanchthon, so “true confessionalists” insist on adherance to the unaltered (original) version.

Underlying this confessional Lutheran posture is something even more fundamental. Confessional Lutherans are convinced that the Christian Scriptures, in all their details, are universally accurate and reliable. Expressions like “literally true,” “infallible,” and “inerrant” are sometimes used to describe the Bible’s content.

Differences define the moment

By 1960 the leaders of ELS and WELS increasingly believed that the LCMS was no longer committed to this understanding of the Bible and its content. They were vindicated in this belief, they thought, when the LCMS declared pulpit and altar fellowship with The American Lutheran Church (The ALC) a decade later. (The ALC, like the LCA, which merged to form the ELCA, had by then moved away from language of “biblical literalism” and “infallibility.”)

What led the LCMS toward an apparent less rigorous biblical understanding? To be accurate, some within the LCMS never moved away from their very conservative stance. (They would have been candidates for continued membership in the SC, if individuals had been eligible to belong). Many observers of the U.S. Lutheran Church scene in the 1960s and 1970s believed that some of the LCMS theologians began traveling to Europe for advanced theological studies and bringing their discoveries and insights back to the U.S. In time, some of these ideas “infiltrated” (to use a term favored by the conservatives) the teaching program at Concordia Seminary, the flagship LCMS seminary in St. Louis.

Led by a firebrand LCMS pastor in rural Missouri, accusations were lodged and the seminary president was branded a false teacher. When he resigned, most of the faculty went with him. Most of these scholars migrated to teaching positions in schools operated by the ALC or the LCA (finding themselves, eventually, in the ELCA).

A time to re-examine common beliefs

Now, 40 years after this showdown, with the “cleansing” that drove out what is now commonly referred to as “the moderates” (conservatives called them “liberals” or “radicals”), LCMS leaders may be ready to seriously consider a resurrected Synodical Conference with the ELS and the WELS.

Evidence of this readiness is a “free conference” of conservative Lutheran theologians held in Tacoma, Washington, in May. The fourth annual “Emmaus Conference” was sponsored and hosted by WELS pastors in the Puget Sound area. The lineup of presenters was remarkable. A major paper (almost 50 pages!) on Lutheran fellowship was delivered by the Rev. Mark Schroeder, president of WELS. Two responses were offered, one each by the Rev. John Molstad, president of ELS and the Rev. Matthew Harrison, president of LCMS. The general tone of the meeting was one of collegiality. The three speakers were clearly in essential agreement with one another.

In advance of the Tacoma meeting, the Rev. Anthony Bertram, an LCMS pastor, wrote on his Internet blog, “I think it is great that the presidents from the three main confessional Lutheran churches in America are going to be together in one place. When was the last time this happened in public?”
It may be the first time it has happened in a long time, but it won’t be the last. Next year’s Emmaus Conference will feature the same three speakers. Molstad will be the presenter, with the other two presidents responding.

Is the Synodical Conference making a comeback? Stay tuned.

A brief timeline of the Synodical Conference

The Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America (SC) was organized, including the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), and the Norwegian Synod, to work together on evangelism.
The SC gathered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and developed a program of evangelical outreach to African Americans and American Indians.
The Slovak Synod joined the SC.
The Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) joined the SC after it broke away from the Norwegian Synod.
The SC established the Lutheran Deaconess Association.
The ELS withdrew from the SC after severing its relationship with the LCMS over doctrinal issues.
About 70 pastors and congregations withdrew from the WELS and formed the Church of the Lutheran Confession (CLC) because the WELS continued in relationship with the LCMS.
The WELS officially acknowledged doctrinal differences with the LCMS, breaking fellowship with that group.
The SC was dissolved.
Ichabod, The Glory Has Departed, Published

CFW Walther, Pietist and Head Case.
Brittle Tyrant in the Making

P. Stephan's In Pursuit of Religious Freedom has good insights about the founder of the Missouri Synod.

The Stephan congregation and associated pastors were Pietists. Stephan himself went to Halle University, where Knapp was the famous lecturer and creator of the double-justification scheme, as translated by Woods. Stephan's education was interrupted and he continued at Leipzig.

Stephan's congregation was connected to Zinzendorf through the land given to it by the famous count. Mission societies were typically Pietistic, so American Lutheran groups were tied to that ideology. In fact, Muhlenberg was sent to America (from Halle) to counter Zinzendorf's trip there. Z used an assumed name.

So let's drop the notion that Walther came to America to rescue his adopted land from Pietism. He came over as a Pietist, with Pietists, led by a Halle-trained Pietist. He was mildly critical of Pietism later, but he never laid a hand on Spener, the founder of Pietism.

Few realize today how sacrosanct Spener's name was at that time. Perhaps many Lutherans saw the Halle circle as an antidote to rationalism, but rationalism took over quickly at their citadel. Tholuck (Hoenecke's mentor) was the last of the old breed, and he was pretty rationalistic himself.

When Stephan met Walther, CFW was "more dead than alive." He was starving himself to atone for his sins. Today that would be considered a major mental problem, especially in a man. Unfortunately, many young women suffer from anorexia nervosa, due to their perfectionism. For example, it is a common problem among Notre Dame undergraduate women, who must be extremely competitive to be accepted there.

I have dealt with many medical conditions in doing underwriting, but I only had one man with anorexia nervosa.

Stephan was a dedicated Pietist, but he was known for providing pastoral counseling to individuals. Walther said he owed his life to Stephan, and their mutual accounts agree on that score.

Martin Stephan Forum:
In Germany, Martin Stephan Sr. knew Walther, then a student who was starving himself to death in a form of ascetic pietism. Stephan reassured Walther that to obtain salvation, he did not need to resort to this practice, and saved this young man's life (by Walther's own admission). Walther received counsel more than once thereafter from Dr. Stephan in Germany.

Unethical Bully and Tyrant
Someone asked me where I got stories about Walther having screaming fits when people opposed him, once he was established as head of the Missouri Synod. These anecdotes are an oral tradition, passed along by Missouri clergy. No one in the LCMS is going to document these stories, because that would be worse than questioning UOJ. Very few outside of Missouri care to deal with the sect's hagiography. Do you, readers, care about Liguori, the Roman Catholic saint (dig that picture in Wiki!), or John Vianney, whose property Missouri bought for the Purple Palace?

One story is that he could no longer travel to the Springfield seminary, because of tensions between him and the faculty.

If those stories are dismissed, we still have Walther kidnapping of two minors, fleeing warrants for his arrest, violating the seal of the confessional, refusing to deal with the bishop while organizing a mob, robbery, and another case of forcible kidnap.

Further evidence of his brittle, dictatorial personality come from his need to dominate and control the other Lutheran groups, such as taking over seminary education and the ludicrous "state synod" idea.

Circular Reasoning
Syn Conference fans work from the assumption that anything Walther did and taught was correct, because Walther was perfect in every possible way. No other denomination is so obsessed with the adoration of one man and his opinions.

Walther selecting and training F. Pieper extended this grasp to the next generation or so. This also applied to Stoeckhardt, whose bizarre manipulation of Romans had to be right, because he agreed with Walther. Forget Luther and everyone else, including the Apostle Paul.

The Brief Confession of 1932, the last effort of F. Pieper, enshrined the Walther mythology for all time. World absolution had to be true because it came from F. Pieper, who studied under Walther. Thus one particular statement trumps everything from the Word of God and the Confessions.

According to Walther/UOJ adherents, Romans 4:25 must teach universal absolution of Hindus and Hottentots because Walther-Pieper-Stoeckhardt said so. The plain meaning of Romans 4 and its transition to Romans 5 is simply set aside.


Joe Krohn has seen the problem with self-contradictory UOJ here:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This or That?

From the WELS website:


1. We believe that God has justified all sinners, that is, he has declared them righteous for the sake of Christ. This is the central message of Scripture upon which the very existence of the church depends. It is a message relevant to people of all times and places, of all races and social levels, for "the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men" (Romans 5:18). All need forgiveness of sins before God, and Scripture proclaims that all have been justified, for "the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men" (Romans 5:18).

2. We believe that individuals receive this free gift of forgiveness not on the basis of their own works, but only through faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). Justifying faith is trust in Christ and his redemptive work. This faith justifies not because of any power it has in itself, but only because of the salvation prepared by God in Christ, which it embraces (Romans 3:28; 4:5). On the other hand, although Jesus died for all, Scripture says that "whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). Unbelievers forfeit the forgiveness won for them by Christ (John 8:24)."

Point one says that all men of all time need forgiveness and that all men of all time have it since they are righteous and justified before God by Christ's death and resurrection...even before they were born or had a chance to receive faith in a Savior.

Point two con volutes point one by saying one receives this free gift by faith...even though they have forgiveness before they do anything at all prior to birth even...BUT, Jesus died for all (This is an atonement statement...even though point one proclaims a universal absolution which is NOT atonement, expiation or propitiation) and even though all men were forgiven, now they are unforgiven by their rejection...even though we are talking about a divine decree by God.  God becomes an indian forgiver...sorry to go non-p.c. which is it?

This concerning the remission of sins from the Augsburg Confession:

"Now, repentance consists properly of these 3] two parts: One is contrition, that is, 4] terrors smiting the conscience through the knowledge of sin; the other is faith, which is born of 5] the Gospel, or of absolution, and believes that for Christ's sake, sins are forgiven, comforts 6] the conscience, and delivers it from terrors. Then good works are bound to follow, which are the fruits of repentance."

And this from The Smalcald Articles:

"1] This office [of the Law] the New Testament retains and urges, as St. Paul, Rom. 1:18 does, saying: The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Again, Rom 3:19: All the world is guilty before God. No man is righteous before Him. And Christ says, John 16:8: The Holy Ghost will reprove the world of sin.

2] This, then, is the thunderbolt of God by which He strikes in a heap [hurls to the ground] both manifest sinners and false saints [hypocrites], and suffers no one to be in the right [declares no one righteous], but drives them all together to terror and despair. This is the hammer, as Jeremiah 23:29 says: Is not My Word like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? This is not activa contritio or manufactured repentance, but passiva contritio [torture of conscience], true sorrow of heart, suffering and sensation of death.

3] This, then, is what it means to begin true repentance; and here man must hear such a sentence as this: You are all of no account, whether you be manifest sinners or saints [in your own opinion]; you all must become different and do otherwise than you now are and are doing [no matter what sort of people you are], whether you are as great, wise, powerful, and holy as you may. Here no one is [righteous, holy], godly, etc.
4] But to this office the New Testament immediately adds the consolatory promise of grace through the Gospel, which must be believed, as Christ declares, Mark 1:15: Repent and believe the Gospel, i.e., become different and do otherwise, and believe My promise. And John, preceding Him, is called a preacher of repentance, however, for the remission of sins, i.e., John was to accuse all, and convict them of being sinners, that they might know what they were before God, and might acknowledge that they were lost men, and might thus be prepared for the Lord, to receive grace, and to expect and accept from Him the remission of sins. Thus also Christ Himself says, Luke 24:47: 6] Repentance and remission of sins must be preached in My name among all nations.

7] But whenever the Law alone, without the Gospel being added exercises this its office there is [nothing else than] death and hell, and man must despair, like Saul and Judas; as St. Paul, Rom. 7:10, says: Through sin the Law killeth. 8] On the other hand, the Gospel brings consolation and remission not only in one way, but through the word and Sacraments, and the like, as we shall hear afterward in order that [thus] there is with the Lord plenteous redemption, as Ps. 130:7 says against the dreadful captivity of sin."

Fraternal Benefit Insurance Bonus Money Goes To ELCA, the Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity

Jimmy James has left a new comment on your post "LutherQueasies, As Seen by Bored":

Hello Brett:

Glad to answer your question. I do seminars about the dangers of churches being united in fellowship with Thrivent.

My reference invokes the following information directly from the Thrivent website:

click the term "fraternal benefit society" in blue and read that Thrivent compares itself to a lodge.

Fraternal Benefit Society

A not-for-profit organization that provides insurance to its members and operates for social, intellectual, educational, charitable, benevolent, moral, fraternal, patriotic or religious purposes for the benefit of its members and the public. These organizations operate under the lodge system, which means a member of the society is a member of a local chapter of the society. Fraternal benefit societies have representative governments, and members share a religious, ethnic, vocational or other common bond.

Now go to "K of C" and note that they consider themselves to be a fraternal benefit society....

Since our founding in 1882, the primary mission of the Knights of Columbus has been to protect families from the financial ruin caused by the death of the breadwinner.

In the beginning, Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney and his fellow Knights “passed the hat” to benefit widows and orphans.

From that humble start, the Order has grown to include top-rated life insurance, long-term care insurance and retirement products.


GJ - There are three main categories of life insurance companies - stock (for profit), mutual (which are very much like stock companies), and lodge or mutual benefit companies.

Thrivent and the Knights of Columbus are in the same category - mutual benefit insurance. The government gives them tax breaks in return for them offering benefits to members. They become members by virtue of buying a product.

Old Jake Preus (father of Bob and JAO, also governor of Minnesota) was involved in founding Lutheran Brotherhood, which was the ALC/LCA side of Lutheran insurance.

Lutheran Brotherhood and AAL (which was more Missouri and WELS) merged a few years back. They used to compete in giving money to the same synodical events. Now they manage to funnel a lot of money outside of the Lutheran Church.

The most troubling aspect of Thrivent is the way they turn the Lutheran groups into their marketing tools. They hand out money however they want in return for membership lists, thank you notes in bulletins, and their logo on a lot of cheap items, displayed at church events. They encourage members and pastors to buy their products because some money will be returned to the congregation or synod. That makes as much sense as using a Discover Card for the cash-back feature.

I have noticed several Lutheran journalists questioning this, until they received their own grants. Lutheran Forum was the first one. Christian News was the second one.

Heidenreich and the LutherQueasies

Daniel Baker has left a new comment on your post "LutherQueasies, As Seen by Bored":

I spent the last couple of hours perusing through the following thread on LutherQuest entitled "Objective Justification, How important is it?"

The thread began on November 3rd, 2004, and petered off on February 18th, 2005. I started in around the December 14th mark, just in time to see a rousing debate begin between Dr. Erich Heidenreich (whose work I am familiar with in a totally unrelated blog, "Lutherans and Procreation"), Pr. Rolf Preus, and a plethora of others (this may be the same thread that Brett Meyer was trying to link to elsewhere; I am uncertain).

I found it particularly enthralling to observe the arguments go around and around, especially when it came to the attacks lodged against Heidenreich and the contentions he raised, both of which I related to completely. As far as attacks are concerned, Pr. Preus went so far as to fallaciously assert that Heidenreich was a "disciple" of Dr. Jackson, when the former asserted he'd never heard of the latter before being wrongly associated with him!

In any case, I'm sure this is all water under the bridge by now, so there is no need to post this on the main page or anything. I just thought I would muse and share my discovery, as well as the link for anyone else who needs a semi-entertaining way to kill (literally) a few hours. It is worth reading, however, to see a thorough defense of Confessional justification theology at the expense of OJ/SJ marauders.

Daniel Baker has left a new comment on your post "LutherQueasies, As Seen by Bored":

Ha! No sooner did I submit my previous comment than did I discover the following recantation (quoted by Brett Meyer here on Ichabod, of all places) of the long thread I just spent so much time reading:

"" (in the comments)



GJ - The man's last name caught my eye. He is related to a Missouri Synod pastor I met in Sturgis. The dentist and I corresponded a little, because I was glad someone else was challenging LQ Enthusiasm.

He provided many good challenges to their fantasies, all from his own analytical thinking. Rolf attacked him, naturally.

As I recall, there was a pause, then Heidenreich surrendered to them. That is where I got the Stormtrooper theme from - the way the UOJ clergy treat the laity.

Rolf will never admit that his father quoted Calov, below, favorably, and added a Quenstedt citation to his repudiation of UOJ.

If anyone questions their precious UOJ, he is accused of being my disciple, and I am accused of being Larry Darby's disciple and WAM.s's disciple, too. Rolf is full of accusations, forgetting that he agreed with the justification by faith chapter I sent to him while I was working on Thy Strong Word. Rolf himself has wavered many times, but his Stormtrooper buddies have re-educated him and brought him back to Enthusiasm.

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Friar

It was the ELM candidates, clergy "coming out" and synodical bishops not discipling congregations and/or pastors that led to the state of the ELCA.  Traditionalists would not have needed to call for a vote had the policy of the ELCA actually been respected and upheld.  But you already know that to be true...

As for me, I have "voted to leave."  I am no longer a pastor of the ELCA (nor am I a pastor of any other group) since I was recently received into the Catholic Church.  God bless those who stay to fight the good fight in the ELCA.  I wish good luck to them.  But for me--the whole Lutheran "experiment" is doomed to fail.   Gladly, the Church goes on.

Blessings to all,

Joe Copeck

Irony Defined

Irony (from the Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία eirōneía, meaning dissimulation or feigned ignorance)   Liddell & Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, v. sub εἰρωνεία-- is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or situation in which there is a sharp incongruity or discordance that goes beyond the simple and evident intention of words or actions. Wikipedia

Examples of irony:
  1. Someone who spends two years in a parish doing political work and the rest of his life telling men how to be parish pastors, avoiding those chores himself;
  2. Pastors who satisfy themselves with an easy MDiv while acting as Professors-of-All- Subjects-in-the-Humanities;
  3. Lutherans who have never been outside of Holy Mother Synod yet have deep insights about what is wrong with everyone else's affiliation;
  4. Clergy who pose as pro-life while taking money from Floyd Luther Stolzenburg;
  5. Lutheran buildings that are erected in honor of an adulterer and named after him;
  6. Ministers who plagiarize Enthusiasts and cry "Foul!" when someone quotes a Lutheran.
  7. Synod Presidents who know nothing when asked about the facts and know everything when running down someone's character, citing the Eighth Commandment for cover.
  8. District Presidents.
  9. Clergy who secretly attend Fuller, Willow Creek, Mars Hill, Exponential and other festering cesspools while shunning faithful Lutherans and driving them out.
  10. Synod bureaucrats who always demand agreement or an abject apology and say in exasperation, "It's not us versus them. We are the synod."
  11. Lutheran church leaders who gather all their wisdom at the feet of Babtists, unless the Babtists shun the NNIV in favor of the KJV. Then them Babtists are ignorant, red-necked buffoons.
  12. Tyrannical Waltherians. No, wait. That is utterly consistent.

PS - Lidell's daughter was the Alice in Alice in Wonderland.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kelm, Bored and C. S. Lewis

Kelm was the sharp end of the spear, like Ziva, for Enthusiasm in WELS. As Mischke said of Kelm, any denomination would be glad to have him. No doubt they would have recognized their publications!

bored has left a new comment on your post "Luther Rocks - All Heresies Begin in the Church":

Lewis may have his faults, but I think that he, more than any other modern practitioner of Apologetics, would pale at the current use of reason to sucker people into church.

Kelm uses human reason to sanction rock 'n roll and popcorn populism. Kelm seeks to employ statistics, psychology, and Progressive strategies to supplant the Holy Spirit.

Lewis, on the other hand, furiously rejected such emblems of post-modernism, and is quite famous
for 'looking backwards' for enlightenment instead of looking forward, as Kelm does. Lewis had very useful insights into the evils of the humanist Zeitgeist of the 20th century. Kelm embraces those evils. Lewis may not have understood or believed the concept that God only deals with man through the Word and Sacrament, but Kelm scorns the notion. Lewis may have had some very important things wrong, but he knelt for the saints of Christendom. Kelm shrugs and thinks he can do better.

I've read Lewis and found Enthusiasm, but Lewis was quick to admit that he was a scholar first and no sort of theologian. Kelm is poor theologian and no sort of scholar whatsoever. Mister Kelm, please do not attempt to justify your teachings by invoking the names of your betters. You only embarrass yourself and make me wish that there was some court in which to sue you for academic fraud--taking my money to teach such crappy college classes.


GJ - I never quote Lewis, but he deserves his due. I have many questions about his theology, including his adoption of the anonymous Christian myth (Rahner). However, I do not like indulging in the Syn Conference habit of condemning anyone not in my synod. (I have Luther, Melanchthon, Chemnitz, Gerhard, and Calov, but few others to quote. Somehow they are enough.)

Hurling anathemas can be a substitute for reading more widely. I like Josh McDowell's Evidence as a collection of data, but his main theme is consistently wrong. That is why suggesting Lewis and McDowell is a bad idea for Lutherans, but ideal for Kelm's crowd.

The NPH apologetics book is Kelmier than Kelm, not Lutheran at all.

In deference to Church Mouse and Dr. Cruz, I now resist calling all Protestants "Reformed," because that is a precise term for Calvinists, who do not like Arminian theology at all. One of the Missouri men, perhaps others, used Reformed for all Protestants, so I followed that trend until lately.

One librarian took me to task for not categorizing Protestants the way he cataloged his books. He joined the Church of Rome.

One must also properly distinguish between Arminian (Decision Theology) and Armenian (Kardashian).

All the Reformation theologians began with Luther and knew his work quite well. The author of Pilgrim's Progress, Bunyan, was far more Lutheran than most Lutheran leaders today. Luther's Galatians was his favorite book, next to the Bible.

My efforts are to get people to appreciate the great Lutheran authors and a good translation of the Bible.

Scott Jungen on the Upper Management
Origin of False Doctrine

Valleskey is worse than Knapp, because Valleskey expresses Universalism in the clearest possible terms.

Scott E. Jungen said... 
How true! When was the last time a congregation went to their pastor and said: "Hey, pastor, please teach us this (name one) false doctrine." Scott E. Jungen


GJ - I remember a kindly WELS pastor saying to me, "Church Growth is the first fad that has come from the top down." DP Seifert pushed him out of the ministry, but Seifert specializes in undercutting pastors.

I studied the origins of CG in all the denominations and saw how carefully Fuller Seminary marketed it to each particular group - the answer to their woes. The leaders all looked into the Palintir of statistics, which showed them enough to terrify them.

The all-seeing statisticians said, "Your denomination will shrink rapidly due to a number of factors. Our sample is so large that we cannot be wrong."

The leaders ran around with their hair on fire, "What shall we do?" Fuller Seminary said, "We have the answer, but it will take a boatload of money and training for all your people."

The wolves lined up like sheep for the slaughter, their lupine brains thoroughly washed, rinsed, and washed again. The top wolves had their middle management wolves trained. The middle management wolves got their underlings trained.

Soon the ambitious saw an easy DMin from Fuller as the ticket for advancement in each sect, yea, even the Roman Catholic Church. They looked in wonder as generic, non-confessional sects grew by attracting generic, non-confessional members of other congregations.

The Shrinkers first got one another established, at denominational expense, in positions of authority. Next they began driving out anyone who questioned their wisdom.

The foundation of Church Shrinkage was lack of faith in God's Word. The denominational leaders were easily terrified because they were entirely pragmatic and materialistic.

UOJ was goose grease under their feet. Knowing the efficacy of the Word would have made them laugh out loud at CG presentations. Instead, they said, "Tell us more. How much will this cost?"

LutherQueasies, As Seen by Bored

bored has left a new comment on your post "Do Not Question an Ankle-Biter":

Wow. I checked out Lutherquest for the first time because of this post.

What a load of pompous asses! The conversation is so over the top. Everybody's trying to outdo everyone else. The spirit reminds me of something...hmm...

If they insulted each other with more class I might conjure up the Roman senate. But, if they insulted each other with less class--cussing and so forth-- I would be reminded of a hip hop battle.

Without sinking to that level I'm not sure what to say!

Ye shall know them by their fruits, I guess.

The Addams Walther Family. Click, click:
Kidnap, Obstructing Justice, Willful Resistance, Armed Robbery, Fraud, Plus Another Kidnapping

CFW and his brother, O. H.--both pastors--kidnapped their niece and nephew from the parsonage of their father.

CFW's attorneys, Marbach and Vehse, cooperated by hiding the children from the police, so they were guilty of obstruction of justice, a felony.

CFW's future mother-in-law hid the children from the police, another felony.

Fleeing an arrest is called willful resistance, which is also a crime. Walther left on the first ship out rather than the Amalia, because arrest warrants were already issued to grab him as soon as possible.

The Amalia sank on the trip to New Orleans, with all lives lost, a fact hailed as a miracle of God's providence by the Missouri historians, since Walther's life was spared.

Soon after arriving in America, Walther violated the seal of the confessional, using craft and deceit to organize a mob, rob, threaten, and kidnap Martin Stephan. Once again he used his future mother-in-law, Buenger, to help carry out his crimes in secret.

Let us reclaim the real Walther.

Bored Responds to Schumacher

bored has left a new comment on your post "LutherQuest Denizen Has a Question about UOJ and L...":

Mr. Schumacher, please leave the passive aggressive tone by the side of the road. If you want to suggest that Luther supports UOJ, then say it in a way befitting a man and be ready to argue with fact and logically cogent sentences.

You wrote:

"You teach that the faith necessary for forgiveness is a trusting in the promise of God that He will forgive, for the sake of Christ’s atoning work, when we come to faith."

Not in least. The faith prescribed in the New Testament is not this complicated doubled-back loop-d'-loop dervish that theologians want to make it. Scripture does not tell us that we need to "have faith in the future realization of forgiveness that God states that he promises to bestow upon those who do not reject the truth, namely those who believe in blah blah" etc.. Satan, I suspect, spends more time squaring off on the shoulders of theologians than anywhere else, and with great glee leads them to over-complicate the message. It is not some hocus pocus formula.

What Scripture teaches is simple. Believe that Jesus Christ is the perfect and complete substitute for every man's sin-infested hide--and His righteousness is substituted for any man's wretchedness when the Holy Spirit works faith in that man's heart. Every believer should take comfort (not license) in knowing that, though he will certainly sin daily until he dies, God sees Christ, (complete righteousness) in the Faithful man and does not hold his sins against him. If a man regularly receives the blessings God has prepared for his Faithful, The Word and Sacrament, the Holy Spirit will arm him with the wisdom and strength to do what he is free in Christ to do: sin less. (But in this, the Holy Spirit is the actor.)

Of course, the simple message of Scripture all falls to pieces when you start teaching that God forgave everybody apart from the influence of the Holy Spirit and the Word. Mr. Schumacher, I hope you consider leaving the theologians aside for awhile and just read the Word without any lens to filter it. Then I will be curious to know if you think that God declares all people righteous irrespective of faith.

Luther Rocks - All Heresies Begin in the Church

Monday, June 27, 2011

"All Heresies Begin In the Church"

Is that not a profound statement?  I had heard this quite recently from a 'seasoned' Lutheran pastor.  It took awhile to sink in.  But when you think about it, where else would a false teaching take root?

"If I understand all of your recent emails correctly, you wish to remain members of Holy Word only if you can convince us of the errors of our ways in regard to my preaching that "we were forgiven by God in Christ before we believed that we are forgiven." - Pr. Don Patterson

"But you have to understand that forgiveness, reconciliation, justification, atonement - all describe the amazing grace of God given for this whole world irrespective our faith or repsonse. (sic) God loves us all and forgives us all long before we do anything at all -" - Pr. Don Patterson

The last Word...

John 16:5-15:  "5 “Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt[a] in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

   12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you."

Scott E. Jungen said...
How true! When was the last time a congregation went to their pastor and said: "Hey, pastor, please teach us this (name one) false doctrine." Scott E. Jungen
LutherRocks said...
What is so profound about the John 16 text is that God did the same with the prophets of the OT as He is here with the Apostles...go and preach my message of sin, righteousness and judgement and the message of the Savior...

WELS, Missouri, and the Little Sect on the Prairie Are Flogging People into the LCMC and the NALC

Oh! Oh! I just thought up a new Church Growth principle. The Syn Conference has been busy driving faithful Lutherans away from them while training the remainder in Enthusiasm.

ELCA has fallen apart. The cause? It is the typical result of Pietism's love and doctrinal indifference turning into rancid political activism. The beneficiaries should be the Little Sect or the Missouri Synod (ELCA's partner for decades) and the Wisconsin Sect.

One must be geographically blessed to be near an ELS parish, because they barely exist as a percentage of all Lutherans in America.

Half of the Wisconsin Sect members live in that state, with 25% in Minnesota and another 25% in Michigan. All the rest are scattered across the remaining 47 states, like nutmeg in a large tureen of egg nog, specks.

Most of Missouri is within 300 miles of St. Louis.

Doctrinal Proximity
Doctrinally, the Little Three are close to the old LCA. They have open communion and Don't Ask Don't Tell communion. DADT communion means not having a notice in the bulletin about closed communion and not blocking the guy in the turban who comes forward.

As I pointed out before, the old LCA may have stated they had open communion but I never saw it in practice. People communed in their own parish, even when they were LCA.

The LCA and ALC instituted women's ordination after old Franklin C. Fry died. He would not even discuss the topic. His granddaughter was ordained. The Little Three have begun women pastors without the obstruction of voting on it first. SPindoktor Mark Schroeder has already done more for women's ordination than Gurgle ever attempted.

Doctrinal Disagreement
ELCA has the most in common with the Little Three in its Gospel Reductionism--Everyone is forgiven and saved--another version of Universal Objective Justification.

In ELCA and the Little Three, forgiveness is ladled out rather sloppily. There is no mercy for anyone who disagrees with Whorely Mother Synod. But, if a synodical buddy is caught in felonies, abuse of members, or good old fashioned Sodomy, grace is abundant and cheap.

That is where ELCA members will catch the scent of UOJ bullies and flee in another direction.

Biblical Indifference
The ELCA radicals do whatever they want with the meaning of the Bible. The Little Three have done the same with the new translations they are promoting. The New NIV is a disgrace, and WELS loves it. Missouri's ESV is definitely second best or perhaps second worst.

The so-called Biblical Lutherans are allergic to anything King James, although they used to promote it as the only one, the one closest to Luther's German Bible. Tyndale worked with Luther and Luther's circle, dying for his efforts. The King James is a modest revision of the Tyndale. WELS combines Biblical indifference with heavy-handedness, willing to excommunicate over a translation while saying, "Let's not be legalistic!"

LCMC and NALC Attract the Syn Conference Refugees
ELCA Bishop Mark Hanson has already started 1000 new missions for the LCMC and the NALC. These 1,000 congregations seem to be among the largest in ELCA. Others are not actually leaving in a legal sense but escaping via their budget and loyalties.

There is no reason why a WELS, Missouri, or ELS member would feel uncomfortable in the doctrine and practice of an LCMC or NALC congregation, from what I can determine.

Both new groups will fuss over ELCA's apostasy for some time, but they do not have the baggage, resentments, and blood-feuds of the Little Three. Moreover, there is an excitement about the Scriptures, doctrine, and the Book of Concord that is mostly lacking in the Little Three.

The Little Three are going to empty out in concert with ELCA, for the same reasons - too much in common, too many bad associations, too much bullying.

Warnings, Catcalls, Drive Up Readership,
But Where Is the Historical Grasp of These Enthusiasts?

Thanks to the Ankle-Biters
LutherQueasy is on another round of free associating, set off--much like a turkey farm--by Clyde Nehrenz asking Captain Queeg to behave himself. The Queeg tantrums have become the talk of the Net.

I appreciate all the extra business. More people than ever before read Ichabod and check out our worship service. The page-reads this morning were higher than the 24 hour totals a few months ago. The statistics mean nothing, of course, which is why Queeg fulminates about why they mean so little.

Some say that America differs from Europe in our utter lack of historical perspective. For Europeans, Harvard is a new university, not to be compared to some that are nine centuries old.

Historical facts should matter, at least as much as DNA. The only history questions in the Syn Conferences are: "Do you know who my father was?" and "Do you know who my grandfather was?"

I was looking for the history of Grace (WELS) in Milwaukee and found nothing about Gausewitz, who was head of the entire Synodical Conference and the author of a famous catechism. First VP Huebner provided his own hagiography, which I assume he wrote himself.

Gausewitz himself was praised and consigned to the sub-basement archives, so they could roll out the expensive and dreadful Kuske catechism. I did not have Kuske in class, but his students tell me he was awful as a teacher. But Kuske was useful for swinging the sect to UOJ and promoting cell groups.

Likewise, the felonious history of the Missouri Synod is blanketed by a fog of self-congratulations and outright deceit. Two Lutheran pastors (CFW Walther and his brother) kidnapped their niece and nephew from their father's parsonage, because the minor children wanted to go to America. Of course, we do not the truth of that claim. The excuse is something shopped around at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, back in the 1970s.

Everyone with a slight grasp of LCMS history knows that Bishop Stephan was a womanizer. Few realize that he was already busy with the same woman (Louise) in Europe and under house arrest for his illicit behavior.

The founders of the Missouri Synod organized a mob, stole the life savings of their bishop, the equivalent of armed robbery, and kidnapped him, forcibly removing him across the river. They threatened his life to get him out of the house--another felony--which may have caused his battle with lung disease for the next year, since he camped in a tent near the river.

Stephan was definitely guilty of adultery, already in Europe, but no one seemed to notice or care. Modern examples of the same deliberate clergy blindness can be found in WELS, Missouri, the Little Sect, and the CLC (sic). Known adulterous pastors and their enablers are leaders in their synods today.

In fact, their Sugar Daddy, Marvin Schwan, was known for the same, marrying the wife of his manager, causing the break-up of two marriages at once. But--the indulgence promptly paid--the conservative clergy praised St. Marvin into heaven while he was still alive and explained, before anyone asked, that he had a "Scriptural divorce." I heard that term so often that I asked, "Is that like Scriptural murder"?

Monday, June 27, 2011

LutherQuest Denizen Has a Question about UOJ and Luther

Dave Schumacher has left a new comment on your post "Know Nothings and the Anti-Intellectualism of the ...":

Hello Dr. Jackson,
Although I have not read everything you have written concerning UOJ, I have read enough to understand, I think, your basic premise; please correct me if I am wrong.

You say that Christ has paid the price for all the sins of the entire world, this you call the atonement. You teach that this atonement is not the same as forgiveness, or justification, and that in order to be forgiven a person must have faith. Then, and only then, is a person justified and forgiven. You teach that the faith necessary for forgiveness is a trusting in the promise of God that He will forgive, for the sake of Christ’s atoning work, when we come to faith. You further teach that we may only come by this faith through the means (Word and Sacrament) which God has promised and provided. In short, you teach that God did not pronounce the sins of the entire world forgiven when He promised His Son to Adam and Eve in the Garden.

You teach that the concept of Universal Objective Justification, and it’s  (sic) companion, Subjective Justification, grew out of Pietism and was further developed and promulgated by C.F.W. Walther and the Synodical Conference. I have read many times where you have enlisted the words of Martin Luther in providing support for both your theological premise and your historical premise regarding the origin and development of UOJ.

So that I might have a clearer, more precise, understanding of your teaching, I would be very interested in your explanation of these words of the Reformer.

“….Now the Law comes and says: “I find Him a sinner, who takes upon Himself the sins of all men. I do not see any other sins than those in Him. Therefore let Him die on the cross!” And so it attacks Him and kills Him. By this deed the whole world is purged and expiated from all sins, and thus it is set free from death and from every evil. ………..
…….Therefore the argument that Paul presents here is the most powerful and the highest of all against all the righteousness of the flesh; for it contains this invincible and irrefutable antithesis: If the sins of the entire world are on that one man, Jesus Christ, then they are not on the world. But if they are not on Him, then they are still on the world. Again, if Christ Himself is made guilty of all the sins that we have all committed, then we are absolved from all sins, not through ourselves or through our own works or merits but through Him. But if He is innocent and does not carry our sins, then we carry them and shall die and be damned in them. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.” (1 Cor. 15:57.)” – Martin Luther (Lectures on Galatians [1535], Luther’s Works, Vol. 26, pp. 276-77, 279-81)

Please accept my sincere thanks in advance for your reply.

Dave Schumacher



GJ - The Word of God teaches, the Book of Concord confesses, and I agree with both about justification by faith.

Dave's question, which is really a prelude to his argument, misses most of the basics of the Christian faith. The atonement, expiation, propiation, and redemption (to use various synonyms) all teach that Christ died for the sins of the world. The UOJ Enthusiasts, following the Pietism of Walther and Knapp, bypass the efficacy of the Word in the Means of Grace.

The atonement is not the same as justification. The Calvinists, according to my expert, Dr. Lito Cruz, confuse and merge the two - atonement and justification.

Dave should do some research on his own narrow field of UOJ experts. They have conceded that justification in the New Testament only means justification by faith. Moreover, they have not found UOJ in the Book of Concord. That is why the LQ fanatics quote the St. Louis gang, including the one who left for Rome, because UOJ came in late via Pietism.

The efficacious Word plants faith in a baby's heart through the work of the Spirit in Holy Baptism. Likewise, an adult is converted by the Word of God. In both cases, the faith created by the Word receives the work Christ has accomplished for us. The Book of Concord, following Luther, teaches that believing and forgiveness of sin go together.

Dave has quoted a selection from Luther that he imagines will back up his UOJ Pietism. LQ tried that many times from the Book of Concord. Luther expressed the totality of the atonement in this selection, and I have to emphasize the word selection. LQ would quote a Book of Concord atonement passage and say, "Aha! OJ!" I would look it up and copy the adjacent, yes the adjacent sentences that spoke of justification by faith alone.

I have read thousands of pages of Luther, and nowhere do I find him suddenly abandoning justification by faith in favor of justification without faith.

What Dave does here is really quite evil. He has his UOJ blinders. He and his buddies share their favorite imaginary UOJ quotations. They have a little pile of them, 90% from the golden years of The Kidnapper and his Chosen Disciple (F. Pieper). The other 10% come from a careful excision of material from Luther, Chemnitz, and Aunt Sadie. Dave would like all of us to read the Bible, Luther, and the Book of Concord from the assumption that this quotation is the Pearl of Great Price for Lutheran doctrine.

I could use Luther's Magnificat commentary the same way. Luther prayed to Mary in that little book. Therefore, all passages of the Bible may be read from that viewpoint. There are some Marian passages in the Book of Concord too, such as the Perpetual Virginity of Mary - right out of the Middle Ages, including the claim that Mary was a virgin before, during, and after the birth of Christ. That is the problem when someone creates a sect out of one quotation, and Catholics today use those tidbits to entice Lutherans into "returning to Rome."

However, the Bible is the ruling norm, the judge of all books. The Book of Concord is faithfully witnesses to those truths. No one at LQ wants to deal with the Formula of Concord article on "The Righteousness of Faith." The Enthusiasts love their righteousness without faith.

When Walther kidnapped two minor children from his father's parsonage, was he already forgiven?

Was this LCMS pastor already forgiven, before he was arrested?

Should we sin more, that grace may abound?

I suggest reading the doctrinal graphics I have provided. They completely refute the bogus ideas Dave is trying to promote.


raklatt ( has left a new comment on your post "LutherQuest Denizen Has a Question about UOJ and L...":

Let us turn one more page, to page 282:

"To the extent that Christ rules by His grace in the hearts of the faithful, there is no sin or death or curse. But where Christ is not known, there these things remain. And so all who do not believe lack this blessing and this victory. “For this,” as John says, “is our victory, faith” (1 John 5:4).

"This is the chief doctrine of the Christian faith. The sophists have completely obliterated it, and today the fanatics are obscuring it once more."

Luther, M. (1999, c1963). Vol. 26: Luther's works, vol. 26 : Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 1-4 (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther's Works (26:282). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.


GJ - Thank you, Ray. The trouble is, the LQ denizens will stare at Luther's words and find nothing amiss in their confused and confusing opinions.