First of all, the endless Keller UOJ essay suffered from far too many format tricks, especially the use of bold, reminding me of those websites that sell miracle cures or warn of the pending apocalypse if I do not invest in property in New Zealand.
Second, Keller showed no grasp of Biblical theology or basic Lutheran doctrine. For instance, he constantly merged the atonement of Christ with justification by faith while trying to claim this hybrid of liberal Protestantism was identical to Lutheran orthodoxy. For 51 pages he dragged us through his constant discoveries of allies for his argument, sounding as excited and uninformed as Larry Olson finding a new Church Growth Principle.
Third, he is another bad example of the WELS cult educational system. Although Keller can spell, he has no sense of critical thinking and cannot develop a coherent thesis.
|This line of thinking was prominent at Halle University, center of Pietism,|
where Walther's syphilitic mentor and bishop, Martin Stephan, studied.
A key strategy in a good argument is the ability to treat the other side fairly, to avoid such logical fallacies as special pleading (only one side of the case) and the straw man (setting up a false picture of the opposite viw and heroically knocking it down).
Keller seems to be debating Pastor Paul Rydecki, whose justification by faith essay is equally long but a model of research, clarity, and fairness. But he did not mention DP Jon Buchholz extending the Left Foot of Fellowship to Pastor Rydecki while telling the congregation that they would all continue to study the issue.
Why discuss the facts about this incident, that has so many riled up? A cult pretends it never happened, just the way Wayne Mueller pretends there is no Church Growth Movement in WELS.
Keller may be thinking of my publications, too, but he never mentions any or quotes any. This tactic is used among the UOJ troops to pretend they are the sole guardians of Lutheran orthodoxy, which we might forget if they did not mention it so often.
Keller only argued UOJ and revealed his thin research--if it can be called research--by making his case with the SynCons while ignoring anything contrary to his absurd claims. He cited Robert Preus but ignored that blasphemous quote that began the essay, the Edward Preus pratfall that gives away the essence of UOJ. I have posted it below.
|Paul McCain loves this essay, too.|
World absolution unites all the apostates.
Keller also ignored Preus' last book and the many quotations against UOJ in that book - Justification and Rome. In fact, Preus quoted the very men who have been falsely used to promote UOJ, and showed how their thought was not remotely connected with the fundamental error of :Pietism - universal forgiveness and salvation.
The vast majority of quotations are from the SynCons, who got it from Walther and Pietism. The rest reveal a misunderstanding of atonement and justification by faith. Keller merges the two and cannot even see this when he quotes a perfectly good passage about atonement and justification.
The Bible only uses justification in the sense of justification by faith. There is no forgiveness and no salvation without faith.
|Is this an important book?|
The Book of Concord recommends it for studying
justification by faith.
Luther made the same point hundreds of times.
Lenski, who is also abused by Keller (even though WELS hates Lenski), also said that justification in the Bible is always connected with faith.
As I told several people today, WELS is scared that people will begin reading and comparing, connecting the decades of abuse with the lack of the Gospel in the denomination.
If Keller wanted to avoid embarrassment, he made a mistake in quoting Wayne Mueller, one of the architects of the Church Growth surrender in WELS. One does not simply quote Wayne and claim that the sect is confessional!
Or Deutschlander. He was a good German professor, but he should retract assertions like this one:
rlschultz has left a new comment on your post "That Slovenly UOJ Essay from Michigan District WEL...":
When I tried to start reading the Keller essay, I got an immediate case of cognitive dissonance. The same thing happened to me when a used car salesman started pressuring me to close the deal after I expressed my doubts to do so. I thought that the structure of the essay seemed rather jumpy. It looks like the UOJ proponents are making an alleged academic attempt to support their position. It is a key point to expose the fact that cults typically avoid that which makes them uncomfortable. By the time that they are ready to face it, they are still unprepared. The character attacks against those who repudiate UOJ have already happened. The next step for the UOJ proponents has been the the feeble argument.