The Glory Has Departed

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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

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Genius Behind Jay Webber's and Jon Buchholz' UOJ Fantasy -
Not Luther, Not Chemnitz - Halle University's Rambach!
Boycott the Emmaus Conference

The upcoming Snore-a-Thon, called the Emmaus Conference, will feature Jay Webber promoting his "in Christ" flavor of Universal Objective Justification. All the flavors are toxic and remarkably similar, but there are two divergent and discordant paths they take.

One is making "It is finished" mean that the entire world was justified and saved--without faith--the moment Christ died on the cross.

The other is using 1 Timothy 3:16's "justified in the Spirit" mean that since Jesus was justified, the entire world was justified and saved "IN CHRIST" - without faith.

1 Tim 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was 

  • manifest in the flesh, 
  • justified in the Spirit, 
  • seen of angels, 
  • preached unto the Gentiles, 
  • believed on in the world, 
  • received up into glory.
Thus Jay Webber rejected the Martin Chemnitz interpretation of this verse in favor of Rambach's, without mentioning that Rambach was a Halle Pietist known chiefly for writing several hymns in The Lutheran Hymnal.

Intrepid Lutherans, 2011 - 
Jay Webber Defending the Halle Pietist Rambach
Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

Rev. Webber,

I've been away from my desk for several hours now, and I notice that I have been addressed in several posts, above, but your last post is foremost on my mind at the moment. I am disappointed. Of course, none of us have ever heard of this theologian you quote with distinction, Johann Jacob Rambach, and use to discredit the orthodox theologian Martin Chemnitz in his exegesis of 1 Tim. 3:16. One of us Intrepids -- not me, not Rev's Rydecki or Spencer, but one of us who does a lot of work behind the scenes -- began feverishly researching this theologian, to find out who he is. You quote Rambach from Schmidt/Marquart, so perhaps you don't really know who he is, either. I assume, in all charity, that you don't.

What our fellow Intrepid found is that Rambach was a confessing Pietist. In fact, several essays from the WELS essay file identify and criticize him as such:

Pietism’s Teaching on Church and Ministry: As Evidenced in its Pastoral Practice
After Three Centuries - The Legacy of Pietism
Agreement on the Correct View of the Authority of Scripture as the Source of Doctrine: The Way to Unity in the Church
A Historical Survey and Brief Examination of the Hymnbooks Used Within the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
The Confessional Lutheran Emigrations From Prussia And Saxony Around 1839

When I found out about this, I immediately pulled my copy of Loescher's Timotheus Verinus off the shelf, only to discover that Loescher really had nothing to say about the man. But when I pulled Schmid's History of Pietism down, and search for Rambach, I discovered that he was no ordinary Pietist. He was a Halle Pietist, and a close associate of Hermann August Franke. Schmid, on page 319, identifies Rambach as a Halle Pietist and compatriot of Franke, and credits Rambach for his accomplishments in the area of hermeneutics -- which is, no doubt, how it is that we find him prominently mentioned in F.S Schmidt's work. However, on page 320 Schmid qualifies his praise of such pietists, stating that their accomplishments are low compared to the harm caused by them: thee use of such accomplishments was for the purpose of discrediting orthodoxy. And here we are now, treated to the authoritative work of a German exegete of whom we were happily ignorant, who is marshaled for the purpose of discrediting Chemnitz and elevating UOJ, only to discover that this man was a bona fide Halle Pietist, and that he engaged his work, alongside that of Franke and other radical Pietists, to serve the design of toppling Lutheran orthodoxy.
You know, we at IL have been very careful, for the sake of fraternity, to avoid mention of his name or reference to his research on this subject. But the prominent use of a Halle Pietist, who produced his work at the pinnacle of the period of radical German Pietism, to discredit an orthodox theologian like Chemnitz and instead supporting the teaching of Universal Objective Justification, only proves Dr. Jackson's thesis: UOJ did emerge from Halle Pietism. I myself, up to this point, have been skeptical of this thesis, as my own extended and personal contact with confessing Pietists has had me convinced that they are not guilty of distinguishing Objective from Subjective aspects of Justification -- certainly not to the elevation of the Objective! -- as everything for them is Subjective. But rather, I had thought, they are guilty of separating (subjective) Justification from Conversion. You yourself have read Iver Olson's Baptism and Spiritual Life, and know precisely what I am referring to. To me, if there was anything to Dr. Jackson's connection of Halle to UOJ, it was in later Halle Rationalism. But now there can be no doubt. Rambach, a bona fide Halle Pietist, supplied the foundation necessary to topple formerly orthodox teaching on the matter of Justification.
David Jay Webber said...
I knew that Rambach was a pietist. I was not using his observations on this verse to discredit Chemnitz, but to supplement Chemnitz. His exegesis and reflections stand on their own, and should be evaluated on their own merits, regardless of what he might have said on other topics on other occasions. And it is also clear that on this topic in particular, he was not inventing a new pietist notion, but was recapitulating the orthodox teaching of the orthodox theologian Quistorp. Theologians with pietist leanings were not wrong in everything they said, especially when they were repeating the sound teaching of orthodox theologians of earlier times.


(February 20, 1885.)

One of the most important of the many doctrinal differences that were discussed during the first half of the eighteenth century between the so-called Pietists and the Orthodoxists was this: the Pietists — disciples, though not altogether faithful disciples, you know, of Spener, August Herman Francke, and John Jacob Rambach — held that any one unable to state the exact day and hour when he was converted and entered into grace was certainly not a true Christian and could be regarded as such neither by himself nor by others.

Quistorp - He is even more removed from Lutheran memory than Rambach. Here is what one expert said -
Unquestionably, Mueller, Quistorp, and Grossgebauer can all be counted among the piety movement initiated by Johannes Arndt in the early seventeenth century. All three stressed the practice of the Christian life over doctrinal matters. 
(Jonathan Strom, Orthodoxy and Reform: The Clergy in 17th Century Rostock, 1999, p. 244.)
Jay Webber, MDiv, uses "orthodox" twice for Quistorp, but Strom, a PhD from the University of Chicago says otherwise.
Most people would limit the Age of Lutheran Orthodoxy to the Concordists and some immediate successors, such as Gerhard, who worked with Chemnitz, and P. Leyser, who was an expert in justification and helped edit the Book of Concord. Leyser crushed Samuel Huber, the first UO Jay in Lutherdom.
Robert Preus' two-volume work shows that orthodoxy waned after the Lutheran Reformation and the Book of Concord (1580) era. This particular Jay Webber gambit seems to say, "I cannot find UOJ in the Scriptures, the Book of Concord, or the Concordists, so I will keep searching until I can find support at Halle University or cite someone so obscure that Google hardly knows his name.

Boycott the Emmaus Conference