|"Jon, where to - after the Emmaus Conference?"|
"No problem, Jay. Justification by faith keeps on breaking out."
Bringing up the Classical Age is probably a waste of time, but there remains the concept of analytical history and critical thinking.
In the oration of Pericles, about going to war, he dealt with both sides of the issue. He presented objections fairly and refuted them, still careful to warn the Athenians about their tendency to grow bored with a war.
Thucydides wrote his history by interviewing eyewitnesses and carefully judging the facts. The History of the Peloponnesian War is a classic that has never been equaled. As the author stated, "My history will last forever."
Likewise, when Melville offered his chapter on The Whiteness of the Whale in Moby Dick, he first listed all the positive associations with white. Conceding these first impressions, he began listing all the negatives with white - ghosts, unbearable stretches of ice and snow, The following is found near the conclusion of the chapter, which is a classical persuasive essay -
Melville, The Whiteness of the Whale
Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way? Or is it, that as in essence whiteness is not so much a color as the visible absence of color; and at the same time the concrete of all colors; is it for these reasons that there is such a dumb blankness, full of meaning, in a wide landscape of snows- a colorless, all-color of atheism from which we shrink?
Melville's point is to make the white whale especially frightening, and he combined this with historical accounts of whales attacking and sinking ships. Thus by using his literary abilities and research, he made his novel believable, unlike the comic book stories they now serve up on the movie screen.
The primary authorities about justification by faith are:
- First and always the ruling norm - the Scriptures.
- Secondly - the Book of Concord and the works of the Lutheran theologians of the Reformation, in close association with the Book of Concord authors and editors.
These two authorities completely set aside the credibility of political efforts installed in the WELS Essays Files and the out of print books in various theological libraries. To make those recent publications primary is like a boy posing with his home chemistry set and calling himself a scientist.
The Great Walther was not a theologian and certainly not a Biblical expert. He fell upon the practice of claiming great truths and listing Biblical citations to prove his revelations without connecting his dogma with the Word. Rome has spoken, the case is closed.
Walther only had a bachelor's degree and a history of following strange, abusive Pietistic gurus. Rather than deal with Stephan's syphilis and adultery, Walther organized a riot. In contrast, the leaders of the Lutheran Reformation were expected to have doctorates. They were Biblical scholars and theologians. They risked their own lives instead of holding people at gunpoint, as the Walther gang did.
The Emmaus Conference betrayal of the Lutheran Reformation is right on time. Every single Reformation anniversary is marked with the Lutheran leaders backpedaling and compromising. But this is the ultimate stab, at the Gospel itself.
What is a Kurt Marquart essay sent to Trinity, Bridgeton, compared to "The Righteousness of Faith" article in the Formula of Concord?
Why are Rambach the Halle Pietist and Quistorp (another Pietist) the ultimate authorities for Jay Webber?
When will the UOJ Stormtroopers actually describe the position they hate so much?
One of the more laughable statements on WELS Discussions was this - "I do not think UOJ is the same as Universalism." Sighs of relief followed.
That grand statement was based on what book, what Biblical passage, what Lutheran theologian, what history of doctrine?
We have reached the nadir, where an opinion by itself has credibility, if only expressed to relieve the UOJ fanatics of their guilt, shame, and stupidity. They cannot abide opposition, cannot describe their opposition, and have to resort to vague hints about "extremism."
Rejection of the Reformation is extremism, and it is being carried out by a packet of MDivs who could not argue their case in front of any academic faculty.
Readers, this happened with Church Growth. The apostates and unionists pressed their case in every possible venue until they controlled the agenda completely. Next they "studied" Church Growth and found it wonderful, thrilling, and just the thing for Lutherans. No one was allowed to question it, and now it utterly dominates the dying ELS, the fading WELS, and the fingers-crossed LCMS.
The Christian Faith has a complete inner harmony based on the harmony of the Scriptures.
All the real work of the Church is done through the Holy Spirit in the Word. Grace comes to individuals through the Means of Grace, to begin and continue the God's work of justification by faith.
- Pastoral visitation - justification by faith.
- Preaching - justification by faith.
- Worship - justification by faith.
- Holy Baptism and Holy Communion - justification by faith.
- Teaching - justification by faith.
- Catechism - justification by faith.
- Funerals and weddings - justification by faith.
The blokes in charge of the Emmaus Conference have never read Luther's sermon on the Emmaus walk, which I posted yesterday for Easter Monday. They would choke with rage if they had to read it aloud to the few who will attend. They hate Luther and despise the Means of Grace.
John 16:8ff defeats every duplicitous, conniving word out of their mouths. Let them show up and refute the parting Word of Jesus, whether in John or Luke.