The Glory Has Departed

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

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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which works as too.

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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

Saturday, April 11, 2015

ELS Pastor Jay Webber, the Voice of Pietistic Rationalism,
Considers Himself in the Luther Camp.
Boycott the Emmaus Conference

"Jon-Boy, the Camp of Luther is now destroyed.
Let's say that is where we belong.
What you say?
ELDONA? No-o-o-o-o!"

  • Steven E. Anderson But it seems UOJ does muddy the second part which does not state that the unbeliever is declared forgiven or justified, but is declared condemned.
  • Ron Pederson Whoever does not believe remains in the human default condition, subjectively, under the curse of original sin and it's condemnation.
    April 9 at 9:48pm · Edited · Like · 2
  • Daniel Baker Okay, so we all agree that non-believers are declared guilty, not righteous. I'm glad we've found this middle ground. This is a good first step in trying to work out this disagreement.
  • David Jay Webber "But it seems UOJ does muddy the second part which does not state that the unbeliever is declared forgiven or justified..." UOJ does not state that "the unbeliever" is declared forgiven or justified. Whenever you are talking about individuals as individuals, you are not talking about objective justification. UOJ applies to humanity as such, not to an individual. And UOJ applies to humanity because humanity is humanity, not because humanity is comprised of unbelievers or believers. Jesus died for the world. Jesus was raised for the world. So, the world is redeemed and justified in Jesus. The world - not "the unbeliever" - is justified in Christ.
  • Thomas Schmeling Interesting - you are saying that the definition of Objective in UOJ means something more like neutrality or impartiality, rather than highlighting our lack of agency in the process of propitiation?

    (Agency here taken to mean the ability to act, as opposed to being acted upon as an object by another subject)
  • Gerard Johnson I can't believe what I'm reading in this thread. Is denial of the universality of Justification a wide-spread problem in the WELS? I thought our Wisconsin brethren were more conservative than this. 

    People in this thread seem to be reticent to say 
    that God actually has justified all people. They seem to be saying that "the world" means something other than all the individuals that comprise the world. Edward Koehler aptly repudiates this and succinctly explains what Objective Justification is in his article of the same title in Concordia Theological Monthly: "This nonimputation did not pertain to certain individuals only, e. g., only to those who would believe; for the pronoun "them" refers to the world, to all people in the world. This nonimputation therefore is universal in its scope ; it includes Jews and Gentiles, Christians and infidels, Peter and Judas, you and me." 

    This does indeed mean that God absolved, forgiven, and declared righteous every sinner on Calvary. As Koehler says, "this is an accomplished fact." He further writes: "Not to impute trespasses, then, can only mean that the sins are not charged against a person. But an offense that is not reckoned, charged, and held against one is forgiven. Not to impute sins therefore means to forgive sins, to acquit, to absolve." 

    When the sins of every sinner were imputed to Christ 2,000 years ago, they were not imputed to every sinner that ever lived. Unfortunately, some reject this factual, historical declaration and thus forfeit the non-imputation that Christ won for them. Faith, then, is merely a realization of an already-accomplished fact. Koehler concludes: "Faith is [not] the organ through which means 
    God declares a sinner just. The sentence by which God justifies 
    the ungodly we have in the Gospel. By faith man merely trusts 
    in this declaration, applies it to himself, as God wants him to do, 
    and thus he personally becomes righteous. "
  • Ron Pederson If God has declared the sins of the world forgiven in Christ then God has also declared the sins of every individual in the world forgiven objectively. This is apples and apples. I don’t see how it could be any other way. Otherwise, again, it would seem that faith is the cause for a change in the heart of God.
  • Thomas Schmeling "Unfortunately, some reject this factual, historical declaration and thus forfeit the non-imputation that Christ won for them."

    The problem is that the Bible never says anything remotely like this. UOJ apologists like Benjamin Radtke above are at lea
    ...See More
  • Ron Pederson Faith says: "The sins of the world are forgiven in Christ. I am part of the world, so I, as an individual am also forgiven."
  • Seth Bode "The problem is that the Bible never says anything remotely like this." 2 Corinthians 5:19 clearly states the non-imputation of the sins of the world by the work of Christ, and the fact that it must be preached makes it rejectable and forfeitable, alon...See More
  • Seth Bode I think if one acknowledges those verbal and grammatical points, he wouldn't necessarily have to sell his soul to the term "universal justification," but he would at least understand what is meant by it. That's what I mean by it, anyway.
  • Ron Pederson So God has forgiven the sins of the world but not mine? But if I believe God has also forgiven my sin, then I am forgiven?
  • Seth Bode I also think that, as a word of gospel, when universal justification is presented to even an individual unbeliever, it is truthful and powerful to establish fides directa--a faith that may not be aware of itself. Thus Luther himself establishes passages of forgiveness (John 1:29) and justification (Romans 3:23-24) before saying “this must be believed” in SA II.I.
  • Thomas Schmeling For reference.

    2 Cor 5
    ...See More
  • David Jay Webber Ron: I would refer you and others to Jon Buchholz's paper, especially the section beginning on p. 33 entitled "Speak of justification precisely by using universal terms universally and individual terms individually":
  • Thomas Schmeling Seth - "The non-imputation of the sins of the world by the work of Christ...rejectable and forfeitable"
    That is clearly biblical, I'm disputing the criteria by which justification is rejected by unbelievers. 
    ...See More
  • Benjamin Radtke I'll just second David Jay Webber's recommendation that everyone read Jon Buchholz's paper. I think it does a masterful job of clearing up some common misconceptions about what UOJ does and doesn't mean.
  • Thomas Schmeling If it is that good, it probably deserves a post of its own for more pointed discussion. I'll read it when I can.
  • Joel Dusek If we're recommending papers, for a fair and balanced inquiry you must also read Pastor Rydecki's "Forensic Appeal To The Throne Of Grace" and ELDoNA's "Articles on Justification" are where you will find the alternative position to semi-Huberian UOJ as articulated by Buchholz. 
    Available on ELDoNA's website,

    In the Lutheran Church, one encounters a great deal...
  • Benjamin Radtke Joel Dusek, was that necessary? We were having a surprisingly civil and productive discussion on the justification issue. Did you really have to resort to name-calling? It's simply not accurate or honest to call anyone here a Huberian.
  • Joel Dusek It's an adjective used as an antecedent to "UOJ" not a perjorative accusing a person. Methinks you protest too much. It most assuredly is accurate. There are essentially two camps: Hunnius and Huber. I'm not accusing proponents of sharing all Huber'...See More
  • Benjamin Radtke Joel Dusek, of course you used the term to accuse a person, namely Buchholz. And it's definitely not true that there are only the camps of Hunnius and Huber. Frankly, I think both of them over-reacted in opposite directions. 

    And, by the way, this is 
    ...See More
  • Daniel Baker It seems clear to me that we have at least two strains of UOJ being promulgated in this thread. At least one of them is completely consistent with Huberianism's view of justification (we might call this semi-Huberianism, since Huberianism also implies...See More
  • David Jay Webber "There are essentially two camps: Hunnius and Huber." Am I allowed to be in the camp of Luther? That's where I consider myself to be.