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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

Friday, June 26, 2015

Complete Review of Jay Webber Essay in One Long Installment.
This Is the Rough Draft for the Justification by Faith Book

Review of the Webber Essay – Combined Parts - Draft

Repudiation of the Jay Webber Emmaus Conference Essay, 2015
The Term Justification and the Double Justification of OJ and SJ.
            The essay begins with the routine, practiced dishonesty of the crowd who took over the Synodical Conference and sold its members down the river to mainline apostasy and union with the ELCA. Nothing is more appropriate than to have Jay Webber write - an advocate for open communion with ELCA. Moreover, as a Lutheran missionary in the Ukraine, Webber was happy to work with and obtain money from Floyd Luther Stolzenburg, Church Growth advocate extraordinaire in Columbus, Ohio – unfaithful in marriage and doctrine, expelled from the LCMS but embraced by WELS/ELS.
            The essay is not about justification but the pet dogma of the mainline Protestants, CFW Walther, and Martin Stephan – universal absolution without faith. Webber chooses to call this “an aspect” of justification in focusing on Objective Justification. But for the heirs of rationalistic Pietism, Objective Justification is the Gospel and faith is only an afterthought. Yes, their Gospel message is – “The entire world has already been forgiven and saved, without faith.” Their afterthought is, “But you have to believe this for it to matter for your sin-free, guilt-free soul.” This afterthought is called Subjective Justification, which has also been demoted by Webber to an “aspect of justification.”
            These peculiar labels, Objective Justification and Subjective Justification, have a history, but one outside of the Lutheran Church. Long ago, when few theology books were printed, Georg Christian Knapp published his Halle University lectures in German. He was considered the last of the old fashioned Pietists at Halle, which was established to promote Pietism. The university rapidly became rationalistic, and some of that certainly rubbed off on Knapp. He denied that the Christian Church’s definition of the Holy Trinity was in harmony with the Bible. But Knapp was old-fashioned for his time, and his book was translated by the Calvinist Woods in America. Knapp was already established as a famous and traditional theologian for all Protestants, so this translation was published well before the Stephanites landed in New Orleans in 1839. However, the group remained German speaking for many decades and doubtless relied on the German edition of Knapp. The Calvinist translator explained Knapp’s opaque language in a footnote -

"This is very conveniently expressed by the terms objective and subjective justification. Objective justification is the act of God, by which he proffers pardon to all through Christ; subjective, is the act of man, by which he accepts the pardon freely offered in the Gospel. The former is universal, the latter not (Woods, p. )."

“His [Woods'] translation of Georg Christian Knapp's Christian Theology (1831-1833) was long used as a text-book in American theological seminaries.” (
            The terms, conveniently expressed, did not come from Confessional Lutherans, but from a famous Calvinist with no Lutheran training. The impact of the English Halle lectures made itself felt when the two terms were adapted in Germany and pleased Walther, who approved their use. This does not make them orthodox or Lutheran, although the soothsayers would have us believe that. Instead, the adoption of Objective Justification reveals the common thread of Halle Pietism and rationalism in America. All the Lutheran groups were Pietistic to some extent and this Pietism soon displaced their loyalty to any Confessions, whether Calvinistic or Lutheran. The spirit of Pietism—which favors cooperation over sound doctrine—makes it easy for the LCMS, WELS, and ELS to work with the ELCA – especially through Thrivent.  Their own LCMS/WELS pastor, Mark Jeske sits on the Thrivent board.
Halle Rationalistic Pietism
            We should never underestimate the power and influence of Halle University and its rationalistic Pietism. The founder of the ULCA/LCA tradition was Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, who taught at the Franke Foundation orphanage at Halle. The real founder of the Missouri Synod, Martin Stephan, attended but did not graduate from Halle University. In fact, Stephan never graduated from a university and was not qualified to be a pastor. His position as a Bohemian and Pietist gave him the credibility to be called to the Pietist congregation, which was closely allied with the Pietist Zinzendorf. The Pietist Stephan attracted the attention of the Pietistic Walther group of clergy, who gravitated to Stephan when their Pietist guru - Johann Gottlieb Kuehn - suddenly died.
The main theologian of the Wisconsin Synod, Adolph Hoenecke, graduated from Halle University in 1859. His mentor Tholuck was a Universalist. Thus we should not be too shocked that Hoenecke wrote about General Justification, a misleading translation of the German term – algemeine Rechtfertigung – Universal Justification (every single one, no exceptions, as in Universal Conscription).
            As one theological student asked, “What happened to Subjective Justification in the mainline denominations like ELCA?” The best explanation comes from the meaning of the term – not faith in Christ, but faith in Universal Justification – “the former is universal, “as the Calvinist Woods translated. The nature of Subjective Justification dooms it to make faith irrelevant, as Webber’s essay has demonstrated with countless, stolid, prolixic, redundancies.
Another Obscure Pietistic Hero
            Webber enjoys citing Pietists and baptizing them as orthodox or confessional Lutherans. The seldom-cited Quistorp gets that treatment from Webber, which would make church historians gasp in wonder. Strangely, Webber begins his essay citing Professor Caroll Herman Little, who once served as president of the seminary I attended – Waterloo Lutheran in Ontario, Canada. Robert Preus once mentioned Little to me and doubtless taught Little as an example of a ULCA pastor who agreed with the LCMS about doctrine. One little problem remains – the Canada Synod was Pietistic. For example, when one of the patriarchs of the synod visited a home and saw the boys playing cards, he said nothing. On Sunday, old Reble delivered a blistering sermon on the evils of playing cards – a typical Pietistic sermon for that era. Like most readers I have to wonder why Little’s opinions about justification matter to anyone.
Misuse of Justification as a Term
            The Objective Justification cabal has decided that their peculiar dogma is the justification of the Reformation, the Book of Concord, and the Scriptures. Rather than attack justification by faith directly, they simply substitute their philosophy for Biblical doctrine, knowing well that their OJ terminology is found no earlier than Pietism – after the Reformation – and freely witnessed in various denominations and even in cults.
“As an objective fact, justification is applied to the entire human race fully redeemed in Christ. [Read Rom. 5:18.] – Adventist website -
“ Legal universal justification implies that all human beings come into the world legally saved, pardoned, justified; from God's perspective they are not lost. If it is true that every human being who has been and will be born on this planet was present in Christ when he died and that they all were legally justified, then those who are not yet born have already been justified.” Adventist website –
One should not be shocked by Synodical Conference authors praising justification in the words of Luther and switching to OJ for the rest of the essay. Webber is almost this obvious.
            Indeed, Webber on page 3 indulges himself in the usual potpourri of Scriptural citations that do not fit. He quoted Romans 5:18 – as the Adventist did. In spite of Romans 4 being a chapter about justification by faith, climaxing with Romans 5:1-2, Webber fished out Romans 4:25, part of a verse, avoiding the real meaning of the sentence, chapter, and epistle.
Romans 4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him [Abraham] for righteousness.
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. KJV
As we see in many LCMS publications, the citations are simply stated as if they prove a contentious point, but there is no contention since the OJ mob does not recognize, quote, or acknowledge justification by faith. For example, Webber studied under Robert Preus but in this essay never mentioned the last book of Preus, Justification and Rome, which eviscerated OJ in a series of quotations from orthodox Lutherans.
More Confusion – In View of Faith
            As many have observed, the second part is just as distorted and strange as Objective Justification. Note the additional terms – Individual, Personal, and Subjective Justification. So many terms are needed to replace justification by faith. Webber defines this Subjective Justification as faith in Objective Justification
“… the actual acceptance by faith in the Objective Justification.” (p. 3)
The plot grows even shallower –
“If personal or subjective Justification is the acceptance by faith of Objective Justification it is manifest that it does not take place ‘in view of faith.’ Thus a synergistic view of Justification is avoided. (p. 3)
The logic is bizarre, because Webber proves his assumption with his assumption, reasoning in a circle. Justification by faith is synergistic or Calvinism – I can never figure those accusations out. If justification by faith, as taught by Paul, Luther, and the Book of Concord, is synergistic, then what is faith in OJ, as taught by Stephan, Walther, DP Ed Werner, and David Valleskey?
            This in view of faith accusation seems to have originated in Walther’s febrile mind, where he imagined faith as a work. And yet, the self-contradicting Walther told his gullible followers they had to make a decision for OJ, precisely what Webber is claiming.
Naturally, one can never be accused of anything when aping Walther, but the circle of rationalistic Pietists supporting rationalistic Pietists is not a compelling Biblical or Concordist argument.
No Grasp of Lutheran Doctrine
            Webber displays no grasp of Lutheran doctrine as he wanders from point to point, something to be expected when someone starts with a Canadian-American professor of Pietism as the ruling norm of doctrine. There are minor disagreements among the Lutherans, say Little and Webber, but no worry. (p. 4)
            One would never imagine that this Webber essay is an extended, if bloated, attack on justification by faith, the Bible, Luther, the Book of Concord, the post-Concord orthodox Lutherans, Gerhard, groups within the LCMS, and Gausewitz. Dismissing a long history of justification by faith and large numbers of people who find OJ alarmingly foul, Webber tries to jawbone the new Synodical Conference into an agreement that never will happen. Too many people, when informed of the agenda of OJ, disagree with great energy and conviction.
Part 2 of review
            Webber’s claim to find only minor differences within the Synodical Conference view of justification is patently false. Wishing the differences away will not make that illusion a reality. (p 4)
1.    The 1905 Missouri catechism, in German, taught justification by faith and never mentioned Objective Justification.
2.    Concordia Publishing House, LCMS, still prints a KJV catechism with no mention of OJ in it, bragging that “two million copies have been sold.”
3.    The original Gausewitz catechism, used by the entire Synodical Conference, perhaps standard for WELS, did not mention OJ but taught justification by faith.
4.    Even within the OJ dream team, there exists a radical difference between the entire world being absolved at the death of Christ or at the moment of His resurrection. The dates cannot be reconciled, simply another part of the nonsense call UOJ.
5.    In quoting Sasse about the Book of Concord, Webber is using a red herring, since the Book of Concord teaches justification by faith, not the anti-Christian dogma of justification without faith. (p. 4)
6.    The Brief Statement quotation is correct about the Confessions, but the Brief Statement is utterly wrong about justification, serving as the triumph of the Stephan-Walther-Pieper faction. Besides that simple fact, the Brief Statement has no canonical or confessional authority whatsoever and only marks the beginning of the end for Lutheran doctrine and practice in Missouri and allied sects.
Webber, like Buchholz, imagines that declaring something to be true, without any evidence for that claim, is sufficient. But neither man has credentials for more than repeating the bromides of the Walther-Kokomo faction. If everyone is united, apart from trivial details, why is another windy essay needed? This farrago of unwarranted claims was so compelling to DP Bucholz that he gave it to his WELS congregations to read, mark, and inwardly digest. More than one got indigestion from it.
B. In the Webber Essay, Forgiveness in the Old Testament
            Webber wants his audience to believe that he is being consistent with the Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord. He quotes the Third Article, misunderstanding the Atonement, but fails to name the Article – III. The Righteousness of Faith. Why are these Enthusiasts allergic to the word faith? Justification by faith is slandered by calling it Calvinism or – oddly enough – Arminianism. One is the opposite of the other, so how ignorant can these people be? To remain consistent with the Great Walther, who had a limited education—only a bachelor’s at a rationalistic school—Webber has to treat faith as a work and make it inconsequential.
The ultimate irony is that Walther’s entire concept of justification came from a man with little interest in a theological education, who never completed his – Martin Stephan. But looking at the official history of the Missouri Synod, Stephan does not exist. According to the LCMS, the synod suddenly birthed itself, with Walther as the leader, in 1847, not when the cult landed in New Orleans in 1839 and Walther joined in making their Pietistic leader a bishop for life.
Significant and damning details are omitted about the forgotten eight years between the landing in America and the formation of the Synod. So Webber is really defending the dogma of Pietistic era, a Pietistic cult leader who literally saved Walther’s life by turning him from unhealthy penitential works to the Gospel – or a bad version of the Gospel.
He [Kuhn, their first Pietist leader] urged the group to practice various kinds of denial and hardship in order to test and prove their conversion and commitment and join Christ in His sufferings. It was said of the leader that he had come to his spiritual certainty through many temptations and believed others should do the same. Walther practiced these spiritual exercises to the extreme, depriving himself of food and exercise because he thought these things were sinful. Walther’s condition was described by Franz Delitzsch: “During that period of struggle he was wasted like a skeleton, coughed blood, suffered from insomnia, and experienced the terrors of hell. He was more dead than alive.”
Stephan, Philip; Stephan, Philip (2008-04-07). In Pursuit of Religious Freedom: Bishop Martin Stephan's Journey (p. 67). Lexington Books. Kindle Edition.
Later, as Stephan degenerated in every possible way, he decided he was in charge of the souls and the bodies of young women. Kuhn was all Law, but Stephan was a Universalist, clinging to the formulae of Halle University.
            When this was debated on the Intrepid Lutherans blog, Webber chose the explanation of Rambach the Halle Pietist, over Martin Chemnitz, the senior editor of the Book of Concord and Formula of Concord. Rambach over Chemitz? The Pietist Quistorp extolled as an orthodox Lutheran? The Pietist Stephan erased from history and replaced by Walther, another Pietist, now rechristened as an orthodox Lutheran. I see a pattern.
            The heroes of the LCMS are the clergy underlings of Stephan who did not notice their leader’s adultery, in spite of massive evidence, including their leader leaving his sick wife and children in Dresden while taking his healthy son and his mistress on the same ship. The Walther circle chose not to see the obvious until the time came to organize a mob, threaten, rob, and kidnap their bishop for life. CFW Walther was already their leader, at the age of 29+, parish experience, about two years.
Fashion Another Straw Man
            Webber would have us accept his conformist (to mainline Pietism) views of faith. (p. 5) He must make his solemn declarations mesh with the sonorities of the Walther-Pieper-JP Meyer faction. That means dodging the teaching of Luther, Chemnitz, Melanchthon, Gerhard, and the Scriptures themselves. The OJ faction would like to have us believe they are not Universalists, but what definition fits those who declare the entire world forgiven and saved, as Webber and Buchholz do. When they walk their reasoning back to some authority, it is the Preuss who became a Roman Catholic after seeing a beautiful sunset – a sign from God to pope. Ignoring that, they say, as their cult does – “I cannot believe I am forgiven unless it has already taken place.”
            This kind of statement shows the danger of engaging in slogans, which are repeated until they become a substitute for the Scriptures. OJ is a turn away from the Atonement, but that turn is a veering off the cliff into absurdities like the ones to be quoted from Webber.
“Our faith does not rely on a potential righteousness or even a righteousness that is not yet ‘our righteousness’ before God.” (p. 5)
“Our faith does not contribute, in whole or in part, toward bringing ‘our righteousness’ into existence.” (p. 5)
C. Law and Gospel Section p. 6

            Webber’s fundamental mistake starts with assuming that the Gospel is the universal absolution of the world – without faith. Walther has some good statements in the copied (not written) Law and Gospel lectures, but those insights are from Luther. Like all those suffering from rationalistic Pietism, Walther contradicted himself without fail. So do Webber and the entire, small group of Lutherans who think they are orthodox because they agree with Halle Pietism and ELCA rationalism.
            Because the OJ crowd does not comprehend the Atonement, they confuse it with the man-made dogma of universal forgiveness/absolution without faith. They imagine that every mention, every praise of the Atonement is another example of their precious OJ concept. Examples are:
·         The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world – but this does not mean absolving the world.
·         He died for the ungodly – but Christ did not die for the godly.
·         He was raised for our justification – but they ignore the preceding words – if they believe…
·         Justified in the Spirit – since Jesus was declared righteous to the world, the world became righteous at the moment of resurrection, the dogma of Pietism – not the doctrine of Chemnitz.
·         It is finished – Jesus was not speaking of His death, but UOJ.
This universal absolution cannot be reconciled with any part of Scripture, though they may find a few sentence here and there, among the theologians, that elicit a gasp of awe as they declare “We have found the OJ core,” but that is irrelevant – even if true. The Scriptures are the ruling norm, not Luther or Ambrose or the early Robert Preus or the elderly JP Meyer.
Webber’s meandering prose about Law and Gospel is simply incomprehensible. That is the problem with someone pretending to be confessional without identifying what he condemns. He appears to be against justification by faith, but he cloaks this opposition, which would fall harshly on unwaxed ears. There is no confession, only another monologue from the Amen Corner of mainline Protestantism. His fellowship with mainline apostasy is revealed in his anxiety to commune ELCA members, meaning they believe the same things.
Do I need to mention that Webber quotes the ESV, the Calvinist edition of the National Council of Churches’ Revised Standard Version? Here is a discussion of the odious RSV, and its update, the ESV –

            Webber solemnly declares on page 8, “Do not try too hard to understand this,” and then quotes from the classic efficacy passage of Old Testament – Isaiah 55. Like Darwin, he can observe and study something for years and miss the entire story while publishing minute and largely irrelevant details. The efficacy of the Word, the work of the Holy Spirit in the Gospel Word – that is entirely missing in this botch.
            After using up some of his notes from Old Testament class, Webber renews his attack on justification by faith on page 10.
A conditional message about a potential justification is not the Christian Gospel. It is no Gospel at all. It cannot calm the fears of a troubled conscience. It cannot grant comfort or elicit faith. Quite simply, a conditional message about a potential justification cannot forgive sins.
Compounding the stupidity of this straw man is one even worse, from Ken Schurb, whose only distinction is an alliance with Al Barry and Paul McCain. The verbiage is even more foolish – [Note the “in Christ” which is another fundamental error of Webber. The New Testament term applies only to believers, but that is conveniently ignored.]
A crushed unbeliever must be told that God is no longer angry with him in Christ, that all his sins are forgiven, that God has declared him “not guilty” (i.e. justified him) – or he will not believe…In other words, he must know objective justification.
Clearly, these two beginners have no grasp of justification by faith, so they distort both sides of the issue, calling their hogwash The Gospel and erecting a straw man instead of fairly and honestly describing justification by faith.
            Some points of clarification were never taught them or the points were untaught them in seminary. Many never progress beyond required readings in school, especially when they keep an eye on how to get ahead in sects taken over by apostates. As the promulgator of the Kokomo controversy admitted, he never heard of UOJ before seminary at Mequon.
·         The Gospel Word has the divine, efficacious power of the Spirit to create and sustain faith, and this faith receives the promises and blessings from Christ’s atoning death and triumphant resurrection.
·         Justification in the New Testament, Luther, and the Book of Concord only means justification by faith. Justification is always individual and always a matter of faith rather than works. If justification by faith is denied, the only alternative is justification by works.
·         The entire work of the Christian Church is based upon justification by faith, preaching and teaching, Sacraments, pastoral visitation and counseling, marriage and burial of the dead. To say that the Gospel is teaching Universalism is an abomination.

Repudiation of Jay Webber Essay
D. Forgiveness and Justification
Webber quotes Melanchthon 10 pages into this endless paper, after established Ken Schurb as the final authority on justification. But what is the point? Webber declares – “Forgiveness and justification are not the same” –  but in what context, the reader wonders? Frequently used words change meaning from their context.
By this time the audience anticipates the agenda of the essay. There is no attempt to grasp the Biblical doctrine, to deal with the Biblical text, and even less interest in the Reformation. This is nothing more than wandering around the topic and making ex cathedra declarations that offer no warrant for their proclamation.  I have to concede that Webber, like Paul McCain, suffers from an inferior education. Concordia in Ft. Wayne was enchanted by UOJ and Church Growth when both MDivs graduated. Professors like David Scaer simply announced their personal revelations. Yelling substituted for teaching and guaranteed the unquestionable truth of the nonsense offered.
Webber quotes from the Book of Concord – the Fortress Press (ELCA) edition, where one of the main editors is an ELCA professor. This should concern the gathered  divines, but they are so far into cooperation and worship with ELCA that abandoning a better Book of Concord – their own Triglotta – is no worse than dispatching the King James Version to the dustbins of history. To quote, to cite, to dream, perchance to commune ELCA – thus conscience makes cowards of us all, when Thrivent grants drip with booty and Marvin Schwan posthumously offers his indulgence fees on EZ pay terms.

3. Should I with scoffers join
Her altars to abuse?
No! Better far my tongue were dumb,
My hand its skill should lose.

Hymn #462 
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Ps.137
Author: Timothy Dwight, 1800, ab., alt.

Webber has long indulged in quoting the Book of Concord to make it seem like a textbook for Objective Justification – universal forgiveness without faith. Having written no books and having authored no publications worth mentioning, he does not reveal any reading comprehension beyond the level of public high school, where every issue is political and has one answer. The intended meaning of the authority is primary, so words taken out of context should never be used to reverse the meaning of the author. That is especially true of the Holy Spirit’s only publication – the Bible – but almost as important with the Lutheran Confessions.
Topical headings in the original should be noted, but this is the second time already that Article III is not named – The Righteousness of Faith. Likewise, Melanchthon’s Apology has been mentioned, but the topical headings alone in the justification section cut this essay to pieces, gathered its withered fragments, and burned them with everlasting fire. The problem with a synodocrat author constantly repeating the political message is evident – a blindness in reading sources except to imagine and invent support for a universally acknowledged (except by Webber) late dogma.
Let us take a break from the bilge for a moment and cite the Book of Concord on this topic. The Concordists called themselves theologians of the Augsburg Confession, following Luther, so we can conclude that these confessors were one with Luther and Melanchton, often students of both, as Tyndale (the original KJV translator) was.
The Chief Article – also known as the Master and Prince – is justification by faith, not OJ. To use the Pietist’s label, Subjective Justification, and make the original doctrine appear to be false doctrine—is the worse calumny of Christian doctrine. It is false and malicious, and no one can excuse it because of stupidity, ignorance, or a sub-standard education. The Word of God is plain and clear, a unified truth that transcends culture, politics, and Midwestern sects.
6] This article concerning justification by faith (as the Apology says) is the chief article in the entire Christian doctrine, without which no poor conscience can have any firm consolation, or can truly know the riches of the grace of Christ, as Dr. Luther also has written: If this only article remains pure on the battlefield, the Christian Church also remains pure, and in goodly harmony and without any sects; but if it does not remain pure, it is not possible that any error or fanatical spirit can be resisted. (Tom. 5, Jena, p. 159.) 7] And concerning this article especially Paul says that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Therefore, in this article he urges with so much zeal and earnestness the particulas exclusivas, that is, the words whereby the works of men are excluded (namely, without Law, without works, by grace [freely], Rom. 3:28; 4:5; Eph. 2:8-9), in order to indicate how highly necessary it is that in this article, aside from [the presentation of] the pure doctrine, the antithesis, that is, all contrary dogmas, be stated separately, exposed, and rejected by this means. Solid Declaration, Formula of Concord, Article III, The Righteousness of Faith.
10]These treasures are offered us by the Holy Ghost in the promise of the holy Gospel; and faith alone is the only means by which we lay hold upon, accept, and apply, and appropriate them to ourselves. 11]This faith is a gift of God, by which we truly learn to know Christ, our Redeemer, in the Word of the Gospel, and trust in Him, that for the sake of His obedience alone we have the forgiveness of sins by grace, are regarded as godly and righteous by God the father, and are eternally saved. 12]Therefore it is considered and understood to be the same thing when Paul says that we are justified by faith, Rom. 3:28, or that faith is counted to us for righteousness, Rom. 4:5, and when he says that we are made righteous by the obedience of One, Rom. 5:19, or that by the righteousness of One justification of faith came to all men, Rom. 5:18. 13] For faith justifies, not for this cause and reason that it is so good a work and so fair a virtue, but because it lays hold of and accepts the merit of Christ in the promise of the holy Gospel; for this must be applied and appropriated to us by faith, if we are to be justified thereby. 14]Therefore the righteousness which is imputed to faith or to the believer out of pure grace is the obedience, suffering, and resurrection of Christ, since He has made satisfaction for us to the Law, and paid for [expiated] our sins. 15] For since Christ is not man alone, but God and man in one undivided person, He was as little subject to the Law, because He is the Lord of the Law, as He had to suffer and die as far as His person is concerned. For this reason, then, His obedience, not only in suffering and dying, but also in this, that He in our stead was voluntarily made under the Law, and fulfilled it by this obedience, is imputed to us for righteousness, so that, on account of this complete obedience, which He rendered His heavenly Father for us, by doing and suffering, in living and dying, God forgives our sins, regards us as godly and righteous, and eternally saves us. 16] This righteousness is offered us by the Holy Ghost through the Gospel and in the Sacraments, and is applied, appropriated, and received through faith, whence believers have reconciliation with God, forgiveness of sins, the grace of God, sonship, and heirship of eternal life.

        These two quotations by themselves dispose of the mass of OJ essays foisted upon the innocent, men and women who trust that their leaders are being faithful rather than faithless in their teaching. Many more can be provided, and they show that for OJ to be lifted up as The Gospel, one must conclude that the Bible, Luther, the Concordists, and the post-Concordists like Gerhard  contradict themselves. Or perhaps the Holy Spirit is a Calvinist, or an Arminian, or both – since both accusations are leveled at justification by faith.

2. With fraud which they themselves invent
Thy truth they have confounded;
Their hearts are not with one consent
On Thy pure doctrine grounded.
While they parade with outward show,
They lead the people to and fro,
In error's maze astounded

Hymn 260
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Ps. 12
Author: Martin Luther, 1523

            Webber even used the Deutschlander (WELS) argument (p. 11) that OJ and SJ are found throughout the Augsburg Confession, but not really developed as such - once again misreading the Atonement and justification by faith. By page 12 the dishonesty of the essay is even more apparent, because the real agenda is to claim that everyone is forgiven and saved without faith, even before they are born. Paul McCain and Jack Cascione, from the same Church Growth-UOJ era at Ft. Wayne, both cited Robert Preus quoting Edward Preuss on this ecstatic burst of Universalism. Nevertheless, Webber – like his compatriots – lacked to courage to name what he is attacking, mocking, and straw-manning: justification by faith.
            This approach is important to observe, because Webber is afraid of a frontal attack. Instead, he wants to replace justification by faith through substitution:
·         The true Gospel is universal forgiveness and salvation. Make a decision or else.
·         Unknown to centuries of Lutherans, Luther and the Concordists promoted OJ, but we are now more aware of this now, because of the pinheads teaching justification by faith (name it not!).
·         Orthodox Lutheran doctrine is defined – not by the Scriptures, faithful translations, Luther, or the Book of Concord – but by the Halle Pietists, the syphilitic founder of the Missouri Synod – Stephan, his devoted follower Walther, and Walther’s personally selected replacement, F. Pieper.
·         The true Gospel of universal forgiveness and salvation is not to be debated or discussed among those troglodytes who teach otherwise.

Part  5 - Repudiation of Webber OJ Paper

E. The Ancient Fathers and Father Martin (GJ - At least Webber did not call the Reformer “Uncle Marty” as DP Buchholz did – with a smirk – in front of the congregation he was quick to kick out of WELS and start foreclosure of the mortgage.)

At the very beginning of this part of our essay, we indicated that its thrust would be to
explain “why objective justification mattered to the Reformers.” We freely concede that as far as the terminology of this topic is concerned, the Reformers did not usually speak of the objective component of our justification or forgiveness as an objective “justification.” But they most definitely did speak of the objective component of our justification or forgiveness as an objective “forgiveness.” (p. 12)

            Webber makes another claim here, but he has no warrants for his conclusion. He is arguing in a circle. As anyone can see, they confuse the Atonement, the act of dying for the sins of the world, with the Pietists’ assumption that this Redemption is the absolution of the sins of the world. But if the sins of the world were absolved at the moment – never sure whether at death or resurrection – then where is this pronouncement recorded? Only the Enthusiasts argue that the Holy Spirit works apart from the Word. Since this is a divine action, for all people and for all time, a clear citation would be appreciated.
            Instead these dabblers and speculators in Christian doctrine latch onto a passage, ignore any evidence to the contrary and announced, “I have found OJ here, and there, and lo – in a place no one even suspected OJ to be.”
            In fact this has happened over the last decade, mediated by the divines at Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne. Earlier it was conceded that justification was always “by faith” in the Book of Concord and in the New Testament. I read the essay long ago, published at Ft. Wayne. Suddenly, a graduate found one instance of OJ, though it was clearly through his lack of reading comprehension. Now another Ft. Wayne graduate – denied ordination in the LCMS – finds the Book of Concord bristling with OJ, a move Webber borrowed from Professor Deutschland of WELS.
            To launch this attack on the ancient Fathers and Luther, Webber must expose his confused and confusing dogma –

An individual is justified by faith, as he believes in the justification that exists for him, and for all people, in Christ. Likewise, an individual receives the forgiveness of his sins, as he clings by faith to the forgiveness of sins that exists for him, and for all people, in Christ. There is a justification, and a forgiveness, that already exist in Christ as a result of Christ’s finished saving work in history, and that are the “object” of saving faith for the penitent and believing subject. (p. 13)

He relies on his misuse of “in Christ,” when only believers are “in Christ.” But in Webber’s rationalistic scheme, the entire world is “in Christ” and therefore justified, forgiven, and saved. This kind of prose makes one wish for the relative simplicity of Walther’s false doctrine. Nevertheless, this is a rehash of Walther – making a decision for Universal Absolution. Everyone is already forgiven, so the individual must believe in that dogma of Enthusiasm, which has energized Protestant apostasy ever since Schleiermacher promoted this at…Halle University. That was truly the turning point in modern Protestantism, inventing Faith Without Belief, using the words of Christianity while butchering the meaning of each one – as predicted in the Pastoral Epistles.
            Webber’s use of Luther’s analogy on page 13 shows that he does not understand Luther or St. Paul. The issue is not OJ versus justification by faith. Instead, the contrast is between justification by works, by the Law – or justification by faith, through grace. Those who deny justification by faith are necessarily in the camp of justification by works, as most people can tell by listening. The OJ salesmen tell everyone about their family tree, their great works, their honors bestowed by the synod, all of which render them above and beyond our comprehension.
            Ironically, Webber proves my point on page 14, where Ambrose is quoted –

John bears witness, saying: “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the
world!” [John 1:29] Let no one glory, then, in his own works, since no one is justified by
his deeds, but one who is just has received a gift, being justified by Baptism. It is faith,
therefore, which sets us free by the blood of Christ, for he is blessed whose sin is forgiven and to whom pardon is granted [Psalm 32:1].16

Respecting – really disrespecting Luther – Webber labors endlessly to prove that the Atonement is the same as his precious Objective Justification. That is repudiated so often in Luther that no one needs a list. Justification by faith is just as clearly taught throughout the Book of Concord, if one reads it for edification rather than for political points. 
            If Webber would not get so excited and speak of world absolution, in harmony with Walther, Stephan, and the World Council of Churches, he could get away with some of his language. Luther often spoke of the Atonement being God’s forgiveness already being accomplished, but never did the Reformer state or imply that everyone in the world was forgiven before birth. Nor did Luther start the WELS/LCMS chant – “I was saved 2000 years ago!”
            Robert Preus is perhaps the last of the theologians who read and comprehended so much of the post-Concord Lutheran theologians, some of whom were influenced by Pietism. The Preus quotations of Lutherans against UOJ in his Justification and Rome
probably came from those theologians realizing the Pietists were distorting justification and teaching falsehood.
            Those who want to prove UOJ by what Preus taught earlier should read his last book and take those quotations seriously. But alas, those quotations are ignored, and so are Preus’ own words. Preus grew in his scholarship and learning, as all theologians must, but Webber, McCain, and Cascione are stuck in the 1980s with their class notes.

Part 6 – Repudiation of the Webber OJ Essay at Emmaus

Total Lack of Comprehension
            There are multiple examples of Webber seizing on an obvious discussion of the Atonement, by Luther, and labeling it, Objective Justification! That brings to mind the Lutheran alumni of Fuller Seminary who were forever finding Church Growth Principles! – while shrinking their denominations. Webber’s adopted sect did the same thing and its death throes only multiplied in volume and number.
            Eventually, the OJ Enthusiasts will conclude – with some newfound honesty – that the entire locus (topic) of justification is universal absolution – joining their covert friends in the ELCA, National Council of Churches, and World Council of Churches. But like their mainline apostate counterparts, they will continue to cloak their attacks on faith in Christ by exclaiming –
·         Saved by grace!
·         The whole world, in Christ.
·         I must know it is true before I can believe it.
Like his fiendish OJ friends, Webber is all over the map in finding Luther’s imaginary OJ. To guard against this problem, the editors of the Book of Concord selected key writings of Luther. But Webber is allergic to the Book of Concord. Like many in the Synodical Conference, he likes to have a pitched battle over footnotes, letters written, and obscure theologians like Quistorp and Rambach (two of his favorite Pietists).
            Here is one example of Webber’s incomprehension, p 17, quoting Luther.
But he praises the exceedingly great mercy of God, namely, that “He made purification for sins,” not through us but through Himself, not for the sins of others but for our sins. Therefore we should despair of our penitence, of our purification from sins; for before we repent, our sins have already been forgiven. Indeed, first His very purification, on the contrary, also produces penitence in us, just as His righteousness produces our righteousness. This is what Is. 53:6 says: “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”20

One can find this phrasing here and there in Luther – and why not? The Atonement is the great treasure, but it lies there in one heap and does no one any good until it is distributed by the Holy Spirit through the Means of Grace. Luther clearly and repeatedly wrote that no one is forgiven without faith in Christ, that same faith Stephan, Walther, and Webber consider a work rather than God’s creation through His efficacious Word.
            The Book of Concord commended Luther’s Galatians Commentary for additional study of justification by faith. Webber mentioned this fact and ignored it. However, see the graphic from the commentary. No one can debate its meaning, so Webber would have us believe that Luther contradicted himself repeatedly, which we can discover if we only believe in the scheme of rationalistic Pietism.
            No one has found a single Luther quote that models the dogma of OJ. The OJ faction’s ignorance of this fact is a testament to their inability to teach…or something worse – their utter lack of faith. Either way, Webber has disqualified himself as Lutheran minister, unless he returns to ELCA, where he began.

In the objective sense, our sins were not just potentially forgiven before we repented. It is not as if the “ingredients” of our forgiveness were laid out on the counter of God’s kitchen, in preparation for the possibility of these ingredients being mixed together to form a “forgiveness cake” if and when we might someday repent and believe. (p. 17f)

What a nauseating, insulting straw man to toss out. This forgiveness cake reminds me of ELCA leaders saying, with great condescension, “The Bible is not a book that fell from heaven.” If someone cannot understand what he is attacking, he cannot be a confessional pastor. He is boxing shadows on the wall and calling himself a champion of the truth. The Emmanus board should have limited the effluence to 10 pages. It was too risky to allow so many pages for so many cutesy remarks.

F. Forgiveness, Justification, and the Resurrection, p. 18

            Hiding Behind Sig Becker and  the Younger Robert Preus 

            Now the claws come out from under the wool and the fangs are bared. This is turning point in the essay, not to be ignored, because the panoply of weapons against justification by faith is brought to bear.
            The key source is Robert Preus, from the days when the Ft. Wayne seminary faculty united in endorsing Church Growth Principles and offered a Doctor of Ministry degree in Church Growth. Those were hardly days of Lutheran Orthodoxy – more like mainline Enthusiasm.

Robert Preus, as quoted in the footnote –

22 Robert D. Preus, “Objective Justification,” Concordia Theological Seminary Newsletter (Spring 1981). In this article, Preus also wrote: “The doctrine of objective justification is a lovely teaching drawn from Scripture, which tells us that God, who has loved us so much that He gave His only to be our Savior, has for the sake of Christ’s substitutionary atonement declared the entire world of sinners for whom Christ died to be righteous (Romans 5:17-19). Objective justification, which is God’s verdict of acquittal over the whole world, is not identical with the atonement; it is not another way of expressing the fact that Christ has redeemed the world. Rather it is based upon the substitutionary work of Christ, or better, it is a part of the atonement itself. It is God’s response to all that Christ did to save us; God’s verdict that Christ’s work is finished, that He has been indeed reconciled, propitiated. His anger has been stilled and He is at peace with the world, and therefore He has declared the entire world n Christ to be righteous” (Emphasis added. Punctuation slightly revised.).

In spite of his prolixity on every front, Webber did not quote Edward Preuss in this selection, although Robert Preus did cite and quote the Missouri professor turned Romanist immediately after this quotation. Was this omission a space problem or one of cowardice, since the Romanist Preuss offered such absurdities in support of this false doctrine. Paul McCain and Jack Casione, from the same seminary and era, loved the quotation so much that they quoted it against me. Oh happy day.

Preuss Graphic Here

Needless to say, Jack and Robert Preus used UOJ to sandbag Walter Maier II, to accuse WAM of false doctrine, and to replace Maier with Robert Preus. Doubtless that made it difficult for any Preus to admit they were unethical, avaricious, and wrong.

Questions about the Ed Preuss blasphemies:
1.    Why baptize babies who are born forgiven?
2.    Why repent?
3.    Why not open heaven to everyone? Karl Barth, the official theologian of Fuller Seminary taught that concept. Like Carl Braaten and the whole ELCA crew, Barth taught Webber’s OJ, but a little more honestly.

The key components of LCMS-WELS-ELS-CLC justification are:
1.    Jesus’ resurrection as world absolution, based on 1 Timothy 3:16, Pietism, and their ignorance.
2.    The Atonement and OJ are different.
3.    The early Church Growth Robert Preus is cited, but the Preus of Justification and Rome is never mentioned.

Rambach graphic

When Webber used Rambach to counter Martin Chemitz on justification, Douglas Lindee, who attended Northwestern College in Watertown, wrote:

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.
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.
Webber tried to recover some credibility on this topic in his essay, p 19

In his own reading of 1 Timothy 3:16, Luther did not interpret that particular verse in
precisely this fashion.24 But on the basis of other passages of Scripture – especially Romans 4:25, which Luther did understand to be teaching a direct connection between the Lord’s resurrection and humanity’s justification – Luther’s actual teaching on this point ended up being essentially the same as the teaching of these more recent Lutheran interpreters.

In Webber’s rationalistic Pietism, Rambach and Quistorp are worthy Lutherans to quote against Luther and Chemnitz, but I offer the Holy Spirit against Webber, since he is blind to Romans 4:24 while quoting Romans 4:25

Romans 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Quoting half of the verse and ignoring the entire context of Romans 4 is blatant fraud, even if the Stephan-Walther-Pieper faction indulged themselves in this folly.
            Anyone who knows Jay Webber realizes that he loathes Sig Becker on the topic of consecration of the elements, where Becker defended the old Synodical Conference position of Receptionism. The ELS and WELS beat  Teigen    like a rented mule for publishing a scholarly expose of this false teaching. Martin Teigen, The Lord’s Supper in the Theology of Martin Chemnitz, available free here –

Yet Webber hides behind Becker in this clunker, footnote, p. 21 –
Some helpful observations have been made in more recent times specifically regarding the original Greek of Romans 4:25 – which Luther cites in this sermon and in the Smalcald Articles – where the apostle writes that Jesus “was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.” This verse can also be translated to say that Jesus was handed over or delivered up “because of” (dia) our trespasses, and was raised up “because of” (dia) our justification. This would probably be a better rendering, in fact. Siegbert W. Becker points out that “When Paul says that Christ
was delivered because of our transgressions, the dia [‘because of”] is without a doubt retrospective. He was put to death because our sins had been imputed to him. And while it is true that ‘our’ in this context refers to believers, and [that] only believers can say what Paul says here, yet it is crystal clear that what Paul asserts here of believers is true of all men.

Becker’s popularity with WELS and the Receptionist faction of Missouri is probably derived from his habit of making unfounded and absurd assertions. Ignoring Romans 4, the climax of Romans 4 found in Romans 5:1-2, and forgetting Romans 4:24 altogether, Romans 4:25 bursts into Universal Absolution without faith – crystal clear to Enthusiasts belonging to the Stephany-Walther-Pieper Amen Corner.
            Let us savor this irony. The error of Becker in denying the consecration of the elements of Holy Communion through the efficacious Word is the same one he makes in denying justification by faith in the classic justification by faith chapter of the New Testament. Readers should linger over the fact that Abraham is the Old Testament hero of justification by faith, Genesis 15, cited by Jesus against the “sons of Abraham” in John 8, taught here in Romans 4, and cited again in Galatians. Why did the Rich Man pray to Father Abraham in Luke’s parable? Lazarus was justified by faith and carried to heaven, but the rich man only had earthly works and a claim to be a descendant of Abraham. In Hebrews too, Abraham is an example of faith.

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
            Justification by faith is missing in Pietism because the efficacy of the Word is missing. Where the efficacy of the Word is forgotten, so too is the exclusive work of the Holy Spirit in the Word. Thus many sects speak of communion of baptism and deny the efficacy of both. Many speak of forgiveness and grace through Jesus, but tear down – as Webber does – the bridge to Jesus, the Means of Grace. Many different sects and cults speak of Objective Justification but not one of them teaches the efficacy of the Word in the Means of Grace.
            It is a sad commentary on the merging of Missouri, WELS, and the ELS that this pack of lies, ignorance, and fraud is published and circulated in their names. The ELS may have stayed with its Norwegian Pietism and its faults with stolid resistance to Luther and St. Paul, but it is well known that justification by faith was clearly taught and still flickers faintly in the LCMS and WELS.

G. The Formula of Concord’s Teaching and Luther’s Teaching
Repudiation of Jay Webbers OJ Essay at Emmaus

G. The Formula of Concord’s Teaching and Luther’s Teaching
Webber declared:
At the end of Article III of the Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord, which deals
with the subject of the righteousness of faith, we read: “For any further, necessary explanation of this lofty and sublime article on justification before God, upon which the salvation of our souls depends, we wish to recommend to everyone the wonderful, magnificent exposition by Dr. Luther of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, and for the sake of brevity we refer to it at this point.”28 That is a pretty weighty endorsement of Luther’s Lectures on Galatians! And it is a worthy endorsement, because these lectures do indeed embody some of the best material produced by the older Luther – on justification itself, and on the other articles of faith that are organically connected to justification. (p. 23)

Every UOJ writer lays down a smokescreen of praise for Luther, as if the Reformer invented their strange, anti-Christian, dual-justification labels. As expected Webber employs the same trick, conjuring the name Luther while imposing the dogma of Stephan’s Pietism –

And as we would expect, the Galatians Lectures do address the subject of justification and forgiveness according to the objective and subjective categories – even though that terminology is not employed in so many words. (p. 23)

How fascinating! Unknowing, Luther anticipated the discovery of UOJ and even addressed it in his most important commentary. Has Webber read the Galatians Commentary, word for word? Or has he only glanced through it to find his imaginary seeds of UOJ, ready to sprout at the culmination of all ecclesiastical history – the formation of the ELS?

The theme of the commentary is to contrast justification by faith with justification by works. Webber strains to emphasize the death of Christ for “all sinners” as if he is arguing with someone. Justification does not deny the Atonement, the Redemption of the world. But the Biblical teaching of justification by faith does reject the skewering of forgiveness by having OJ pronounce a universal absolution as the true Gospel, a justification -
·         Without the Spirit,
·         Without the Word,
·         Without the Means of Grace,
·         Wthout faith.

This doctrinal incompetence puts Webber, Buchholz, Pope John the Malefactor, and others in a quandary. Following the early Robert Preus, the Atonement is not Objective Justification. But Webber and the entire clown cast – from Stephan-Walther-Pieper to Valleskey to Cascione-McCain – jump on every Atonement passage in the Bible, the Confessions, and Luther and exclaim with boyish delight – “Another OJ passage! Lutheran justification is indeed OJ/SJ!”

But they are terribly wrong and confusing everyone who tries to comprehend their delusion while comparing it to simple, clear Biblical truths. The Atonement is the Gospel, and this Gospel fulfillment of Isaiah 53 produces faith when the Spirit works through the Word to distribute the treasure – Christ’s death for all sinners.

Portraying justification as universal absolution reduces the Means of Grace to a label. Given the origin of Objective Justification outside of the Lutheran Church, and observing its continued existence among the cults and mainline apostates, it is not surprising to find the Means of Grace discarded, disregarded, and disrespected in the worship life – or rather the entertainment seeker services – of the “conservative” Lutherans. Nor have the demi-semi-high church Lutherans found any weapon against the rapid encroachment of this true revelation of the evil of UOJ.

This dogma of Calvinists and Pietists could not stop the radical attack on the Bible in the LCMS and WELS, the blossoming of the Pentecostal movement among Lutherans, and the putrification of Church Growth in all of them – from the dying ELCA to the equally moribund, tiny Church of the Lutheran Confession (sic).

Webber is so intent on making Luther a UOJ Stormtrooper that he says this:
“The objective consequence of Christ’s work, and the content of the gospel that is now to be preached for salvation, is that in Christ there is no more judgment, no more wrath, and no more damnation. The gospel is not a message merely that a way for these things to be abolished in the future is now available.(p. 26f.) GJ – The second sentence is a muddled mess.

This MDiv is truly befuddled by Christian doctrine. He continually labels the entire world “in Christ” when that Biblical phrase only applies to believers - frequently used in the New Testament. Is there a single reference to unbelievers being “in Christ”?

But there is condemnation, as Luther observed. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin – because they do not believe on Him. John 16:8f. Moreover, as Luther taught, this is the foundational sin, unbelief, from which all sin is derived.

Webber - again:
Luther very artfully compares and contrasts what we would describe as the objective and subjective aspects of God’s forgiveness. (p. 27)

Now Webber has thrown his lot in with Luther and admires the Reformer for using the OJ/SJ labels without knowing it. I have no issue with Luther, but if Webber agrees with Luther – how can he agree with Woods-Knapp, Stephan, Walther, Pieper, JP Meyer, Valleskey, and Buchholz?
Another question is even more obvious – If Webber agrees with Luther, then why does he disagree with all of us who know, understand, believe, and teach justification by faith – the Chief Article he mocks so often in this endless, pointless paper.

Webber climaxes this section with an amusing paragraph, where he looks at Luther and sees himself in the mirror –

And yet, as Luther also emphasizes, it is only in the application, and in the faith which the Holy Spirit works in Christians, that believers are personally liberated from the kingdom and tyranny of sin and death. Without the converting and regenerating work of the Spirit – through the means of grace – the absolution of “everyone” does not actually benefit everyone. Ultimately, that absolution benefits only those who do eventually receive it by faith. (p. 29)

Thus Webber teaches a justification without faith, without real forgiveness, and an absolution without effect – prefiguring his doctrinal essay without Christian doctrine, except in the Luther and Book of Concord quotations he parodies in other places.

Part II: Why Objective Justification Matters to Us
A.   Luther and the Theologians of the Age of Orthodoxy p. 29

This reminds me of being lost on the way home to Springdale. The signage was confusing because of the new I-49 designation being incomplete. We passed the same elegant bridge twice in one hour of wandering. Not again!

After displaying complete ignorance of Luther and incomprehension of the Reformer’s message, Webber raises up Luther again.

Once again Webber offers the class notes or Cliff Notes version of church history. Those after Luther used philosophical categories. Melanchthon is cited as guilty, but I have never read an essay more grace-filled than Phillip’s treatment of justification by faith in the Apology. Has Webber read it with discernment? I think not.

Another consideration is worth noting for those who only graduated from seminary and never defended a real dissertation, a book, an article, or a review. Was it not God’s will that the Gospel would be conveyed in the Greek language, thanks to Alexander the Great creating a Hellenistic culture and Constantine a Christian, Greek empire?

The Reformation took place after 15 centuries of philosophical development, in Greek and Latin. The greatest early theologian was Augustine, master of the culture of his time, author of The City of God, which blended all things classical with Biblical teaching. Much more could be said about Aquinas, who used Aristotle as his basis, defending Rome in clear Medieval Latin. Therefore, the Reformation had to speak to the culture of the time, especially when Protestant and Roman Catholic opponents sought to defeat the Lutherans with these philosophical tools. Luther could and did use those tools against his opponents, and he had the greatest respect for Melanchthon’s grasp and teaching of the Gospel. Luther hurled some barbs about Aristotle, but theology and philosophy were joined together then and still are today. Unfortunately, almost all modern theologians are post-Kantian Halle rationalists, who use the religious terms without believing anything.

Webber compares the simplicity of Luther’s expressions with the complexity of Gerhard’s, (p. 32) but I could easily quote the simplicity of Gerhard against the complexity of Luther at his finest – in the Galatians Commentary, which Webber has not read. Luther uses many pages explaining the obscure terms of congruous and incongruous grace, Roman Catholic terms, precisely as the papists define the terms, but then deconstructing every possible prop for those terms.

Gerhard taught justification by faith and his definition allows no room for UOJ, so perhaps Webber has not forgiven Chemnitz’ co-laborer for slighting Jay’s favorite dogma. Webber is the genius who offered Rambach’s Pietist perspective over Chemnitz’ – in dealing with 1 Timothy 3:16, so we all know the cards are being dealt from the bottom of the deck.

Webber cited Rydecki on page 32, but where is Rydecki in the references? Such sloppiness would get a paper tossed out of a graduate school class. It is dishonest and craven. Aegidius Hunnius, Theses Opposed to Huberism: A Defense of the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification (translated by Paul A. Rydecki) (Malone, Texas: Repristination Press, 2012), p. 57. Emphases in original.

Ho hum. Webber tries to extricate himself from his basic agreement with Huber, the first Lutheran to teach OJ. Walther made the same attempt, but he was the born-again founder of the Missouri Synod who conceded that Stephan was “a bit of a Pietist.” (Servant of the Word, humor section)

And Gerhard taught OJ, says Webber – just like Luther? Once again there is a paradox, where someone mocks justification by faith and declares he is one with a teaching of Biblical justification.

Calov is also cited in this section (p. 36) as being one with UOJ Enthusiasts, an old claim exploded by Robert Preus himself. As mentioned before, Webber’s years at Ft. Wayne preclude his denial of Justification and Rome’s message. An ELCA pastor would not know or care about Robert Preus, but Webber took his diploma from Preus. How can this major book be ignored when none of us can claim the knowledge of the post-Concord theologians that Robert Preus had.

Let me pose a question. Does anything think a man who knows neither Luther, nor Melanchthon, nor the Book of Concord is magically an expert on the incredibly productive Gerhard and Calov? Each man’s work is like the Great Pyramid. We would not believe it humanly possible except for the fact that the dual monuments of Biblical scholarship exist today as proof of their prolific genius.

B. Justification in the Narrow Sense and in a Broader Sense

p. 36

Repudiation of the Jay Webber OJ Essay

B. Justification in the Narrow Sense and in a Broader Sense
Another thing to take note of in the theology of this period, is that the term “justification”
was almost always interpreted and used in a very strict and narrow sense, as referring to the personal application of the righteousness of Christ to an individual through the means of grace; and to the appropriation and reception of that righteousness by an individual through faith. We generally do not see the term “justification” being employed according to a broader sense…p 36 GJ – more like – never.

This statement minces around the basic fact – justification always means justification by faith, in the Bible, during the Reformation, and in the post-Reformation era. The Huber amalgamation of his Calvinistic past meant that the substance of Objective Justification was introduced, but P. Leyser, Hunnius, and others quashed it and ejected Huber.

The error of Objective Justification was first the Easter absolution (based on 1 Timothy 3:16 being rationalized), but the first use of the terms Objective Justification and Subjective Justification came from the late era of Pietism. The first use in a well known book is the Calvinist Woods’ translation of Knapp – the Halle Pietist.

So the false teachers have reversed the meaning of the term justification, so they assume or pretend that the Chief Article of the Christian Faith, the Master and Prince, the article on which the Church stands or falls – is justification without faith!

And yet Webber, who has quarreled about words for several decades, warns pastors not to quarrel about words, p 38. The UOJ Enthusiasts have bent over backwards to force their philosophy on everyone, to excommunicate those who disagree, and to normalize this blatant rejection of the Christian Faith.

Webber even uses the obscure Quistorp to prop up his OJ, even though no Lutheran body, congregation, or cell group has subscribed to the writings of Qustorp – or heard of him. Suddenly Little in Canada and Quistorp in Rostock supplant and improve upon Luther, Melanchthon, Chemnitz, and Gerhard.

C. Luther and the Missouri Synod, p. 38

Also during the discussion of the theses, someone asked this question:

The tenet has always been declared and confessed by us that through Christ’s resurrection from the dead God has absolved the whole world, that is, pardoned its sins. If, according to this, the whole world has already been absolved and its sin pardoned long ago, what exactly is absolution or the preaching of the Gospel in the church? Is it also a pardon, or merely an announcement of the pardon which has already occurred?

Brohm replied, in effect, that the good news of our absolution does not do us any good if we do not hear it. And God has ordained that the Gospel be proclaimed, so that we can hear it. But when we do hear this message, we are not merely being informed about something from long ago and far away. p 39

Missouri took over the Easter absolution language of Pietism from Walther, who learned it from Martin Stephan, a student but not a graduate of Halle University.

Pietism filtered the lessons of the Reformation so celebrity leaders like Spener and Franke displaced Luther, Melanchthon, and Chemnitz. Cooperation was judged more important than sound doctrine, and the Sacraments could be defined by non-Lutherans to make that cooperation happen.

We can see that Pietistic effect in the former Lutheran Church in America, where the Formula of Concord era was ignored completely in favor of the unionism and compromises of Pietism. The General Synod had revivals, mourners’ benches, and a very low view of the liturgy and creeds. An era of confessionalism sparked by the General Council helped, but Pietism and rationalism re-emerged after the 1918 merger of all the Muhlenberg groups into the United Lutheran Church in America.

D. The Norwegian Synod and the Pietists p. 41

The heading is confusing, because all Lutheran groups in America were Pietistic. The Swedish Augustana Synod was profoundly influenced by the generosity and doctrinal integrity of William Passavant, a giant of American Lutheranism – strangely not mentioned at all. Passavant brokered the creation of the Chicago Seminary (often called Maywood, ULCA), but the seminary professors had to sign their allegiance to the Confessions to teach. Passavant insisted on that because he came out of and grew out of revivalism. He rejected Pietism for loyalty to the Confessions and influenced Augustana in that direction.

Augustana did not accept the Stephan-Walther formula of the Easter absolution of the world – without faith. For the blindly loyal Missouri member, the Norwegian acceptance of Easter absolution was wonderful. But the same basic dogma was being read in the English version of Knapp textbook used in all Protestant schools.

Now we begin to smell the roast. The Norwegian Synod is “orthodox” and the Swedes are “Pietists.”

The Norwegian Synod pastors gently warned their Augustana Synod friends that “If the Gospel and Absolution contained nothing more than what man by faith put into them, then man really had to depend on his faith – he had to have faith in his own faith – and not in the Gospel.”56 p. 42

This shows that the Norwegians had no more grasp of justification than Webber, so he approves, but what a damaging approval. Walther stated clearly that he was teaching faith in universal forgiveness, which is only one step away from Universalism.

The contours of this debate between these two synods – one consciously rooted in
Reformational thinking, and the other influenced by Pietism more then they probably realized – are essentially the same contours that manifested themselves in succeeding years, when the synods that would or did make up the membership of the Synodical Conference continued to defend their Confessional teaching about the objectivity of the gospel, and the objectivity of the forgiveness of sins within the gospel, against various attacks and misrepresentations from other Lutheran groups in America. P. 42

Webber admitted before that the Reformation taught justification by faith, the “narrow” view. The straight and narrow version is far better than the broad and popular version of the World Council of Churches. Therefore, his clumsy narration betrays the Pietism of the Norwegians and hides the correct position of the Swedes by vilifying it.

Webber omits the fact that this conflict produced the fourth Kokomo Statement, which WELS made mandatory for membership, kicking out the families who disagreed.

Rolf Preus recorded the martyrdom of Herman Amberg Preus, another reason for the Preus brothers Jack and Robert, and Robert’s sons, to remain loyal to absolution without faith. The Anti-Missouri Brotherhood’s agitation led to the removal of Preus from his congregation.

The last parts are equally pathetic, a transparent attempt to rewrite doctrinal history while ignoring the Biblical truths rescued from the papacy.

The UOJ clowns have created their own interlocking papacy. Like the Marian salesmen, they say, “The Church has always taught this,” but it is absolution without faith – except faith in that universal absolution – instead of the Assumption and Immaculate Conception of Mary.

As their hero Edward Preuss said upon leaving his St. Louis seminary professorship for Rome, “Give me the documents and I can prove anything.”

That is especially true of someone with little training, no serious publications, and no spiritual discernment.

Jay Webber’s One-Sided References, p. 53f.

The present essay is chiefly a work of historical theology. We have explored the question of what our forefathers in the faith believed and taught with respect to the matter of objective and subjective justification, and why. We have also sought to learn some lessons from this history for the well-being of the church in our own time. We have endeavored not to duplicate the fine work that has been done by others over the years, in explicating the doctrine of justification in all of its parts from the perspective of exegetical theology and pastoral theology, or in addressing the historical dimensions of this subject in ways that focus on times and places other than where our focus has been. The following bibliography is comprised of such other writings, which we
recommend for further study:

Buchholz, Jon D. “Jesus Canceled Your Debt!” 2012. Available online.
Curia, Rick Nicholas. The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification among the Churches of the Former Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America. 1983. Available online.

Hardt, Tom G. A. “Justification and Easter: A Study in Subjective and Objective Justification in Lutheran Theology,” in A Lively Legacy: Essays in Honor of Robert Preus, edited by Kurt E. Marquart, John R. Stephenson, and Bjarne W. Teigen. Fort Wayne: Concordia Theological Seminary, 1985. The Hardt essay is available online.

Marquart, Kurt E. “Objective Justification.” 1998. Available online.

Marquart, Kurt E. “The Reformation Roots of Objective Justification,” in A Lively Legacy: Essays in Honor of Robert Preus. The Marquart essay is available online.

Preus, Herman Amberg. “The Justification of the World.” 1874. Translated by Herbert Larson. Available online.

Preus, Robert D. “Objective Justification.” Concordia Theological Seminary Newsletter (Spring 1981). Available online.

Preus, Robert D., compiler. Selected Articles on Objective Justification. Fort Wayne: Concordia Theological Seminary Press, n.d. Available online. The authors of the articles in this collection are W. Arndt, H. J. Bouman, Theodore Engelder, Martin H. Franzmann, Edward W. A. Koehler, and George Stoeckhardt.

Schurb, Ken R. Does the Lutheran Confessions’ Emphasis on Subjective Justification Mitigate Their Teaching of Objective Justification? 1982. Available online.

Walther, C. F. W. “The Doctrine of Justification,” Lutheran Standard, November 1, 1872, pp. 163ff. Available online. This is an English translation of the essay that was delivered (in German) at the inaugural convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference. The official proceedings of the convention do not identify the essayist. Some have stated that the essayist on this occasion was Friedrich A. Schmidt, but our conclusion, based on all the evidence (including the testimony of Franz Pieper), is that it was Walther.

Walther, C. F. W. “Easter: Christ’s Resurrection – The World’s Absolution,” in The Word of His Grace: Sermon Selections. Lake Mills, Iowa: Graphic Publishing Company, Inc., 1978, pp. 229-36.

Walther, C. F. W. Justification: Subjective and Objective. Fort Wayne: Concordia Theological Seminary Press, 1982. Translated by Kurt E. Marquart. This is a more recent translation of the essay delivered at the 1872 convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference. (The materials listed above that are available online, can all be accessed by means of this “Lutheran Theology” web page:

Commentary by Gregory L. Jackson Follows

This set of references is truly a rotten pot and stinks up the entire paper, as expected. Normally I go to the references first, before reading a paper, but this time I waited, my mouth open in shock at the repeated unverified claims made by Jay Webber, MDiv.

Presenting only one side of an issue and never giving credit to another view is a typical undergraduate approach, worsened by today’s political – or identity – politics. The “conservative” Lutherans are no better. This is not even undergraduate work, because the argumentation wanders all over the field without addressing key issues or authors.

Nothing on the list supports justification by faith, which is the intended target of his essay, although the author is not honest enough or brave enough to admit his agenda. Instead, the references lead the unwary to think the entire topic of justification is covered, if superficially by this list.

I know Robert Preus taught at Concordia, Ft. Wayne and was president of the seminary when Jay graduated. I attended some classes there, including David Scaer’s, Klemet Preus’, and lectures by Marquart, Preus, and one of their liberals.

One would expect that Preus’ last work – on justification – would be included in this short list. But lo – it is not. Justification and Rome is missing in the essay and missing as a reference. Risking a violation of the Eighth Commandment, I contend this happened because Preus clearly repudiated UOJ in his book, repeatedly and clearly, in his own words and those of the late orthodox period, the subject of his second doctorate. Robert and Jack Preus teamed up against Walter A. Maier, on this very topic, giving Robert the Ft. Wayne presidency instead of Maier. That made it difficult for Robert to admit he was wrong, but he did retract his error through this book.

Even more important – I expect Martin Luther’s Galatians Commentary to be on the list, since the Concordists named it as a work for additional subject. The commentary is only mentioned in the essay, never addressed, because Luther made it his final, his ultimate work on justification by faith.

The Righteousness of Faith, Article III, Formula of Concord is never discussed seriously. The sub-headings of the Apology would have made interesting commentary, but that brilliant essay on Justification by Faith is missing.

The Augustana? Forget that confession – too concise, too plain and simple. The laity might understand it and toss out the imposters promoting UOJ.

Instead, we have Buchholz’ pathetic OJ gyrations promoted; DP Jon returned the favor by sending around Webber’s sad spectacle of a paper.

Rick Curia’s little book is important, because he took the time to gather all the UOJ material he could, post-Kokomo. I mined some of the best, most absurd UOJ quotations from that book – such as Edward Preuss having all the Hindu and Hottentotts justified.

I addressed both sides of the issue with Thy Strong Word. The UOJ quotations shocked many clergy and awakened many laity. Since then I have re-issued the book free, English-only. Buchholz, who considers himself brilliant, had his own free copy, but he never read it or unpacked it when he left his debt-ridden congregation in Washington for Tempe, Arizona.

Everyone is getting increasingly feverish after JP Meyer’s Ministers of Christ, which set a new record in plumbing the depths of false doctrine. Three of Meyer’s theses became part of the Kokomo Statements, which were used as the standard of orthodoxy to kick two families out of WELS.

Webber claims – absurdly – “The present essay is chiefly a work of historical theology.” But he omits Kokomo, skips over the invention of OJ/SJ in the Woods translation (which is perhaps found elsewhere). Knapp was very significant for Protestants in the 19th century, certainly for German Lutherans, and the Calvinist translator Woods was one of those Wunderkinder in his own denomination. The impact was there, but where is the history? Nota bene – WELS re-issued Meyer’s book with all the worst statements still there, endorsed by implication by the editor Panning, retired Mequon seminary president, who was on the committee that seconded the defenestration of the two Kokomo families.

No Meyer – No Gausewitz. If one argues that Meyer is a minor figure, apart from WELS, then why ignore Gausewitz, who served as Synodical Conference president, pastor of Grace Downtown in Milwaukee, and author of the catechism used by the Synodical Conference for decades? The original Gausewitz catechism had no UOJ in it at all. Now it is out of print and hard to find.

Likewise, the LCMS has a KJV catechism very much like it – no UOJ. The KJV catechism is still in print, still being sold – is everyone blind and deaf?

Webber began with his hero, Little from Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, but those books are not listed in the references.

Rambach's UOJ rules in the LCMS, WELS, and ELS.
ELCA teaches the same dogma and celebrates it as "grace."