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Monday, June 15, 2015

Part 7 - Repudiating Jay Webber's OJ Essay References at Emmaus.
One-Sided, Sloppy, Tendentious

Carl Gausewitz, Synodical Conference President,
Missing in Action, Webber essay
Jay Webber’s Sloppy, 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: tinyurl.com/lutherantheology)

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.


 
Jay Webber and the ELS pastors refer to Wisconsin Lutheran Semiary
as "The Sausage Factory."
But he is just like them - repeat after me false dogma.