The Glory Has Departed

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I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Part Four - Repudiation of the Webber OJ Essay at the 2015 Emmaus Conference

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. 

Jungkuntz chaired the first, but not the last,
gay Lutheran seminary board.

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. 

I missed this Sasse quotation in the Webber essay.
Please point it out if my cataracts are deceiving me.
Graphic by Zach Engelman

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 burns 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 from the Calvinist Woods, 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. Ibid.
Gerhard worked with Chemnitz on the Harmony of the Gospels.
The Concordists  would all scratch their heads
over the malarkey from the Synodical Conference today.

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.