|This alone destroys Webber's essay,|
so he ignored the entire book.
The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Repudication of Webbers OJ Essay at Emmaus - Fractured History and Double-Talk on Double Justification
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.