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Friday, September 25, 2015

Historical Introduction to The Faith of Jesus: Against the Faithless Lutherans.
About the Terms OJ and SJ, UOJ and General Justification



We heard the throbbing and pulsing of a powerful motorcycle engine yesterday morning. A couple drove up on their bike. Were they angry that I made fun of the WELS sermon - I Am So Glad Jesus Rode a Hog? After all, we were in the midst of a giant motorcycle rally that brings thousands of easy riders to town.

No, they wanted to talk about justification by faith. I promised them this chapter.


Historical Introduction to

The Faith of Jesus:
Against the Faithless Lutherans

Second Draft – Corrections are welcome. Send to bethanylutheranworship@gmail.com

The Faith of Jesus is being written to encourage study of justification by faith and its opposing doctrine, called by various names – General Justification, Objective Justification, and the favorite WELS/ELS redundancy Universal Objective Justification – UOJ – a dogma with two anchors. One is the misinterpretation of 1 Timothy 3:16. The second is its origin in Calvinism and Pietism, both anti-efficacy and anti-Means of Grace.

Neglect of Biblical fundamentals have made this possible.
If the inerrancy of Scripture were enough for unity, then all denominations calling themselves conservative would be united in one common confession. But these well known, historic principles have been neglected in the last century.
1.    The efficacy of the Word – God’s will and Word are the same, which also means that the power of the Word comes from the Holy Spirit working exclusively through the Word and never apart from the Word. Separating the two is the very definition of Enthusiasm or false doctrine, as confessed in the seldom-mentioned Smalcald  Articles – by Luther – in the Book of Concord.
2.    Scripture interprets Scripture – The Bible is the Book of the Holy Spirit, a unified truth, so the clearest and simplest passages explain the more difficult ones. Those who want to make a dogma out of one phrase are hoodwinking their disciples.
3.    The Means of Grace – The Word and Sacraments are the Means, or Instruments, of God’s grace, the invisible Word of teaching and preaching, the visible Word of Holy Baptism, Holy Communion, Ordination, and Absolution.  God uses the power of the Gospel Word in the sacraments to give us comfort and certainty.

Second, the Roman Catholic approach is entirely wrong and predestined to create evil results.
When pastors, officials, or professors claim to have a special knowledge or position that allows them to refute any question by calling on their unique positions, they are relying on Roman Catholic argumentation. They are repudiating these historic principles:
1.    The clarity or perspicuity of Scripture – God’s revelation is so plain and clear that anyone can learn the essentials of the Christian Faith through the Word of God alone.
2.    The Bible judges all books, all the works of man – No human writing has any authority over the Scriptures, so a massive collection of essays in favor of justification without faith is only impressive in the extent of the deception perpetrated.
Lutherans do not have a hierarchy where the Synod President and professors are infallible, as if the Holy Spirit would not allow them to make a mistake. By assuming this divine role the UOJ fanatics have made themselves mini-Antichrists, saying such things as,
·       “You cannot argue with me. I studied Greek!”
·       “The Circuit Pastor was appointed by the Holy Spirit. To argue with him is the same as arguing with God. I cannot do that.”
·       “The Synod voted…”
I studied doctrine at the only Vatican-owned seminary in America. They had hundreds of books supporting Purgatory and the Immaculate Conception of Mary in their library. No book, not even a library of books, can supplant the Scriptures.

The Biblical Error That Distorts All Justification Passages
This 1 Timothy verse is not cited as often as Romans 4:25 (raised for our justification) and John 1:29 (Who takes away the sins of the world) and Romans 5:6 (died for the ungodly). However, as anyone can see, every UOJ proponent acepts the Pietistic meaning of the verse.

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
1.   God was manifest in the flesh,
2.   justified in the Spirit,
3.   seen of angels,
4.   preached unto the Gentiles,
5.   believed on in the world,
6.   received up into glory.
This is clearly a confession of faith, used in the early Church, and perhaps a hymn. “Without controversy” is easily paraphrased as “In our confession.” The confession consists of six verb forms, clear and compelling in their brief phrases.
The issue is “justified in the Spirit.” As everyone knows from the unified truth of the Scriptures, Jesus was and is without sin. Therefore, He had no need for being justified, declared forgiven as a sinner – as we do. However, His resurrection from the dead was God’s declaration to us that His Son did not see corruption because He did not sin. Therefore, justified in the Spirit means Jesus was shown to the world as without sin, revealed as innocent by virtue of the empty tomb. Sinners die, but the Sinless One rose from the dead.
Although this seems clear and plain, the Pietists saw Jesus as justifying the entire world by rising from the dead. Their logic is – If He became sin for us, then everyone in the world became righteous through Him.
Pietism
Jay Webber gave this away when he countered Martin Chemnitz on 1 Timothy 3:16 with the Pietist Rambach – with other support from the Pietist Quistorp:
I can understand why Chemnitz would read 1 Timothy 3:16 in this way. But his reading does not rule out what I would consider to be a necessary corrolary (sic) to such a "personal" justification of Jesus. The 18th-century Lutheran theologian Johann Jacob Rambach makes the following observation in his Ausfuehrliche Erklaerung der Epistel an die Roemer (p. 322), regarding the Lord's payment and satisfaction of sinful humanity's "debt" to God:

"Christ was in his resurrection first of all justified for his own person, 
Is. 50:5, 1 Tim. 3:16, since the righteousness of God declared that it had been paid and satisfied in full by this our Substitute, and issued him as it were a receipt thereof; and that happened in his resurrection, when he was released from his debtor's prison and set free. But since the Substitute was now justified, then in him also all debtors were co-justified."
(http://www.intrepidlutherans.com/2011/09/fraternal-dialogue-on-topic-of.html?showComment=1318465094266#c1455795606018035846)

Webber made a staggering and unbelievable claim when he described his propaganda essay as a work of historical theology. The boggy, verbose, and undisciplined effort avoided key points of history and revealed a lack of knowledge – or candor – about most of it.

The Dogma Is Older Than the Terms
First we have to distinguish between the term concept of universal forgiveness and their term Objective Justification. The concept arrived among Lutherans long before the term was used. Since Walther is the gold standard of doctrine for Webber and other synodical drones, it should be added that OJ is a term later adopted by Walther, blessed, by Walther, and used by his minions. In a roundabout way, the double justification terminology came from the Calvinist translation of a doctrinal textbook from Halle University, authored by Christian George Knapp.
Hoenecke, who graduated from Halle University, used General Justification, which may sound neutral, but the German word really means :”every single one” so the German term has the same force as universal. To make this redundantly clear, WELS has generally used Universal Objective Justification lately, because the sect has made a fetish of their favorite dogma. Using Universal and Objective together is repetitive in meaning, similar to saying “a very unique” destination when unique literally means one of a kind.
But WELS has not been blessed with literate writers for a long time, so they have their UOJ and others their OJ. Sig Becker, a Missouri convert to WELS, tried to make distinctions about some of these terms, but his explanations were distinctions without a difference.

Huber the First Professor of OJ in Lutheranism
Some think Objective Justification is very much like Calvinism. Our researcher is working on a separate essay about this. Dr. Lito Cruz believes this to be true, and I would add that Calvin’s scheme is harmonious with OJ.
Calvin separated the Holy Spirit’s work from the Word and Sacraments, using the term sovereign. Because the Spirit is sovereign, He may make a sermon effective or he may not even appear for the service. Calvin did not write this once but many times, as described by a Harvard doctoral researcher and published in his excellent book on this topic. This separation of Word and Spirit is called Enthusiasm by Luther and the Book of Concord in the Smalcald Articles, where Enthusiasm is condemned.
Notice how Calvinism is remarkably close to Walther’s “election without faith.” For Calvin, God has predestined a small percentage of all church members to eternal salvation and the rest of the world to eternal damnation. That is Calvin’s double predestination. The tiny yield is because of God’s grace, and truly shows God’s grace, they claim. Mark Twain observed that a Calvinistic sermon reduced the number of saved to such a small number that it was not really worth the trouble. The Waltherians like to emphasize Grace! - disparaging the Means of Grace by thought, word, and deed. So their grace is a faux-grace, since they tear down or ignore the Instruments of Grace, the Word and Sacraments. Thus Missouri and its siblings passed easily into Pentecostalism and Church Growthism. Worship has been left behind in favor of entertainment.
The rationalism of Calvin certainly infected his followers, who often live up to the slogan “Young Calvinist, Old Unitarian.” This slogan fits entire countries, as evidenced in the Calvinistic history of New England, and other parts of America. The greater the Calvinistic influence, the more quickly rationalism takes over.
Missouri has often been infatuated with old time Calvinists, because many Calvinists were early to use English in America (unlike Missouri) and the traditional Calvinists seemed to be allies against Modernism.
WELS, Missouri, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and the Church of the Lutheran Confession (sic) have cast longing eyes over the fence at other Protestant groups, the loopier the group, the better. Fuller is their Mecca, and Willow Creek is their local haven. The first one to open the gate to UOJ was Samuel Huber, and they have yet to admit this fact, quoting their Pietist leader Walther to confirm the truth of their denial.

Samuel Huber, Wittenberg OJ Errorist Defeated by Concordists
Huber was a Calvinist who became a Lutheran, long enough to be on the Wittenberg faculty. He began attacking justification by faith from within, like his descendants in the Synodical Conference. The Objective Justification salesmen of today would like to disassociate themselves from Huber, but they teach essentially the same dogma. Walther also could not accept this, because all the arguments against Huber also address Walther’s errors. The answer, say the OJ Fan Club, is to agree with Walther that Huber was not truly in the OJ camp, just a demi-semi-OJist.
Pastor Paul Rydecki summed up the issue this way on Intrepid Lutherans:
Even so, the Wuerttemberg theologians, as you say, did not like Huber’s terminology, while the Wittenberg theologians unequivocally rejected his terminology. Why, then, did Walther and H.A. Preus go on to adopt that very terminology? And why does it bother the supporters of universal justification so much to be linked to Huber, if, according to Walther, his doctrine was substantively orthodox and nothing for orthodox Lutherans to get bent out of shape about? If Walther’s followers think that Huber was basically orthodox with regard to justification and that the Wittenberg theologians taught justification wrongly (since they rejected Huber’s teaching of it), then it would seem to be the honest thing to just come out and say so.
This post-Concord conflict is summed up well by Pastor Paul Rydecki:
Hunnius takes apart Huber’s (and the official WELS) doctrine piece by piece, concluding with this observation about Huber’s supposed “confessional subscription” to the Lutheran Book of Concord:
And what will Dr. Huber reply to the Book of Concord, which, in citing these very words from Romans, explicitly confirms that those things mean nothing other than that we are justified by faith? This is what the Book of Concord says in the Latin edition, page 666: “Therefore, these statements are equivalent and clearly mean the same thing, when Paul says that we are justified by faith; or that faith is imputed to us for righteousness; and when he teaches that we are justified by the obedience of one Mediator, who is Christ; or that through the righteousness of one man, justification of life comes upon all men. For faith does not justify on account of this, that it is such a good work, or that it is such a splendid virtue, but because it apprehends and embraces the merit of Christ in the promise of the Gospel.” Thus far the Book of Concord.  If the Pauline phrase (that “through the righteousness of one Man, justification of life comes upon all men”) clearly means the same thing as that other statement, “We are justified by faith” (as the Book of Concord clearly and emphatically asserts), then the interpretation is rejected by the sentence of the Book of Concord that imagines from these words of Paul a justification apart from faith—one that extends also to those who have never had faith and never will. Dr. Luther says it even better in [his lectures on] the second chapter to the Galatians: “Where Christ and faith are not present, there is no remission of sins, no refuge, nothing but pure imputation of sins and condemnation.”

Rydecki continued –

According to Hunnius, one cannot honestly claim to be a “confessional” Lutheran while at the same time teaching a justification apart from faith based on Romans 5:18.  His quotation from Luther is also highly relevant.  How long will the WELS continue to claim to be a “confessional Lutheran” church body? How long will the truly confessional Lutheran pastors in the WELS remain in voluntary fellowship with the synod that officially condemns the Gospel of justification by faith alone in Christ as heresy?

A unionist tries to pooh-pooh similarities. In the end, false teachers demand and appreciate a translation of the Bible that repeats their error and appears to canonize it – the New NIV.
However, the core of Objective Justification, however it might be explained, is declaring the entire world forgiven of its sin. That is where Huber started, and that is what Polycarp Leyser and Hunnius opposed.
Leyser was respected enough to be one of the editors of the Book of Concord and an expert in discussions about justification.

Pietism
Pietism really has two major eras in Europe, starting with Spener and his immediate followers, peaking with the establishment of Halle University with the mission of promoting Pietism. Soon after, Halle became the center of rationalism in Europe, and F. Schleiermacher, an alumnus and teacher, earned his place as the pivotal modern theologian – advocating faith without belief.
The second era of Pietism was a reaction to the rationalism that took over clergy training and the institutional church in Europe. Those who dissented were called mystics and Pietists, and many found it difficult to find acceptance or positions in the establishment.
This is very important – all the American Lutheran groups were established with this background of Pietism. The Americanan Luther leaders were either trained at Halle (Hoenecke), trained by Halle students (Walther by Stephan), or associated themselves closely with Halle, - Muhlenberg taught there.
All the American Lutherans groups were greatly influenced by the spirit of union with Calvinism, hiding doctrinal differences among Protestants, and looking for gimmicks like the revival. This rationalistic Pietism was keen on denominational cooperation and allergic to any high church tendencies (as they imagined them) – the liturgy, frequent Holy Communion, and the Book of Concord.
Thus the ingredients of the Wisconsin Synod, the Missouri Synod, and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod were Pietistic. So were the founders of The American Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church in America.

Hoenecke and Halle University
The passage in Hoenecke’s Dogmatics dealing with General Justification offers no refuge for UOJ, but the author does quote the son-in-law of Johann Bengal (1687-1752), who worked closely with and edited his father-in-law’s work. Bengal was a Wuerttemberg Pietist. Hoenecke studied the Confessions on his own after graduating from Halle University. One of the last of the Pietists, Tholuck was his mentor. Tholuck was a Universalist and admitted it gladly. Hoenecke was not a Universalist.

Rambach and Halle University
Rambach is especially important because:
·       Webber quoted him favorably on Objective Justification.
·       The first baptism hymn in The Lutheran Hymnal is Rambach’s.
·       Rambach was a loyal Halle Pietist.
·       Rambach gives us a definite data-point on UOJ being taught at the central school for all Lutherans in North America.
Rambach taught – “In His Person all mankind was justified and absolved from sin and curse.”
Rambach advocated teaching 1 Timothy 3:16 as if all mankind became justified when Christ rose from the dead. Although Bishop Martin Stephan did not graduate from Halle University, we know that Stephan’s distorted version of justification was life-changing, even life-saving for CFW Walther. We also know that Walther taught the same form of justification all his career. Therefore, the Easter absolution of the entire world, without the Word and without faith, is definitely an effect of Halle’s lasting influence.

Knapp and Woods, Objective Justification, and Subjective Justification
Knapp was considered the last of the Pietists at Halle University, a school started to teach Biblical Pietism. But this university, which later absorbed Wittenberg University, became rationalistic rapidly and then became famous for attacking the truth of the Bible. Knapp is an example of both trends. He was still a Pietist, so his lectures in English were a standard work in America in the 19th century and are still print today. But as a rationalist, Knapp did not believe the traditional teaching of the Trinity was based on the Scriptures.
Knapp’s Halle University Lectures on Theology were published in German in 1789. He had already been giving them for decades, so their influence was widely felt. Leonard Wood, a famous Calvinist, translated the lectures into English in 1831, with this notable explanation of a passage from Knapp –
Knapp – “It is universal as the atonement itself...If the atonement extends to the whole human race, justification must also be universal--i.e., all must be able to obtain the actual forgiveness of their sins and blessedness on account of the atonement of Christ. But in order to obviate mistakes, some points may require explanation.”
Woods - *[Translator note - 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.]
Readers, whether innocent or malicious, could make the wording of Knapp or Woods consistent with Biblical doctrine – except for the key Knapp phrase – “justification must also be universal.”
The textbook shows us that universal justification was taught at Halle University when Bishop Stephan studied there, that Woods used the terms Objective Justification and Subjective Justification in America in his 1831 translation, seven years before the Saxons landed in New Orleans.
Synodical Conference leaders try to explain that the terms Objective Justification and Subjective Justification were invented to guard against teaching Calvinism, but the terms came from a Calvinist, the concept from a famous Pietist - Knapp. The Woods textbook quickly became a standard in America because the translator was influential in academics. He was a Wunderkind in publishing this lengthy and tedious Knapp textbook – the foremost man of his period and the president of Bowdoin College.  
The double-justification terminology became famous, traveling from America to Germany, where these terms were noticed and approved by Walther in their German form. Therefore, the supposed Lutheran creation of these terms – “to guard against Calvinism” - is entirely false and easily refuted.

Kuehn and Stephan, Pietistic Leaders of the Walther Circle  
CFW Walther, the son of a pastor, lived in the world of Pietism. The state church was entirely rationalistic, so anyone differing from the purely secular interpretation of the Bible was considered a mystic or a Pietist and usually denied a church position. Therefore students who wanted support in their faith associated in Pietistic circles, having Bible study cell groups and following someone associated with Pietism.
The candidates had a Pietistic Bible study group and some support from professors of the same mindset. The Bible study groups were considered a way around the rules against conventicles.
The first leader of the Walther circle of clergy candidates was H. Johann Gottlieb Kuehn, without a call, a severe Pietistic leader who emphasized mortification of the flesh to combat temptation. His call to a parish led to a crisis, since the circle of future pastors relied on Kuehn’s leadership.
The group soon connected with Martin Stephan a Bohemian Pietist, pastor of St. John in Dresden. Stephan became their new leader. Stephan was called to that congregation in… even though he did not have the qualifications to be a pastor. He had not finished his university education and had not passed the state approval process. This parish was unusual, ethnic in serving Bohemians, and Pietistic since its founding, the land supposedly donated by Count Zinzendorf, one of the key founders of Pietism. Therefore the congregation was allowed to call one of their own Bohemians with the same sympathies – Pietism. They were allowed to have conventicles on the church property but nowhere else.
Stephan taught Walther the Easter absolution of the entire world, universal justification, and Walther embraced it his entire life.
Walther had severe physical and emotional problems, so he thought Stephan’s approach was perfect. However, the candidates paid a price to follow Stephan – they had to agree with Stephan about everything, suffer discipline and shunning if they did not, and apologize to Stephan if they offended him in any way. CFW was happy to be part of handing out discipline to his fellow candidates.
Moving from one severe leader, Kuehn, to another one even more demanding, Stephan, united the future pastors more than ever before. Like all cults, this behavior ossified until the abnormal was accepted as normal. This Pietism was the answer to their rationalistic university education, not unlike today’s, where students and faculty mocked the Bible and bragged about their unbelief.
The Walther circle included CFW’s older brother Otto, Johann.F. Buenger, Otto Fuerbringer (father of Ludwig Fuerbringer) Theodore J. Brohm, Ernst Keyl, Ernst Buerger, and Gotthold Loeber.
Stephan accepted the call to Dresden in 1810 and was considered successful and influential in his first decade there. He became the leader of the Walther circle in the 1830s, when complaints began to arise about his unethical pastoral behavior, his association with young women, and his financial irregularities. The parish that called Stephan became his base for extending influence to a much larger group, leading to complaints that he neglected his congregation for larger group, where the Walther circle collected donations for him.
The trial of Stephan in Dresden, the culmination of many investigations and complaints about his adultery, led to his house arrest. Stephan was finished as a pastor in Dresden, so he announced that his group must leave for America. The Walther circle organized the mass migration, the first allowed in Europe, a media sensation at the time. The Walther brothers kidnapped their niece and nephew for the trip – not the only minors to travel illegally to America. Stephan’s primary mistress had the cabin next door to Stephan on the trip over. Stephan’s healthy son came along, but his sick wife and children were left behind in Dresden to die of syphilis, which Martin gave to her and therefore transmitted to his children, whose tragic fate testified to his evil and callousness. But the Walther circle still pledged their lifelong allegiance to Stephan as bishop when they landed in New Orleans in 1838. The lawyers who defended Stephan in court, Marbach and Vehse, joined the migration to America. Cults see no wrong in their dictatorial leaders.

Francis Pieper
Walther violated the Missouri Synod’s procedures when he made sure Francis Pieper would be elected as the dogmatics professor. This led to Pieper following Walther both as synod and seminary president, teaching the same scheme of double-justification.
The 1932 LCMS Brief Statement regurgitates the main points of UOJ, so adherents of this dogma have sought to make this position the standard view of justification, as if a political product, voted upon by a convention, trumps the Bible and the Book of Concord.
The Missouri Synod never quite canonized UOJ, but the fanatics tried very hard. Justification by faith is still taught in the Concordia Publishing House KJV Catechism. For years the Missouri Synod used the Gausewitz (WELS) catechism, edited by the president of the still intact Synodical Conference. The original Gausewitz teaches justification by faith, not UOJ, but it went out of print when WELS introduced its UOJ Kuske catechism.
As LCMS Pastor Vernon Harley noted in his essays, justification by faith – not UOJ – was taught in Missouri’s German catechism in 1905. In Missouri, justification has been taught by many pastors, but the UOJ fanaticism of Jack Cascione and Paul McCain is dominant at this time.

UOJ Trained Leaders at the WELS Wauwatosa Seminary
The WELS professors at their Wauwatosa Seminary were mostly trained by Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, so they accepted UOJ and made a point of starting anew with theology, divorced from the Lutheran Confessions and inexplicably proud of their meager accomplishments.

The Kokomo Statements and the Expulsion of Two Families for Rejecting UOJ, 1979
Pastor Papenfuss introduced the UOJ of WELS Professor JP Meyer’s Ministers of Christ, now in print again. Two families copied three statement from the book and added another from an earlier UOJ conflict. Pastor Papenfuss agreed with the four statements and excommunicated the two families. WELS upheld the expulsion, in a review headed by the seminary president Panning.
I spoke with both families in Kokomo, and they gave me the letters expelling them for those statements, which were quoted verbatim in the letter.

The Kokomo Statements, Upheld by WELS at the National Level
I. "Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinner's attitude toward Christ's sacrifice, purely on the basis of God's verdict, every sinner, whether he knows it or not, whether he believes it or not, has received the status of saint."

II. "After Christ's intervention and through Christ's intervention God regards all sinners as guilt-free saints."

III. "When God reconciled the world to Himself through Christ, He individually pronounced forgiveness to each individual sinner whether that sinner ever comes to faith or not."

IV. "At the time of the resurrection of Christ, God looked down in hell and declared Judas, the people destroyed in the flood, and all the ungodly, innocent, not guilty, and forgiven of all sin and gave unto them the status of saints."

WELS UOJ Deception
The deception perpetrated by WELS about this conflict is revealed by comparing the two statements below –

J-583
“The three statements unfortunately and inaccurately attributed to Prof. Meyer's Ministers of Christ are in reality inaccurate paraphrases. They were written by a lay member of the Kokomo congregation, who was questioning the WELS doctrine of objective justification as it was presented by the local pastor. The fourth statement was also a paraphrase not from any WELS source. The statements were called "a caricature of objective justification" by WELS president Carl H. Mischke.”
            John Lau, “An Apology and Correction, CLC Journal of Theology, December, 1997.


J-584
"The first three statements are taken verbatim from WELS sources."
Siegbert Becker, "Objective Justification," Chicago Pastoral Conference, WELS, Elgin, Illinois, November 9, 1982, Unpaginated.


Robert Preus I, 1981
Robert Preus posted a short essay in 1981 which proved his devotion to UOJ at the time. He quoted Walther’s favorite St. Louis Seminary professor, Edward Preuss, who later turned Roman Catholic and became a powerful influence in American Roman Catholicism, as editor of America.
---

CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

NEWSLETTER – Spring 1981
6600 North Clinton
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825

THE PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE – "OBJECTIVE JUSTIFICATION"

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 died 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 in Christ to be righteous.

THE SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT

According to all of Scripture Christ made a full atonement for the sins of all mankind. Atonement (at-one-ment) means reconciliation. If God was not reconciled by the saving work of Christ, if His wrath against sin was not appeased by Christ'’ sacrifice, if God did not respond to the perfect obedience and suffering and death of His Son for the sins of the world by forgiveness, by declaring the sinful world to be righteous in Christ -–if all this were not so, if something remains to be done by us or through us or in us, then there is no finished atonement. But Christ said, "It is finished." And God raised Him from the dead and justified Him, pronounced Him, the sin bearer, righteous (I Timothy 3:16) and thus in Him pronounced the entire world of sinners righteous (Romans 4:25).

All this is put beautifully by an old Lutheran theologian of our church, "We are redeemed from the guilt of sin; the wrath of God is appeased; all creation is again under the bright rays of mercy, as in the beginning; yea, in Christ we were justified before we were even born. For do not the Scriptures say: ‘God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them?'’ This is not the justification which we receive by faith...That is the great absolution which took place in the resurrection of Christ. It was the Father, for our sake, who condemned His dear Son as the greatest of all sinners causing Him to suffer the greatest punishment of the transgressors, even so did He publicly absolve Him from the sins of the world when He raised Him up from the dead." (Edward Preuss, "The Justification of a Sinner Before God," pp. 14-15)
GJ - Bold print added. “Old Lutheran theologian” is misleading, since Preuss left the Lutheran Church for Rome.
People give Robert Preus credit for writing the 1983 LCMS Theses on Justification, which are an odd combination of justification by faith and UOJ.
---

Preus II, Rome and Justification, 1997
Reading various publications by Preus show that he first 100% on the side of UOJ. In one essay he combined clear UOJ quotations with equally clear repudiations of UOJ. As an expert in Lutheran orthodoxy after the Book of Concord, he could not help but notice that the truly great ones, like Gerhard, Calov, and Quenstedt (his personal favorite) were aware of UOJ and rejected it in the clearest possible terms. Preus does the same in his own words.
Preus, in writing this book, published posthumously and edited by his sons Rolf and Daniel Preus, clearly repudiated UOJ in the clearest possible terms, a fact his UOJ fans cannot accept. Rolf, Daniel, and the late Klemet Preus have continued in the fanatical strain earlier expressed by their father in 1981.

Emmaus Conference, 2015
The annual Emmaus Conferences have been arranged to draw the ELS, LCMS, and WELS closer together, just as one holding company took over Kmart and Sears at the same time, retaining the labels but unifying the bad management.
The 2015 conference features three speakers with no advanced study in Lutheran doctrine and no bibliography. What better way to deceive people into thinking UOJ is true to the Scriptures, Luther, the Confessions, and the American Way.
The errors of the Jay Webber essay are detailed in the final essay in this book. Webber seems to favor Objective Justification over Universal Objective Justification. The terms make WELS District President Jon Buchholz and LCMS District President as giddy as schoolgirls. But they teach the same thing and agree with ELCA – everyone in the world has already been forgiven and saved. The Gospel is telling them they are already forgiven and saved. Faith means making a decision for this universal absolution and salvation – without faith, without the Word, without the Spirit – Grace without the Means of Grace.