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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Intrepid Lutherans - Catechisms.
Intelligent Discussions Found in the Comments Section


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Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

I'm, personally, not a big fan of Gausewitz (preferring the Dietrich Catechism, these days). But I do have it, and refer to it on occasion.

In this section, his explanation of Redemption seems confusing at first (esp. Q184), but when you take in the entire section, it is clear that he is talking about Redemption in the context of a person's Faith. The Second Article confesses, "I believe..." and that establishes the context of what is being taught (Q182). It is clear, too, when he discusses that from which we have been redeemed (Q192.2), the fruits of redemption (Q193) and the meaning of the resurrection (Q203.3), that none of this can be understood outside the context of Faith.

Making this fact all the more clear is his discussion on the Third Article, concerning the forgiveness of sins. As with the Second, the Third Article confesses "I believe..." and this establishes the context of what is being taught by it. God forgives the sins of believers, and sins are forgiven in the Christian Church on earth, etc. Gausewitz, on the whole, is pretty clear on JBFA.
Vernon Knepprath said...
Thanks Douglas. I was also thinking of the questions under the Third Article, since I have looked them up many times in the last few years. I was taught from the Gausewitz, and it is what most WELS of my generation are familiar with. As you said, the Gausewitz is clear about JBFA and question 261 can't make it any clearer. "God forgives sins to me and all believers." Compare it to Kuske's, which says "God declared all people righteous." The teaching has changed.
Jim Roberts said...
According to "Martin Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation" 1902 Augustana Book Concern:

111. How shall Christ then Judge men?
Christ shall say to the faithful: Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
But to the unbelievers he shall say: Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

125. In what does true faith in Christ consist?
True faith in Christ consists in this, that with our heart's desire we accept Christ as our Saviour and in Him only ground the confident assurance of the forgiveness of our sins, life and salvation.

126. What does God do when man accepts Christ in True faith?
God justifies and regenerates him.

127. What is justification?
Justification is the act of God in which he imputed to us the meritorious righteousness of Jesus Christ and forgives all our sins.

127 is after 126 and shows Justification by Faith Alone.

128. What is regeneration?
Regeneration is that work of grace in which the believer, at the time of justification, by reason of the grace of baptism, receives the new life in Christ and becomes a child of God.

131. How does the Holy Ghost preserve a believer in the true faith?
The Holy Ghost continues to call and enlighten the believer, and thereby helps him through daily repentance to seek and accept from his Saviour the forgiveness of his sins and renewed strength for continued growth in sanctification.

Jim Roberts
Mr. Douglas Lindee said...
I'm, personally, not a big fan of Gausewitz (preferring the Dietrich Catechism, these days). But I do have it, and refer to it on occasion.

In this section, his explanation of Redemption seems confusing at first (esp. Q184), but when you take in the entire section, it is clear that he is talking about Redemption in the context of a person's Faith. The Second Article confesses, "I believe..." and that establishes the context of what is being taught (Q182). It is clear, too, when he discusses that from which we have been redeemed (Q192.2), the fruits of redemption (Q193) and the meaning of the resurrection (Q203.3), that none of this can be understood outside the context of Faith.

Making this fact all the more clear is his discussion on the Third Article, concerning the forgiveness of sins. As with the Second, the Third Article confesses "I believe..." and this establishes the context of what is being taught by it. God forgives the sins of believers, and sins are forgiven in the Christian Church on earth, etc. Gausewitz, on the whole, is pretty clear on JBFA.
Vernon Knepprath said...
Thanks Douglas. I was also thinking of the questions under the Third Article, since I have looked them up many times in the last few years. I was taught from the Gausewitz, and it is what most WELS of my generation are familiar with. As you said, the Gausewitz is clear about JBFA and question 261 can't make it any clearer. "God forgives sins to me and all believers." Compare it to Kuske's, which says "God declared all people righteous." The teaching has changed.
Jim Roberts said...
According to "Martin Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation" 1902 Augustana Book Concern:

111. How shall Christ then Judge men?
Christ shall say to the faithful: Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
But to the unbelievers he shall say: Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

125. In what does true faith in Christ consist?
True faith in Christ consists in this, that with our heart's desire we accept Christ as our Saviour and in Him only ground the confident assurance of the forgiveness of our sins, life and salvation.

126. What does God do when man accepts Christ in True faith?
God justifies and regenerates him.

127. What is justification?
Justification is the act of God in which he imputed to us the meritorious righteousness of Jesus Christ and forgives all our sins.

127 is after 126 and shows Justification by Faith Alone.

128. What is regeneration?
Regeneration is that work of grace in which the believer, at the time of justification, by reason of the grace of baptism, receives the new life in Christ and becomes a child of God.

131. How does the Holy Ghost preserve a believer in the true faith?
The Holy Ghost continues to call and enlighten the believer, and thereby helps him through daily repentance to seek and accept from his Saviour the forgiveness of his sins and renewed strength for continued growth in sanctification.

Jim Roberts





***

GJ - I get a wee bit nervous when people talk about which catechism is best. I have always used Luther's bare, naked Small Catechism.

Editions of Luther's Small Catechism become increasingly Talmudic, with commentary upon commentary, words piled on words. Is the correct answer really what this or that edition said?

I appreciate the discussion above, which casts a lot of light on the conflicts created by Lutheran publishers, especially WELS. The Kuske Catechism turned justification inside out, making justification by faith justification without faith.

When people learn to translate, they often put the words above the text, as I did when a young lad in college. The problem is, the eyes go to the inserted word and not to the original one. The language student will not learn the language by looking at the words above. Therefore, the translator must use the bare, naked text and read it over and over until it becomes familiar. A jimmy (after KJV) or pony (free ride) is useful, as long as it is kept closed and off to the side.

LI was shocked that I wrote in words, because I forbade it while tutoring him. I said, "I learned it was wrong to do that, so you will not." We opened Lenski when necessary and the Keys book in German.
That led to talking in Lenski-isms - "Be thou continually brushing thy teeth" and so forth.

The Small Catechism is already a brilliant summary of the entire Bible, so why inflate it with the Talmudic commentary of various groups? That pits the A edition against the B edition, and "I grew up with A" while others say, "But I grew up with C."

So I use the Triglotta Small Catechism.

When people start comparing their Small Catechism editions, the ones with all the extra text, they end up looking at the extra text rather than the original - the same problem as in translating, and they tend to memorize the translation. We do not need anything more than a clear English text of the Catechism and the Biblical text.

The falser the teacher, the greater the explanations, until the explanations or glosses become the canon. Thus Walther, the Brief Confession of 1932, the Kuske Catechism, and Valleskey or Bivens on any topic.

Jay Webber had to wander all over the landscape for 50 pages to explain that the Bible, Luther, and the clown chorus members of ELS-WELS-LCMS all teach justification without faith.


The Third Article.

Of Sanctification.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; one holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

What does this mean?--Answer.

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. This is most certainly true.


If we are confused by the pulpit brawlers who seek to divide and ruin the true Church, we only need to look at the Large Catechism on the same topic -


38] For neither you nor I could ever know anything of Christ, or believe on Him, and obtain Him for our Lord, unless it were offered to us and granted to our hearts by the Holy Ghost through the preaching of the Gospel. The work is done and accomplished; for Christ has acquired and gained the treasure for us by His suffering, death, resurrection, etc. But if the work remained concealed so that no one knew of it, then it would be in vain and lost. That this treasure, therefore, might not lie buried, but be appropriated and enjoyed, God has caused the Word to go forth and be proclaimed, in which He gives the Holy Ghost to bring this treasure home and appropriate it to us. 39] Therefore sanctifying is nothing else than bringing us to Christ to receive this good, to which we could not attain of ourselves.


56] But outside of this Christian Church, where the Gospel is not, there is no forgiveness, as also there can be no holiness [sanctification]. Therefore all who seek and wish to merit holiness [sanctification], not through the Gospel and forgiveness of sin, but by their works, have expelled and severed themselves [from this Church].