|Stand in Awe of Justification|
The Diamond Among the Jewels of Divine Revelation
M. Zarling, 1983
So he begins with a metaphor - justification is the diamond.
But how is this justification defined? After copying the typical descriptions of justification by faith, borrowed from Luther and quoted in the Book of Concord (which he seems not to own), he switches to justification without faith - Universal Objective Justification - cubic zirconia.
Zarling's doctrinal confusion is evidenced by his mauling of the metaphor, in an essay which reads like a prep school assignment sent back for immediate revision. The Jay Webber debacle is enshrined in the essay file too, along with an atheist's support of Church Growth, so the standards are not high.
Let's look at some of his diamond passages, rendered in WELSian blue - a painful, but necessary exercise.
Let us polish the jewel of justification. We need always to stand in awe of this diamond among all of God's revelation. (p. 1) GJ - The Gospel is not polished or protected. All this language reeks of Decision Theology making the Word of God appealing, attractive, and relevant.
However, we need always to be on guard against falsely promoting two types of justification. There is only one divine diamond. Trying to separate the diamond will only shatter it. (p. 1) GJ - He knows as little about diamonds as he does about Lutheran doctrine, and even so contradicts his own claim, making justification forgiveness without faith, as emphasized below in red.
Only Dr. S. Becker carefully delineates between objective and universal justification.
"Universal justification" is a term denoting the doctrine that God has forgiven the sins of all men. Strictly speaking, the term "objective justification" expresses the thought that the sins of a man are forgiven by God whether he believes it or not. Objective justification is not necessarily universal, but if justification is universal it must of necessity be objective. (Becker, Objective Justification, Chicago, 1982) GJ - Who made Sig Becker the Great Prophet who explains the Bible and the Book of Concord?
Perhaps such a distinction is helpful if it assists us in understanding the glorious Gospel: In Jesus, God has declared the entire world righteous and forgiven, regardless of whether or not the world believes it. Such is the jewel described by objective, universal, or general justification. (p. 2)
So it is with justification. Do not try to cut the diamond in two. To do so will only result in falsehood. The truth would be shattered. Objective justification apart from subjective justification leads to universalism. A subjective approach to justification apart from an objective basis would lead to synergism. We quote from President Mischke's newsletter of June, 1982. GJ - These are vapid claims without any support, with confirmation from Pope Mischke, which settles it! Note that the Webber essay has already achieved the isolation of Objective Justification which other apostates (Schleiermacher of Halle, Barth/Kirschbaum of the cozy cabin, ELCA's ILT have promoted.
A word of caution may, however, be in place. It may be well to remind ourselves not to divide "objective" and "subjective" justification as if they were two totally different things which can be treated in isolation from one another. They are rather the two sides of the same coin, and there can be no "saints" or salvation without faith. To teach otherwise would indeed be universalism. (p. 2)Theological terms can be helpful in describing the various facets of the diamond of all doctrines— justification. Yet terminology might cause confusion or result in controversy. Rather than debate the terms, we need to grasp the Scriptural truth. Dr. Becker gets to the heart of justification quickly.
"The crux of the controversy can be summed up in a very simple way: 'Has God forgiven the sins of all men?'" To answer that question accurately, we need to ponder what Scripture reveals about God. (p. 2) GJ - The answer is no!, but the essay continues.The diamond of justification is a revelation of God's eternal plan of salvation. (p. 2)
However, we need always to be on guard against falsely promoting two types of justification. There is only one divine diamond. Trying to separate the diamond will only shatter it. (p. 2) GJ - Zarling made his precious OJ central, not that his SJ means anything to Christians.
Despite the shining glory of this diamond of justification, men continually becloud its brilliance. The problems at Kokomo, at Ft. Wayne, and elsewhere, are but the perennial problems of man's reason conflicting with God's wisdom. (p. 7) GJ - This fuddled freshman has no grasp on the Biblical doctrine of the Word, which stands above all human efforts as a weapon of attack and defense. The Word alone attacks false doctrine. The Word alone defends sound doctrine.
We cannot begin to rationalize this diamond of justification. As mentioned earlier, if we stress objective justification and ignore the warnings of God's Law concerning unbelief, we result in universalism. (p. 8) GJ - Universal absolution and salvation is Universalism, but the Universalists are honest about it, but WELS shimmies and quivers and denies and re-asserts. "What are you hiding in your nasty little pocketses?" as Gollum asked Bilbo. (Tolkien, The Hobbit)
Satan will continually try to corrupt this diamond of justification. Errors creep in among seemingly orthodox statements. Let us always be vigilant to protect this jewel. We dare not separate it into two distinctive doctrines. There is but one diamond. (p. 9) GJ - He should have warned Gausewitz, whose catechism never mentioned UOJ, or Missouri's old Catechism, 1905, which defined justification as justification by faith. Once again - WELS postures as the group protecting God's Word when the Scriptures convict the sect of false doctrine.
It is true, even if I doubt it, even if I don't believe it. This is the priceless treasure of the diamond of justification. On my deathbed I need not fear, nor worry, nor doubt. God has declared the world righteous in Christ. I am part of the world. Therefore; I know I am declared righteous. Our preaching, our teaching, our life, all must stand on this jewel of justification. There is no question about it. (p. 11) GJ - This syllogism of sillyness would make Dr. Cruz' head spin.
GJ - The two graphics above answer the abominations in the Zarling essay, and yet Zarling is president of a college preparing young men and women for church vocations, preaching and teaching. No wonder the so-called Evangelism Day at Martin Luther College is an orgy of Jeske's Church and Changers invading New Ulm with their tricks, gimmicks, and Dreck.
No wonder Martin Luther College is the gay capital of Lutheran colleges in America.