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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Brett Meyer on Steadfast (sic) Lutherans (hardeeharhar).
More Like Harrison's Fog Machine. UOJ as Their Chief Dogma versus
Justification by Faith, as Paul, Luther, and BoC Teach


Steadfast Lutherans - Brett Meyer
  1. Brett Meyer
    February 16th, 2014 at 21:38 | #6
    T. R. Halvorson :@Rev. Paul Rydecki #43 
    Rev. Rydecki, I admit not having read the whole thread, so if this was already discussed, please bear with me.
    I am interested in every thing I can find out about the exegesis of 1 John 2:2, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”
    Do you think this text has a bearing on the question being discussed in this thread?
    Romans 3:23-26, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousess for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Scripture clarifies 1 John 2:2 in Romans 3:23-26 by teaching that Christ is man’s propitiation through faith alone. Not before and without faith as the doctrine of Universal Objective Justification falsely claims.
  2. February 16th, 2014 at 22:21 | #7
    @Brett Meyer #6 
    Thanks for your polite and substantive reply.
    While I do understand the principles of Scripture interpreting Scripture, taking the whole counsel, reading passages together, and so on, a problem remains for me in the use made of Romans 3:23-26 to condition1 John 2:2.
    It makes surplusage and superfluity of the words, “not for ours only but also for the whole world.” With the interpretation you are making, what is left of that clause? How is Jesus the propitiation for the sins of believers, and also everyone else in the world, by the interpretation you are making? In other words, can we let the Romans text erase words from the 1 John text?
  3. Thomas
    February 16th, 2014 at 22:23 | #8
    Nobody has denied that salvation comes through faith in Christ alone. Nobody has suggested that a man can be saved outside of faith in Jesus. Nobody is advocating universalism. But the fact remains that Jesus’ death on the cross was the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. Salvation is available for all men who are brought to faith by the Spirit. Again, simply because a person rejects the salvation won for him by the Lord doesn’t mean that it wasn’t won. What’s the angle with you guys anyway?
  4. Thomas
    February 16th, 2014 at 22:35 | #9
    “And yet Objective Justification teaches that God has declared the whole world of sinners to be righteous, not by faith in Christ.”
    This statement is completely false. It seems sometimes like the deniers of UOJ are being intentionally obtuse. There are two parts: 1- Jesus earned salvation for the whole world through His death and resurrection. 2- That salvation is individually applied to the sinner through the means of grace. Those who reject the Gospel die in unbelief and are lost. Nobody, repeat, nobody is claiming that a man is justified without faith in Jesus Christ.
  5. Jais Tinglund
    February 16th, 2014 at 23:18 | #10
    Somehow it seems to me that all sorts of problems are involved in citing a passage of Holy Scripture which clearly states that “all [...] are justified freely by His grace” as irrefutable evidence that all are not justified by His grace …
  6. Elizabeth
    February 17th, 2014 at 05:33 | #11
    But that is not the whole verse, Jais. Surely it should be read in context. No faith, no justification:
    21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for ALL WHO BELIEVE. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by FAITH. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has FAITH in Jesus.
    And Thomas: the Scripture nowhere bifurcates Justification. Neither should you. To do so is to use your ‘reason’ in the same way we often accuse Calvinists of doing. :o
    I understand what UOJers are trying to do with their schema, and I don’t doubt their sincerity in doing it, but the schema is SO clumsy, so easily misunderstood it muddies the clear water of God’s good Scripture.
  7. Pr. Jim Schulz
    February 17th, 2014 at 07:10 | #12
    It has been stated that nobody is claiming that a man is justified without faith or that no one is teaching Objective Justification separate from Subjective Justification.
    Am I missing something here? It seems to me this theologian did, even in the title of his paper:
    “The Primary Doctrine in Its Primary Setting: Objective Justification and Lutheran Worship”


  8. Thomas
    February 17th, 2014 at 07:31 | #13
    I’m not “bifucating” (sic) justification. Christ died for the sins of the world. His salvation is individually applied to the sinner through the means of grace. Those who reject that salvation die in their sins and are lost. Nobody is saved except by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. This is basic Lutheran theology. How thus “muddies the waters” I have no idea. My part in this conversation is over. As usual, this debate goes in fruitless circles. Thanks again to Mr. Pierce for making the case so well.
  9. Sven Wagschal
    February 17th, 2014 at 08:10 | #14
    Pr. Jim Schulz :
    It has been stated that nobody is claiming that a man is justified without faith or that no one is teaching Objective Justification separate from Subjective Justification.
    Am I missing something here? It seems to me this theologian did, even in the title of his paper:
    “The Primary Doctrine in Its Primary Setting: Objective Justification and Lutheran Worship”
    http://www.wlsessays.net/files/BivensPrimary.pdf
    No, he does not. Please read the paper. The message of justification leads to faith, which receives this justification. But faith is grounded on that which Christ did for me and all men, and it flows from the gospel proclaiming these glorious works of Christ.
    It must be noted at this point that faith has no worth of its own. God is not justifying a sinner because of his faith *as such* but because of his faith *in Jesus*. Faith is the means by which the sinner receives Christ, clings to him, takes hold of him. Faith is not the one work which in stead of the other works (of the law) is able to safe the sinner. Luther points this out again and again, Pieper writes about it, too. Faith is not the sole work the sinner has to do to become saved, faith has no quality of its own.
    This is the great misunderstanding of many pietists and evangelicals. They focus on *faith as such* instead of adjusting their eyes to Jesus—and so they are looking back to themselves instead to Jesus. Luther described sin as “incurvatio in se ipsum” (in English “to be distorted into oneself”, I think, “in sich selbst verkrümmt sein”); faith, on the other hand, shifts the eyes from one self to another one, i. e. Jesus. You can tell that something goes terribly wrong if faith as such becomes the center instead of Jesus.
    To view from another angle: there are the three solas “sola gratia”, “sola fide” and “sola scriptura”, and there is one solus: solus Christus. The three are Ablative in Latin, the latter is Nominative. For what “Christ alone” means is clarified and explained by the three: Only Jesus safes, because God send him to redeem me which I was and am unable to do, only by trusting in him and clinging to him I live and will live in eternity in the presence of God, and only in scripture I can find him and receive him.
  10. Pr. Jim Schulz
    February 17th, 2014 at 08:36 | #15
    Sven, I did read the paper. The author is clear: “If justification is universal, it must also be objective – sinners are forgiven whether they believe it or not.” p.2.
    Since “sinners are forgiven whether they believe it or not,” the author doesn’t emphasize Word and Sacrament which deliver “forgiveness, life, and salvation” (Small Catechism). Rather, according to the author, the emphasis of Lutheran worship is effective communication: “The task of communicating the gospel message accurately and adequately will remain one of utmost importance” (p.5) because “Our gracious God has justified every individual person…. God’s will and our desire is that each person be brought to understand and embrace this truth” (p.7).
    “Subjective Justification” shows up only in a footnote in this paper (p.2).
    This is an example of what can happen when Objective Justification and Subjective Justification are treated as two separate doctrines rather than two aspects of the one doctrine of justification by faith alone.
  11. Pr. Jim Schulz
    February 17th, 2014 at 08:48 | #16
    This is a proper understanding of the doctrine of justification, or the forgiveness of sins, in Lutheran worship. The author hits the nail on the head when he says, “The crisis over the liturgy is a result of confusion over the forgiveness of sins” (p.1).:
    http://www.ctsfw.edu/document.doc?id=275 (oops, can't find the page now)
  12. Jais H. Tinglund
    February 17th, 2014 at 08:56 | #17
    Elizabeth :
    But that is not the whole verse, Jais.
    I am not aware that anybody has ever claimed it was. But then again, there are a lot of things being said out there, particularly on the internet. So I am unable to claim with absolutely certainly that somebody has not, at some point, made a such claim. I am not exactly sure what it has to do with me, though …
    Elizabeth :
    Surely it should be read in context.
    It should indeed, and preferably also be understood. It should be read in the immediate context, and in the whole-Biblical context; furthermore, – and this would probably seem obvious to many, but obviously is not obvious to everybody – it should be understood by being read withoutignoring the individual statements of which both it and its contexts are made up.
    It is very common in the Lutheran tradition to follow this principle for the interpretation of Scripture; although there are those who, when they disagree with the conclusions it leads to, will dismiss it is a schema that is too complicated, “clumsy” or “muddying the waters”. For some the fact that a couple of letters can be put in the higher case is “SO” much more compelling.
    Many theologians find, though, that the schema – often referred to as “interpreting Scripture with Scripture”, or using other combinations of the same words, in different tenses, with or without caps – is very helpful, as do many theologically minded laypeople.
    Elizabeth :
    No faith, no justification:
    No promise, no faith in the promise.
  13. Sven Wagschal
    February 17th, 2014 at 09:49 | #18
    Pr. Jim Schulz :
    Sven, I did read the paper. The author is clear: “If justification is universal, it must also be objective – sinners are forgiven whether they believe it or not.” p.2.
    Since “sinners are forgiven whether they believe it or not,” the author doesn’t emphasize Word and Sacrament which deliver “forgiveness, life, and salvation” (Small Catechism). Rather, according to the author, the emphasis of Lutheran worship is effective communication: “The task of communicating the gospel message accurately and adequately will remain one of utmost importance” (p.5) because “Our gracious God has justified every individual person…. God’s will and our desire is that each person be brought to understand and embrace this truth” (p.7).
    “Subjective Justification” shows up only in a footnote in this paper (p.2).
    This is an example of what can happen when Objective Justification and Subjective Justification are treated as two separate doctrines rather than two aspects of the one doctrine of justification by faith alone.
    No, this is not the entire picture. The author of this paper writes on page 2:
    “The accomplishment of justification in the lives of sinners like us is profound. The declaratory act of God, like the substitutionary life and death of Jesus Christ th at serve as its basis, is not debatable or changeable. It stands firm as the solid hope for otherwise hopeless and helpless mankind. This declaration of forgiveness, that is, the gospel, conveys life to those spiritually dead. The message of justification invites faith, creates faith, and then maintains faith in the message. With faith come spiritual and eternal life, deep joy, and a profound sense of awe toward the forgiving Lord. Divine love gives birth to love, and justified people who are brought to
    embrace the truth now love because he first loved them. Like all of God’s truths, justification accomplishes profound things in people’s hearts and lives!”
    This is subjective justification. It is not not our faith that creates us new, but the faith is a creature of the gospel which makes a new man. Faith is not justifying us because we are believing, but faith justifies us because we are believing in Jesus. It is the life and work of Christ proclaimed to the sinner which is of importance.
    The enemies of the biblical truth of objective justification do not seem to know what faith is, what the ground is on which faith is rested, who Jesus is and what he did.
  14. Pr. Jim Schulz
    February 17th, 2014 at 10:27 | #19
    Sven, the author of “The Primary Doctrine in Its Primary Setting: Objective Justification and Lutheran Worship” makes the mistake of speaking of faith as something of man and not of God:
    “Justification is ‘on account of Christ’ and his substitutionary life and death for mankind, not because of our faith or anything else in us.” (p.2)
  15. Sven Wagschal
    February 17th, 2014 at 10:59 | #20
    Pr. Jim Schulz :
    Sven, the author of “The Primary Doctrine in Its Primary Setting: Objective Justification and Lutheran Worship” makes the mistake of speaking of faith as something of man and not of God:
    “Justification is ‘on account of Christ’ and his substitutionary life and death for mankind, not because of our faith or anything else in us.” (p.2)
    Yes, of course. The sentence you quoted is the belief and confession of Luther, all Lutheran fathers, and of the Book of Concord. Whoever does not teach this, is in error.
    But please look carefully at the sentence. Your accusation is not true. Of course the author knows that faith comes from God, is his creature, and as such justifies us, as the quote in my post above clearly shows. (#18: “The message of justification invites faith, creates faith, and then maintains faith in the message. With faith come spiritual and eternal life,…”).
    What the author is speaking against is a faith, seen as something the man does to receive justification, which counts as a work that earns him justification. Of course we believe, teach, and confess that faith is not counted as righteousness because our faith is something we do and earn salvation, but because faith clings to Christ and his gifts.
    Again: You deniers of Objective Justification do not seem to know what faith is and why it justifies.
  16. Sven Wagschal
    February 17th, 2014 at 11:13 | #21
    To phrase it another way: we are not justified because of faith, but by faith. Faith is purely instrumental, as Pieper writes (Christliche Dogmatik, Bd. 2, St. Louis 1917. Abschnitt: Die Aneignung des von Christus erworbenen Heils. Kapitel: Der seligmachende Glaube, 5. Der Glaube ist zur Erlangung der Rechtfertigung und Seligkeit lediglich instrumental, S. 524): Faith, receiving justification and salvation, is purely instrumental.
    This is a key chapter for understanding nature and benefit of the christian faith.
    We are not justified because of our faith but because of Jesus (a statement that shows our faith in Jesus—a faith that justifies us).
  17. Brett Meyer
    February 17th, 2014 at 12:06 | #22
    T. R. Halvorson :@Brett Meyer #6 Thanks for your polite and substantive reply.
    While I do understand the principles of Scripture interpreting Scripture, taking the whole counsel, reading passages together, and so on, a problem remains for me in the use made of Romans 3:23-26 to condition 1 John 2:2.
    It makes surplusage and superfluity of the words, “not for ours only but also for the whole world.” With the interpretation you are making, what is left of that clause? How is Jesus the propitiation for the sins of believers, and also everyone else in the world, by the interpretation you are making? In other words, can we let the Romans text erase words from the 1 John text?
    Pastor Halvorson, 1 John 2:2 is teaching that Christ is set forth as The Propitiator for the whole world, believers and unbelievers, but clarifies inRomans 3:23-26 that only believers obtain Christ as their propitiation against God’s wrath over sin. Unbelievers remain, continue (abideth) under God’s wrath and condemnation – not God’s grace and forgiveness.John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” I confess that nothing in God’s divine Word is superfluous and neither is it contradictory to any other part of Scripture. The same understanding is taught concerning Christ as Mediator. He is the Mediator for the whole world but only believers obtain Christ as their Mediator against God’s wrath over sin.
    The Christian Book of Concord declares these truths here clearly in the following quote. Note that they faithfully teach that for Christ sake the Father ‘may’ become reconciled but only through faith in those who believe ‘in Christ’ – not that the Father is already reconciled through the work of Christ and neither is faith’s object in a supposed former declaration but solely in Christ. Note also that reconciliation follows faith in Christ and does not proceed faith as UOJ falsely claims.
    “The wrath of God cannot be appeased if we set against it our own works, because Christ has been set forth as a Propitiator, so that for His sake, the Father may become reconciled to us. But Christ is not apprehended as a Mediator except by faith. Therefore, by faith alone we obtain remission of sins, when we comfort our hearts with confidence in themercy promised for 81] Christ’s sake. Likewise Paul, Rom. 5:2, says: By whom also we have access, and adds, by faith. Thus, therefore, we are reconciled to the Father, and receive remission of sins when we are comforted with confidence in the mercy promised for Christ’s sake.The adversaries regard Christ as Mediator and Propitiator for this reason, namely, that He has merited the habit of love; they do not urge us to use Him now as Mediator, but, as though Christ were altogether buried, they imagine that we have access through our own works, and, through these, merit this habit, and afterwards, by this love, come to God. Is not this to bury Christ altogether, and to take away the entire doctrine of faith? Paul on the contrary, teaches that we have access, i.e., reconciliation, through Christ. And to show how this occurs, he adds that we have access by faith. By faith, therefore, for Christ’s sake, we receive remission of sins. We cannot set our own love and our own works over against God’s wrath.

    86] But since we receive remission of sins and the Holy Ghost by faith alone, faith alone justifies, because those reconciled are accounted righteous and children of God, not on account of their own purity, but through mercy for Christ’s sake, provided only they by faith apprehend this mercy. Accordingly, Scripture testifies that by faith we are accounted righteous, Rom. 3:26. We, therefore, will add testimonies which clearly declare that faith is that very righteousness by which we are accounted righteous before God, namely, not because it is a work that is in itself worthy, but because it receives the promise by which God has promised that for Christ’s sake He wishes to be propitious to those believing in Him, or because He knows that Christ of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, 1 Cor. 1:30.

    113] But faith, properly so called, is that which assents to the promise [is when my heart, and the Holy Ghost in the heart, says: The promise of God is true and certain]. Of 114] this faith Scripture speaks. And because it receives the remission of sins, and reconciles us to God, by this faith we are [like Abraham] accounted righteous for Christ’s sake before we love and do the works of the Law, although love necessarily follows. 115]Nor, indeed, is this faith an idle knowledge, neither can it coexist with mortal sin, but it is a work of the Holy Ghost, whereby we are freed from death, and terrified minds are encouraged and quickened. 116] 
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php
    I hope this helps clarify,
    In Christ,
    Brett Meyer
  18. February 17th, 2014 at 12:29 | #23
    I believe the following from Concordia Journal sums up the issue at hand nicely. Anyone interested in the full article can find it at this link:
    Should, for instance, anyone deny the universality of Christ’s redemption, negating with Calvin the Scripture truth that Christ has redeemed all mankind and that in the Gospel God seriously offers to all men His grace without any discrimination, then he subverts the doctrine of justification. If that error is maintained, then the individual sinner cannot become personally sure of his salvation unless he receives an extraordinary, immediate revelation to that effect. Again, should anyone teach that Christ has indeed redeemed all men, but not completely, in other words, that Christ has indeed made forgiveness of sins possible for all men, but that this forgiveness of sins or justification does not yet actually exist for every sinner, then he makes faith and conversion a meritorious cause of the forgiveness of sins and invalidates the doctrine of justification by grace for Christ’s sake. Or, should anyone pervert the doctrine of the means of grace by denying that God offers the sinner His grace in Word and Sacrament so that the sinner must seek grace in Word and Sacrament, then he bids the sinner seek grace in his own subjective condition, in conversion and regeneration, and so in his own good works. Finally, should anyone pervert the doctrine of faith by denying that faith is essentially trust in the grace offered in the Gospel and by identifying faith with the feeling of grace, then he will put in place of divine grace the condition of the human heart as the basis of justification and salvation. Or should anyone teach wrongly concerning faith by ascribing the creation of faith to human co-operation or to man’s good conduct, then again he surrenders the Scriptural doctrine of justification despite the fact that he may use the expressions “by faith alone” or “by grace for Christ’s sake.” This subject seems to us so very important that we shall develop more fully the three points on the basis of many statements made by Walther. To keep the doctrine of justification pure, we must hold the
    True Biblical Doctrine of the Perfect Redemption of All Men by Christ
    In order to present the perfect redemption of all men by Christ in its full clarity, Walther is concerned to insist that there exists for every person grace, righteousness, and salvation even before faith is engendered, that every sinner is righteous before God, even before he believes, so far as this righteousness has been procured and God has purposed to bestow it (SCR, p.68), that is to say, according to God’s declaration which He pronounced upon all men by raising Christ from the dead (SCR, p. 31). “It is a righteousness not merely made possible [for all men], but one that is already procured or effected” (SCR, p.61). It was of great concern to Walther to repudiate the view that a person by his faith or by his conversion must first render God perfectly favorable or that he must first complete his redemption and righteousness. True, a person, to be saved, must first be converted, but his conversion is not the cause why God saves him, but merely the way by which he comes to that faith which does nothing but accept the perfect redemption which already has been achieved for him. (SCR, p. 34.) The enthusiasts hold the view that Christ has effected what Scripture calls redemption in order that God may now receive sinners into heaven because of their conversion. They do not believe that Christ has accomplished absolutely everything that had to be done in order that God could save us by granting us everlasting life. They imagine that to be saved something still remains for a person to do and that this something is his conversion. Scripture, however, teaches that Christ has done everything. He has already secured for all men reconciliation with God, together with righteousness and all other gifts of salvation. These blessings are already perfectly prepared and are imparted in the holy Christian Church through the Gospel. So there remains nothing that man can do but to accept salvation. It is this truth that we mean to emphasize when we speak of a perfect redemption. It is not true that man already has contributed something and that God adds what is still lacking. Nor is it true that God already has done something and that man completes what is wanting. But the truth is that God alone has already accomplished everything. (SCR, p. 34.)
    This doctrine, as Walther declares again and again, is the one that characterizes the Christian religion and distinguishes it from paganism, so that whoever denies this doctrine denies also the whole Christian religion. Walther writes: “Also the heathen believed that they must secure grace and the forgiveness of their sins, but they have never known that forgiveness of sins has already been procured by another and that it already exists.” In another place he declares:
    “While all religions, except the Christian, teach that man himself must do that by which he is delivered and saved, the Christian religion teaches not merely that all men should be eternally saved but also that they already have been saved. According to the Christian faith, man is already redeemed. He is already delivered and freed from his sin and all its evil consequences. He is already reconciled unto God. The Christian religion proclaims: “You need not redeem yourself nor secure reconciliation between God and yourself, for all this Christ has already accomplished for you. Nor has He left anything for you to do but to believe this, i.e., to accept it!” Here indeed is the point of distinction between Christianity and all other religions. The Jews say: “If you want to be saved, you must keep the Law of Moses.” The Turks say: “If you want to be saved, you must follow the Koran.” The Papists say: “If you want to be saved, you must do good works, repent of your sins, and make satisfaction for them; and if you want to climb especially high, you must enter a monastery.” Similarly, all sects that pervert the Christian religion impose something on man which he must do to make himself righteous and thus save himself. The Lutheran Church, on the other hand, tells man: “Everything is already accomplished. You have been redeemed. You have been justified before God. You are already saved. You need not do a thing to redeem yourself, to reconcile God, and to earn salvation. All you are asked to do is to believe that Christ, the Son of God, has already done all this for you. Believe this, and you actually are in possession of salvation. You will surely be saved.” (RWD, 1874, p. 43.)
    As Walther shows, the very concept of faith demands that we regard grace, redemption, righteousness, and salvation as already existing. He who denies this fact must also deny that man is justified and saved by faith. Walther says that if we are to be saved by believing that we are redeemed, reconciled to God, and in possession of pardon, then all these gifts must exist already before we believe. Now, as surely as the Word of God tells us that we are to be justified by faith, be reconciled to God and saved, so surely all these blessings must exist before we believe; they are only waiting for us to be accepted. The fact that a person is saved by faith alone is possible only for the reason that everything that is necessary to salvation has already been accomplished and exists so that all we need to do is take it. This taking Scripture calls believing. Since God receives into heaven all who believe, righteousness and reconciliation must already have been procured and made ready. All those who do not teach that reconciliation and righteousness exist already prior to faith do not regard faith as the mere hand which receives what has been procured by Christ. They rather regard it as a work by which man co-operates toward his redemption and justification as a condition which he must fulfill and because of which God receives him into heaven. (SCR, p.35.)
  19. Sven Wagschal
    February 17th, 2014 at 13:38 | #24
    @Brett Meyer #22 
    Brett Meyer, you accuse the confessors of objective justification of something which they do not teach. (Again it seems that it is not understood what actually is teached by objective justification.) Please try to understand what we are teaching about faith and the work of Christ.
    But let’s have a look at the quote from the Apology. The “the father may become reconciled to us”-part does not mean that he isn’t reconciled yet! This would be against the clear words of scripture because “Christ reconciled the world with god” (2 Kor 5,19) and “While we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son” (Rom 5,10). The text is in opposition to the teaching that we are reconciled by our works. It says that God’s wrath is not ended by anything what we do or could do, but by all Christ has done. All of that is received by faith so that the believer has a gracious god (and all unbelievers have no gracious God). We have a reconciled God by Christ, not by our works. To phrase the “may become reconciled”-part as something not yet accomplished or something that has to be made real in our times or the future shows a serious flaw in understanding of the language. The German part of the Apogoly paraphrases the Latin text: “Gottes Zorn kann nicht versühnet noch gestillt werden durch unser Werke, sondern allein Christus ist der Mittler und Versühner, und um seinetwillen allein wird uns der Vater gnädig.” (God’s wrath cannot be reconciled nor be stilled by our works, but alone Christ is our mediator and reconciler, and for his sake the father becomes gracious (merciful?).”
    The text above from Jim Pierce is correct and the proper understanding of the Lutheran Article of Justification.
    Seriously, those who clamor against objective justification do really not know what faith is, who Christ is and what he has done.
  20. Joel Dusek
    February 17th, 2014 at 18:58 | #25
    Parts of this debate have, again, descended into silly, ridiculous, hyperbole.
    No one denies Christ,
    his perfect life,
    innocent death,
    redemption for all mankind ,
    that Christ was the atoning sacrifice for all sin,
    and He made complete satisfaction of God’s demand for justice.
    No one denies faith.
    No one puts more emphasis on faith as anything other than that which clings to and receives the righteousness of Christ.
    No one denies that it is God’s grace through faith that results in salvation.
    No one states that all people are saved.
    No one denies that Man contributes nothing to his own salvation.
    No one really even denies the truth of justification, the declaration of righteousness.
    No one denies who receives the benefits of justification.
    The question at hand simply comes down to when justification occurs for the believer. Was it at the cross, or when a person comes to faith through the Holy Spirit?
    What should be, at best, a beneficial, uplifting discussion as we delve into the inerrant, infallible truth of God’s Word is instead a mishmash of half-truths, misrepresentations, and talking past each other. Both sides quote the same passages from Scripture, Luther, Chemnitz, and others without acknowledging that you may be making the same point! We all, myself included, need to repent where we have not taken our brothers’ (and sisters, Elizabeth) words and actions in the kindest possible way and with the best construction.
    I believe Christ has satisfied God’s justice and has paid the price for my sins, not only mine but the entire world. I believe faith is the working of the Holy Spirit to convert my sinful nature and bring me to salvation in Christ Jesus. I believe that those who have faith in Christ are declared righteous, and their sins are forgiven. I believe that those who do not have faith in Christ are not forgiven and still live as slaves to sin. I believe that on the Last Day, all will rise, the believers to eternal life, the unbelievers to eternal condemnation.
    On an entirely separate but related point, one that goes back to the history behind the original post: I believe Rev. Rydecki, through his studies, determined the doctrine of justification was not being taught correctly. I believe he was not given benefit of adequate inquiry and examination of his findings; his subsequent suspension and removal from WELS was an incorrect application of ecclesiastical supervision. I believe ELDoNA was correct in investigating and examining his statements before admitting him to their fellowship, and they found no fault. I believe ACLC is within their right to re-examine their fellowship with ELDoNA, but I believe their conclusions to be incorrect and detrimental to what could be a fruitful fellowship. I’m not a member of any synod, so have no particular dog in the fight, except for wanting these intra-Lutheran battles to cease.
    Grace and prayers for peace.