Ichabod explores the Age of Apostasy, predicted in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, with an emphasis on UOJ, Church Growth, and Emergent Church heresies. The antidote to these poisons is trusting the efficacious Word in the Means of Grace. John 16:8. Most readers are WELS, LCMS, ELS, or ELCA. This blog also covers the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, and the mainline denominations.
The Glory Has Departed
Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
I am a layman, not a theologian, but I have read fairly widely in the literature of Lutheranism, my heritage faith, so I do not hesitate to praise with the highest encomia possible this very fine and much-needed book that refutes the errors of latter-day North American Lutheranism, alike the unbelieving "liberalism" of the E.L.C.A. and E.L.C.i.C. as well as the pseudo-conservatism (which falsely poses as Confessional) of the denominations deriving from the old Synodical Conference (most notably the L.C.M.S., W.E.L.S., E.L.S., and the L.C.M.S.' sister sect, the Lutheran Church Canada), which have betrayed genuine Confessional Lutheranism with their bizarre speculations embodied in the theological paradigm of "Universal Objective Justification and Subjective Justication" (U.O.J.), which Ptr. Dr. Gregory Lee Jackson anathematises and disproves, as well he should do, showing these heinous false speculative ideas to be being neither Scriptural nor Confessional, and, hence, not genuinely Lutheran at all. (Coming back to this review to revise it some, I would point out that Jackson has written and published a separate book, one that handles the matter suberbly, on the U.O.J. heresy, titled "Luther versus the U.O.J. Pietists: Justification by Faith".) Jackson also scathingly and realistically savages the venal "Church Growth Movement" tendencies in all forms of this hemisphere's Lutheranism, liberal and pseudo-confessional alike.
There are magnificent defenses of "genesio-Lutheran" Confessional teaching versus the claims of what Ptr. Dr. Jackson calls the "Reformed" (by which he includes all non-Lutheran Protestantism and sectarianism, rather than only, more properly, the teaching of other genuinely Protestant churches that follow the doctrinal teachings of Martin Bucer, especially, and of Jean Calvin, as well as the Three Forms of Unity and Westminster Standards that so principally, soundly, and moderately codify them confessionally). Jackson's defense of the Lutheran and hence Orthodox Christian "Means of Grace" is a stunning refutation of the claims of Baptists, Pentecostals/Charismatics, the loud-mouthed "Fundamentalists" who are so fundamentally wrong, the so-called "Neo-Evangelicals", Campbellites/"Restorationists", and other "cheap white [or black] theological trash") by explicating from the Scriptures (using, wisely, the Authorised "King James" Version, free of the sectarian bias that afflicts to one degree or another the modern versions in English of the Bible) the true Lutheran and biblical teaching about Holy Baptism and the Eucharist (Holy Communion, Mass). For the fine defense of Lutheran sacramental theology alone this book would be worth the purchase, but there is so much more as well!
A fault, a minor but nonetheless somewhat irritating one, is Jackson's intemperately vituperative assaults on other Lutherans and their squabbles and peccadillos over relatively minor matters of turf, petty corruption, and so forth which, really, are of only passing interest or importance compared to the major issues that this book addresses, something that inevitably will cause this book become a bit dated in that regard. (That said, though, Jackson`s comments on such matters are reasonable and, I believe, true.) Dr. Jackson's book is already a classic of Lutheran exegesis and sound doctrinal teaching.
A note of warning is in store for those who purchase the book second-hand; the earliest printing of this book had some pagination and binding irregularities, but even a copy with these defects is worth having, since they do not affect any of the most important passages of the book.
This is one of the best modern Christian polemics books out there. Pastor Jackson does an excellent job of teaching God's Word and exposing the false teachings of men in the various Lutheran sects. It is very edifying to Christ's Church to have this publication to share with laity and Pastors alike. Most Lutheran laity I have met are uniformed that their Church leaders reject the efficacy of the Word and teach a damnable false gospel of Universal Objective Justification. Much like the polemic publications of the church fathers during the reformation, (1500's) Jackson's Thy Strong Word serves to the posterity of God's people in guarding against false doctrine.