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Monday, April 10, 2017

The ad Knapp Defense of Universal Objective Justification

 The Calvinist translator used ambiguous language -
as WELS loves to say - "It caaaaan be understood correctly."
"Error loves ambiguities."
Now Lutherans top-dog each other with their extreme statements,
revealing the inherent weakness of the initial error:
guilt-free saints in Hell, etc.

One long-time family (and FB) friend thought this graphic was misleading. His fellow pastors are always asking him (but not me) what I am trying to say when I write about Universal Objective Justification, which is the Helen of Troy for the WELS-ELS-LCMS and ELCA leaders. I am emphasizing leaders because the historical documents show just the opposite, even in those synods.

We should have some kind of award for 100% of the Lutheran leaders endorsing the opposite of what Luther taught, just in time for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Following is the issue with the graphic above - The words are not Knapp's but the translator's, explaining what Knapp was trying to say. I have probably explained that a few dozen times. I have posted about UOJ over a thousand times.

Actually, the critic makes my point for me, because the translator (clearly identified as Protestant rock star Leonard Woods Junior was a Calvinist. Thus we have the hybrid formula embraced by the ELS-WELS-LCMS, from a Calvinist translating a Halle Pietist:

  1. God has forgiven the entire world its sins - Objective Justification.
  2. Man must agree with this state of affairs - Subjective Justification.
According to what I have read, these two terms made their way to Germany, became part of the literature, and delighted Walther. Most of the Missourians would have their German copies of Knapp, but perhaps also came upon the English translation. The English version of Knapp dominated Protestant theology for 90 years, finding a place in all libraries. During that era, Pietism was highly praised by all Protestants during - including the Lutherans. Spener, Halle, and Pietism were as untouchable then as Fuller Seminary is now.



From what I have read, Halle emphasized its Easter absolution of the entire world, backed by their false exegesis of 1 Timothy 3:16, which Jay Webber prefers over Martin Chemnitz' exegesis. Litmus test? I think so.


Agreeing with the Halle Pietist Rambach, Walther also taught the Easter absolution of the world, which he learned from Bishop Martin Stephan. 




Oddly enough, WELS and the Little Sect on the Prairie have adopted the OJ and SJ of the Calvinist Woods. He may not have invented the terms, but that book certainly popularized the concept and the terms in 19th century American Protestantism. The English translation was already in print before Walther swore life-long allegiance to Bishop Stephan, on the muddy shores of New Orleans. I wonder if Stephan's mistress, who came along on Stephan's ship, attended the enthronement.

As I explained to the pastor, I have been meticulous in reporting how all this developed. In fact, since the Calvinist translation of Knapp is the English version, there is little to distinguish Knapp the theologian from Woods the theological translator. What made Knapp so important to a Calvinist leader that the book had to be translated? I find no difference between the two men. Are there letters extant where Knapp called Woods a fool for introducing Objective and Subjective Justification?

The anti-UOJ quotations in Justification and Rome
make me think these theologians were arguing against
the UOJ rationalism of Halle University.

Calvinism is the unspoken secret of the Synodical Conference. LCMS pastors from the Bronze Age were fond of citing their favorite Calvinist sources for the inerrancy of the Scriptures. The rationalist approach of Calvinist is a greater threat to the Christian Faith than the depredations of outspoken atheist groups. Pietism and Calvinism had Lutheran pastors looking up the wrong sources, the wrong doctrine, enhancing the wrong attitude toward the Holy Spirit's efficacy in the Word.

For example, Professor John Brug's Ministry of the Word, which Otten loved, is unLutheran enough to appeal to any Protestant.



Some days, gardeners pull weeds. On other days they water and prune for growth. One Lutheran wrote to thank me for exposing UOJ but also to say it brought great disturbance into her thinking. Now she is aware of the falsehood in WELS/ELS.

Luther wrote about the sign spoken against in Volume 1 of his sermons:


44. From this we learn to be assured that we may comfort ourselves and cheerfully bear up when many people stumble at our Word and speak against our faith, especially the great, the learned, and the priests. This is a sign that our message and faith is right, for it receives the treatment foretold by Simeon and all the prophets. They must take offense at it, stumble over it, rise by it, and speak against it; it cannot be otherwise. He who would have it otherwise must look for another Christ. Christ is set for the falling and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against; consequently his members, or every Christian, must be like him on account of his faith and his message. He is called “antilegumenous,” he who is spoken against. 

His doctrine must be rejected, condemned and execrated as the worst heresy, error and foolishness. It is treated rightly when this is done; but when this does not take place, then we have neither Christ, nor his mother, nor Simeon, nor the prophets, nor faith, nor the Gospel nor any Christians. For what does speaking against mean but to deny, blaspheme, curse, condemn, reject, prohibit and persecute with all disgrace and ignominy as the worst heresy?