Yesterday I went through all of Volume 2 of Luther's Sermons, paragraph by paragraph, looking for format improvements and typos. Some errors go back to the original printing, which was scanned onto one website and copied onto Ichabod.
After that, I searched for more gems to place in the front of the book. And my eyes felt young again. Luther is so exciting to read - I wondered if I could fall asleep after a long day of reading his insights. The repetitive work of editing, which three others are sharing for this volume, reminds me of work at my father's donut shop. When we made 900 dozen donuts for a big Catholic church money-raiser, I had to do the same things all day. But I had to remain careful about how I carried out the task - sugaring and bagging. Writing and editing are often the same, repetitive and yet needing constant attention to detail.
Here is a Luther quote that says so much in one paragraph.
16. Thus he does also with the bread; since it is at hand, he nourishes us through it and by means of it, so that we do not see it and we think the bread does it; but where it is not at hand, there he nourishes us without the bread, only through the Word, as he does by means of the bread; so that thus bread is God’s helper, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:9: “We are God’s fellow workers,” that is, through and under our outward ministerial office he gives inwardly his grace, which he also could give and does give indeed without our office; but since the office is at hand, one should not despise it nor tempt God. Thus God sustains us outwardly by bread; but only inwardly he gives that growth and permanency, which the bread cannot give. And the summary is: All creatures are God’s larva and mummery, which he permits to work with him and to help to do everything that he can do and does do otherwise without their cooperation, in order that we may cleave alone to his Word. Thus, if bread is at hand, that we do not therefore trust the more; or if there is no bread present, that we do not therefore despair the more; but use it when it is at hand, and do without it, when there is none; being assured that we shall still live and be sustained at both times by God’s Word, whether there be bread or no bread. With such faith one overcomes avarice and temporal care for daily bread in the right way.Luther's Sermons, Volume 2, Invocavit.
The sentence in red is popular among writers, but strikes the reader as mysterious. Larva refers to the mask worn - Latin origin. Mummery is still practiced today - people parading and dancing in exotic costumes. The term is also an insult - actors relying on a costume for the drama.
Most books consist of describing the masks and the mummers. How did Napoleon win at Waterloo? What moved Stalin to cut a deal with Hitler? Luther wrote about God using our enemies to chastise us. He saw behind the masks and costumes to describe how God works.
Luther deals with God's work through the Word, so the Lenker sermon books, aimed at helping us write sermons, are alien to the Lutheran leaders today. They like to grab a worn one and say, "Look at my volume of Luther's Sermons, how worn it is," as Matt the Fatt did on a video.
WELS DP Mueller did the same, showing me his bookmark in Luther's Works. He read them every day! But that was not the point. What did he teach and practice? He was an enemy of the Gospel, just as Harrison, Mirthless Mark Schroeder, and Pope John the Malefactor are today.
They are masks of God, doing His work, but not as they pretend. The LCMS-WELS-ELS-CLC leaders are God's wrath and punishment, flogging their sects for putting up with false doctrine and false prophets who teach against faith - against the Faith.
Meanwhile, the clergy engage in little debates about trivia, quaking at the thought of being found disloyal and worthy of the Left Foot of Fellowship. How can they survive in the richest and best-fed land in history? They will starve without a plush salary and die of dread diseases without their medical benefits. How will they retire without a pension plan? Sure, God fed Jesus in the desert, after His temptation, but that was the Son of God. The clergy cannot trust in a second episode like that. They do not trust God or His Word.
Do not invoke faith, or they will snarl some convoluted warning, such as "Do not make faith a work!" Or - "Your faith is in not in Christ. Your faith is in faith. You are a Faithian, not a Christian!" They do not even know that Luther called himself a Faithian - a solafideist - when accused of emphasizing faith.
And how much more worthy is a professor who makes grace triumphant by saying God has absolved and saved the entire world - without faith? Is that a petabyte of grace? or Universalistic nonsense?
Let us compare WELS-ELS-LCMS-CLC dogma to ELCA's. Oh my - ELCA teaches exactly the same thing, because that merger of Pietistic sects had the same Halle origins as the Synodical Conference. ELCA teaches that God's grace is shown in His salvation of the entire world. Like the UOJists of the pastor - Schleiermacher, Kant - they skip the Subjective Justification part, which is nothing more than faith in OJ.
Pope John the Malefactor, Matt the Fatt, his jolly executioner (Paul the Plagiarist), and Mirthless Mark may feel and look triumphant, but they are bathing in flopsweat, knowing everything is unraveling, a bit slower than ELCA's institutions, but coming apart at the seams nevertheless.
| "I got the conservative Lutheran sects to ignore Luther's 500th|
and talk about themselves.
I told CPH - sell trinkets and promote Gerhard.
And they did!"
Has the apostasy the fellowship with ELCA and Fuller Seminary gone too far? The individual sects could be reborn with a study of Luther's sermons and the Book of Concord. Their devilish sense of humor came through in their last group hug at Emmaus - their founders were Luthers unawares!
| CFW wanted to fashion himself as the new Luther,|
but he was really the new Bishop Stephan,
only more of a pope.