You make a great testimony regarding this that is hard to argue against.
Before I ran across Ichabod almost two years ago I never heard of UOJ. As I have studied this it doesn't serve scripture well by interchanging justification with atonement[absolutely]. And the more UOJ is defended, the more discombobulated it gets and I don't believe this is good for the body of Christ. (For example the WELS pastor Buchholz' paper) The Gospel is simple as Jesus meant it to be; so simple a child like faith is saving faith. Now if you understand when a proponent of UOJ speaks of UOJ he means the atonement I can live with that as long as that's what he means; although it is not prudent use of the English language[correct, it is because it is not accurate to do so anyway]. To me, and it always has been, Christ died for the sins of the world and makes it possible for salvation but this is only received through faith[correct, in fact in the BoC it is called an "offer"]; hence cometh justification, righteousness and sanctification. I cringe when I read point #1 under Justification in 'This We Believe' in the WELS[not just WELS but the other US synods too. In fact we have one small synod here outside of LCAust who has similar statements].
"1. We believe that God has justified all sinners, that is, he has declared them righteous for the sake of Christ. This is the central message of Scripture upon which the very existence of the church depends. It is a message relevant to people of all times and places, of all races and social levels, for "the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men" (Romans 5:18). All need forgiveness of sins before God, and Scripture proclaims that all have been justified, for "the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men" (Romans 5:18).
To me what is said contradicts scripture as the passage says at the end of the point...yes it is one act of righteousness and it is justification but it says it brings life; it makes it available; it does not justify before faith. It has become my opinion that the way WELS[not just them but those who propound it in general] uses Romans 5 it is taking it out of context. In the very first verse of Romans 5 Paul says therefore since we have been justified by faith so it is already in context. He is talking to believers already[correct, and when you get to Romans 5:18 etc, that is already in view]. I think it would go far to throw out this term 'UOJ' and do some re-writes[agree, as you say, it does not promote health in the body of Christ].
Now does all this UOJ contribute towards CGM? I don't know[in the sense that the Means of Grace, the pure Word of God is not taken seriously as a way to bring unbelievers, then it does]. I suppose that is fodder for another blog post. I do know that we constantly fight against our sinful flesh and the enthusiasm that we can partake in our own salvation and that of others. This is most certainly not true.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
LutherRocks taught me a new word - discombobulation, a fantastic word to describe what is happening. I repeat his comments in one of the posts he mad here and which was featured by Dr. Ichabod due to my lack of time. I thank Joe for making the arguments for us more concrete. I inserted my comments in red.