Thursday, July 22, 2010

Apol. XII, 60

My pastor gave me a little booklet called Before God and The World, Selections From the Confessional Writings of the Lutheran Church, Elvin W. Janetzki. It is a nice collection of BoC paragraphs arranged topically. For example, on the topic of God as Creator you will find all paragraphs related to that topic.

As my favorite is Justification and so I went there and I read Apol XII:

60] When the adversaries speak of faith, and say that it precedes repentance, they understand by faith, not that which justifies, but that which, in a general way, believes that God exists, that punishments have been threatened to the wicked [that there is a hell], etc. In addition to this faith we require that each one believe that his sins are remitted to him. Concerning this special faith we are disputing, and we oppose it to the opinion which bids us trust not in the promise of Christ, but in the opus operatum of contrition, confession, and satisfactions, etc. This faith follows terrors in such a manner as to overcome them, and render the conscience pacified. To this faith we ascribe justification and regeneration, inasmuch as it frees from terrors, and brings forth in the heart not only peace and joy, but also a new life. We maintain [with the help of God we shall defend to eternity and against all the gates of hell] that this faith is truly necessary for the remission of sins, and accordingly place it among the parts of repentance. Nor does the Church of Christ believe otherwise, although our adversaries [like mad dogs] contradict us.

I got to the bolded words and I got reminded of what Pieper said...

"I would eliminate faith as a requirement that makes justification true. That would be making faith a work of mine." Franz August Otto Pieper, A Final Word, http://www.franzpieper.com/




I am confused. I do not know about you, but Pieper has a lot of explaining to do.

62 comments:

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Franz was the chosen heir to Walther, who borrowed his concepts from another. Knapp is definitely a factor in this, but I am told by a researcher that the bedrock solution to this fantasy lies elsewhere. We will soon see. Franz perhaps confused faith with making a decision or completing the transaction. I would like to question all UOJ disciples about justification in the Old Testament, since their Moment of Absolution had not happened.

LPC said...

Pr. Greg,

I think the Knapp connection which you pointed out in your blog posts makes sense. In fact I think the arguments can even be made more compelling.

Another...

Let us assume for the moment that Walther got it on his own as Dr. Kilcrease I think likes to suggest. Then does that mean that the pietistic understanding of UOJ is correct? For example, Pietists teach UOJ, Walther teaches UOJ. UOJ is correct, therefore the Pietists are correct.

Dr. Kilcrease does not penetrate that he effectively is endorsing Pietist UOJ.

Grinning as I type.

LPC

Stephen said...

LPC,
I recently discovered the world of Lutheran theology. I have read much to my profit, indeed it is largely Lutheran writings that convinced me again of the centrality of justification by faith. But one thing I kept encountering in modern writings is an aversion to speaking much of faith at all, for fear of relying on a human 'work'. Hence the desire to talk about justification itself unconditional on faith. Hence too the enthusiasm for Luther's syllogism according to Philip Cary in which faith itself no longer seems to be mentioned explicitly, for fear of having faith in faith.
How did this develop? Overreaction perhaps to commonly-encountered moralistic theology, or to the heavy introspection of some forms of Calvinism?

LPC said...

Stephen,

Only the American Lutheran Synodical Fathers are allergic to mentioning faith eg. Walther and Pieper. The BoC is not in fact speaks as the Bible speaks.

This allergy to faith I believe came about because of the revivalism that surrounded these Synodical Fathers and they reacted towards this. Unfortunately in their over reaction they overstated or stepped outside Scripture.

Re: Luther who says "But I am Baptized" see post here http://extranos.blogspot.com/2009/11/where-luther-and-calvin-are-different.html.

I was a Calvinist before. In fact I was more comfortable with the Heildeberg and Belgic Confessions. However, I am afraid that Calvinism extracted objectivity from Baptism and Communion.

For the Lutheran everything is JBFA. Yes even Baptism is JBFA. When Luther assailed by doubts looked at his Baptism, what was he doing? He was looking at what happened to him objectively. When one looks to what happens to him objectively and what is attached to that event with a promise, then what is that? That is FAITH too.

God bless,

LPC

Steven Goodrich said...

Lito,

Are really this dense? Removing faith as a requirement that makes justification true is not the same thing as eliminating faith all together or eliminating faith as the receptive hand of God's blessings in Christ.

You should try and read more of Pieper and Walther instead of parroting Dr. Jackson.

LPC said...

Steven,

Look at your comment and see how you fuddle around between eliminating and removing. Try not be so fanatical about your synodical fathers, it is bad form. It is being thick.

In Pieper saying that eliminating faith as a requirement contradicts the BoC. The BoC says it is necessary, hence a requirement. Whether you like to fudge around eliminating or removing is just artificial and being like an ostrich.

Pieper exaggerated. I owe no loyalty to anyone except Scripture, I suggest you do the same.

LPC

Stephen said...

Hi LPC,
What you say about the impact of revivalism makes sense. And yes, I have found from my own reading that the BoC and earlier, classic Lutheran literature is not guilty of what we are talking of here. (I sensed a similar thing re. another topic, namely the modern aversion to talking much about sanctification, but that's a topic for another day...)
Indeed I was aware of your Calvinistic background. Thanks for the link. I would say that the sacraments are means of grace through which faith is awakened and strengthened so that we receive Christ. I wouldn't characterize the reformed position as subjective, but I can appreciate that Lutherans have a strongly (and helpfully) objective theology here.
Actually, my comment on Cary's syllogism was not meant to deny the appropriateness of looking to baptism (which as you say, is faith). I was referring to comments I encountered on the back of that article implying that faith can never be explicit (for then it is reflexive, faith 'in faith'). On such thinking, our Lord himself should never have talked directly about faith (e.g. Mark 16:16). I think you commented on this phenomenon previously too.
Blessings,
Stephen

LPC said...

Stephen,

And yes, I have found from my own reading that the BoC and earlier, classic Lutheran literature is not guilty of what we are talking of here

That is true, the BoC does not consider faith as induced by man, nevertheless the BoC sounds off like Scripture in speaking of the necessity of faith. Pieper said some things I can agree with, however in what I quoted, he overstated and committed the tertium non datur fallacy.

The BoC like Scripture demands faith yet at the same time describe faith as a gift. These two are not contradictory.

Furthermore in saying what Pieper said he is denying any epistemological possibility of knowing if one has faith. In short this leads to epistemological agnosticism about faith. Yet, take a look at what St Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:12
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day
.

Sometimes we may not be sure if we have faith but it is not impossible to know and Luther used his baptism to say to himself that God has a promise to him (this of course is again faith). So he relied on something that is never changing.

I hope you find the BoC as a much more robust confession of faith consistent with the teachings of Scripture.


LPC

LPC said...

Stephen,

Incidentally I hope you see in here the healthy debate between fellow Lutherans. This should not be seen as a weakness but rather strength. In short I hope you come away believing that Lutherans (the confessing ones) are not a bunch of fundamentalist cultists who gather around their cult figures like Walther or Pieper etc. American Lutheranism is just that - American.

Hermann Sasse was one of my Synod's theologians, yet we do not hold him infallible or our pope, unlike what American Lutherans do to theirs e.g. Walther/Pieper.

God bless,

LPC

Steven Goodrich said...

No Lito, you just don't appreciate nuance. :) You need to the Solid Declaration on the righteousness of faith again.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

LPC - UOJ is a license for rudeness. I believe the British designation is 006.

There is also a tendency toward dropped words and guilt by association.

Just sayin'.

Stephen said...

LPC,

"The BoC like Scripture demands faith yet at the same time describe faith as a gift. These two are not contradictory."
Well said, very important to remember that.

Intra-Lutheran debate itself does not worry me. Most traditions have their different viewpoints. That said, as an outsider I do find the UOJ position indefensible from a biblical standpoint. Keep up the good work in debating this. But the reformed world has issues plaguing it too which as an ex-Calvinist you will know about.

As for me, I remain comfortable with the early reformed confessions, which I do not see as being vastly different from the BoC which I also have started to appreciate greatly. But I am aware that confessional Lutherans tend to have a different opinion on that.

Anyway, thanks for the interesting conversation. Blessings,
Stephen

LPC said...

Steven,

Nuance? ;-) What you guys call nuance, we call ambiguity.

Ambiguity is the mother of error.

That quote is from Pr. Jackson LOL.

LPC

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Too much Jackson, LPC. Or perhaps too much Krauth - almost as bad

Steven Goodrich said...

Always good to have the Calvinists on your side Lito. :)

@ DR. Jackson:
RE: There is also a tendency toward dropped words and guilt by association.

LOL! I do tend to drop words when I type. I will try to be more careful.

Regarding the guilt by association, I think there is some pot kettle action going on there.

LPC said...

Pr. Greg,

These Storm Troopers think that I and Brett are dumb nitwits who do not have a brain of our own; and they also think we can not read.

You give them a quote of their own Master and they do special pleading.


LPC

LPC said...

Steven,

Stephen as a Calvinist will be on my side on this instance because

a.) I do not think he is a universalists
b.) Neither do I think he is an antinomian.

Lastly, the BoC condemns sophistry with bitter hatred. Unfortunately you nor Kilcrease are unable to spot it yourself because UOJ thrives in ambiguity.

If ever Stephen one day sees the light and finally confess the BoC , I do not want him to learn Lutheranism from you.



LPC

Stephen said...

LPC,
I concur. Also, whatever other real differences exist, I don't believe early reformed theology ever sought to distance itself from Lutheran teaching on justification and faith.
Blessings,
Stephen

Gregory L. Jackson said...

LPC, the Stormtroopers have a great, convincing argument. First they insult your intelligence and integrity. Next they say, "Now listen to us." Such charm. Such persuasiveness.

LPC said...

Pr. Greg,

You know as well as the others that I was a UOJ adherent before until I examined the evidence myself, and true through your critique, that I saw what the problem was all about. Yet, history shows that your criticism was already present during Walther's time and that there were countless Lutherans who questioned UOJ in America.

Yet what happened to me, happened first to Brett and Bruce and the others. In fact if we be honest, it even happened to Walther Maier, an LC-MS NT Scholar himself.

UOJ scholarship makes me embarrassed that they claim to be Lutheran because their scholarship is so unbecoming and poor.

1. They quote the Confessions and Scripture out of context.

2. They do not exegete Scripture and when they do their method is so high schoolish.

3. They do not practice sound reasoning, they have mega-fallacies .

Guilt by association? I am worried that since the Stormtroopers claim to be Lutheran and I claim the same, reasonable people may think I am also antinomian and a universalist like them.

That is the guilt by association I worry about.

LPC

Gregory L. Jackson said...

LPC, that is why the Lutheran label means so little now. Missouri has pledged overwhelmingly to work with ELCA. Would they say the same about the Unitarians? Same doctrine. Same weird clergy.

I like Church of the Augsburg Confession because the term avoids the tarnished Lutheran name and upholds what the Formula of Concord states - we are theologians of the Augsburg Confession.

I came from the Disciples of Christ, the vaguest possible Protestant denomination, home of Donald McGavran. The born-Lutherans do not appreciate their own heritage.

Laity pressed me to study UOJ, and they saw the errors behind it. That is why I value the insights of perceptive laity over the brain-washed chatter of Lutheran MDivs.

Steven Goodrich said...

So now I am an antinomian and a universalist.

Chairman Maow said...

Universal forgiveness is the basic doctrine of the Universalists. It is not found anywhere in the Word of God, nor is it in the Book of Concord, except the Kokomo Edition.

LPC said...

Pr. Greg,

What is happening in Lutheranism is what has happened to the Reformed earlier and is now in full swing. In the Reformed world there is the controversy as to who is REALLY Reformed.

http://extranos.blogspot.com/2007/10/will-real-one-please-stand-up.html

Calvinists have the history of taking our terms and rehashing them to their own. So UOJers are the same, they love to say they are 'confessional' when they mean they are Waltherian.

I like the Church of the Augsburg Confession.

LPC

LPC said...

Steven,

This is what Pr. Greg has been saying, you lot are not a good sport.

You start by doing guilt by association on me because Stephen (a Calvinist) happens to agree with me on this issue we are fighting about. Then when I do the same to you, you cry foul.

Special pleading.

See what I mean that each time a Stormtrooper turns around he exposes his own fallacy?

Yours is a classic example. Sorry about that but your comments are here for all the world to see.

LPC

David Cochrane said...

St. Lito

It appears what he is saying, like St Paul in Eph 2, that faith is not our work. And no there is no prerequisite to being justified. Jesus did all that for all persons. And yes it is received thru faith which is gifted to us as well. No faith no salvation. Tragic isn't it?

pax domine. †

LPC said...

D.C.

The language in that quote contradicts the language of Scripture. Jesus said to the Jews, "if you do not believe I am he, you will die in your sins". Just look at John 3:16.

The problem in that quote is that when faith is demanded, he thinks that must be a law and because it is a law I am required to fulfill it. St Paul was asked by the jailer, what must he do to be saved, you know what St Paul said to the jailer.

Also what did Jesus say to Jairus? Only believe. Jairus knew that he could not get himself to do what Jesus demanded. So Jairus cried for mercy. Read how Jesus handled that. Even if you grant the demand for faith is a law, yet that does not mean God is not supplying the faith he requires, for he does through his Word and Sacrament.


What I am saying is that the quote assumes that when something is a requirement, it must be considered a work that one must fulfill personally. That is a false assumption, that is my point and my point is that the quote does not speak the way Scripture nor the BoC speaks. I offer as evidence the quote from the BoC as the paragraph violated by that quote.

If Peiper was wrong on this, why is that so bad? Is he infallible?

As St Paul said, you can only stand with the truth. Truth bop up and defends itself. It is just a matter of time when it catches up on us.



LPC

Steven Goodrich said...

I did not cry foul. I should have included an emote in that post to make that more clear. Again, with the dropping words that the Stormtroopers are so known for. :)

I have no beef with you Lito or Dr. Jackson for that matter.

I will also admit that Pieper statement here is not useful. I was attempting to make clear what I thought he meant.


Maybe if he said, "Faith is not the meritous cause of our justification but the instrumental cause."

Does that sit better with you?

In opposition to both these parties it has been unanimously taught by the other teachers of the Augsburg Confession that Christ is our righteousness not according to His divine nature alone, nor according to His human nature alone, but according to both natures; for He has redeemed, justified, and saved us from our sins as God and man, through His complete obedience;that therefore the righteousness of faith is the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and our adoption as God's children only on account of the obedience of Christ, which through faith alone, out of pure grace, is imputed for righteousness to all true believers, and on account of it they are absolved from all their unrighteousness.(BOC Solid Declaration 4:4)

When I read this paragraph, I see objective justification and subjective justification, what say you? I have put in bold what I think is objective justification.

Brett Meyer said...

"saved us from our sins"

Steven you place this statement in the context of Objective Justification - something that UOJ would say was declared by God to be true but isn't until the individual believes it's true, but then his belief doesn't bring it about because it was already true before the individual believed.

Saved us from out sins - is salvation - eternal life with God. You may not intend it but intrigal to UOJ is Universalism throughout. Some promote and defend it while others mute and minimize it. Yet it is still there. UOJ scrambles everything God has revealed to us about Election, sin, faith, justification, salvation, Law and Gospel, God, Christ, the Holy Ghost etc.

Gregory L. Jackson said...
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Gregory L. Jackson said...

LPC, yours is the only blog where I can enjoy the comments and post a little.

The Book of Concord theologians were acknowledged the greatest of the era and read studiously by everyone. The same should be true today, especially among the Lutherans.

The Book of Concord is the only unified, harmonious confession in Christendom. That is because of Luther, Melanchthon, Chemnitz, Chytraeus and others. God's grace and providence, turned doctrinal conflict after Luther's death into Concordia.

David Cochrane said...

St Lito,

Noone is infallible of course. But neither is UOJ the heresy that some on here claim. A requirement is of the law. Something to do. The Gospel is nothing but done. Faith is a gift of God without it one rejects all that Christ did for that person in his life, death, burial and resurrection. John3:18

However, to deny that what Jesus did was sufficient for all then we are left to look within ourselves to know we have salvation. This is what our Calvinists on oneside do with limited atonement and our arminians on the other with decision theology. It takes one's eyes of Jesus crucified and places it back on themselves. Being sinners one's self is the last place to look for anything but things of which one should repent.

pax domini †

Brett Meyer said...

David states, However, to deny that what Jesus did was sufficient for all then we are left to look within ourselves to know we have salvation.

Those who reject UOJ as a false gospel do not deny that Christ's atonement paid for the sins of the whole world. They, however, do not make Christ's atonement the same as the worlds justification declared by God. Justification of the sinner is only declared by God through the faith of the Holy Spirit worked in man solely through the Means of Grace.

Your statement wars against Christ's declaration here:

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

LPC said...

Steven,

That is good of you to concede that Pieper was unhelpful. That is quite mild, I would say he was wrong in saying what he said or alluded to as defended by his followers.

re: your quote of the BoC. I wonder why you did not go further in highlighting the most crucial for this discussion.

Let me do it...
In opposition to both these parties it has been unanimously taught by the other teachers of the Augsburg Confession that Christ is our righteousness not according to His divine nature alone, nor according to His human nature alone, but according to both natures; for He has redeemed, justified, and saved us from our sins as God and man, through His complete obedience;that therefore the righteousness of faith is the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and our adoption as God's children only on account of the obedience of Christ, which through faith alone, out of pure grace, is imputed for righteousness to all true believers, and on account of it they are absolved from all their unrighteousness.(BOC Solid Declaration 4:4)

Why the leaving out of the highlight of the mention of faith. In that quote you presented, we see the BoC wrapping up faith in the atonement IS the forgiveness of sins, i.e. faith is righteousness or faith is reckoned as righteousness!

So no UOJ there. You can have UOJ if there is no mention of faith, but in that quote, faith once again is lingering.

LPC

LPC said...

D.C.

I have just been reading again some portion of the Gospel of St. John. The BoC calls the atonement of Jesus Christ as an offer. Also Jesus himself alludes to his sacrifice as an offer of forgiveness.

John 9:41
Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.

John 8:24

Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”


When it is said that Jesus took our sins, it means he paid for our sins, i.e. he took the punishment for our sins. This is an offer by God - just read John 3:16.

If by the death of Jesus all have been automatically justified or forgiven in the world, then why did Jesus say that sin remains? Why did Jesus say the Jews will die in their sins.

The truth is that everyone in this world prior to the means of grace being applied are in their sins! When the means of grace is applied, then the person is not in darkness but is transferred into the kingdom of light. This is JBFA.

It is not true that I look at my faith as a work of mine, rather we look at it as a work of God and when we are in doubt, we do what the BoC says, dwell on the means of grace. This was discussed by the BoC in the topic of Election.

Just look what St. Paul says 2 Timothy 1:12
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

At the time of the BoC, there were already Calvinists! Yet the BoC did not do what Walther and Pieper did, that is say things that make faith not necessary.

I hope people can see where they made mis-statements of tremendous mega proportions that result in antinomianism, an off shoot of universalism.

LPC

Gregory L. Jackson said...
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Gregory L. Jackson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gregory L. Jackson said...

LPC, you are correct. The Stormtroopers start with their Brief Confession assumption, that God "has already forgiven the sins of the world" and shoehorn that into any passage they want, including "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." But they ignore all the verses in John that contradict their bad exegesis.

They pointedly ignore the purpose of Romans 4, especially as it transitions to Romans 5, and bray, "He was raised for our justification." KJV Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. They will not engage the previous verse: Romans 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

LPC said...

Pr.GJ,

Yes, they skip these passages with no explanation.

They have never also dealt with Walther Maier's critique and exegesis of these passages.

LPC

David Cochrane said...

LPC,

Yes those who refuse the gift are still in thier sins. I have never hear a UOJ pastor say that a person receives salvation apart from faith. Not saying noone has ever said that. And it is an offer which is genuine due to the fact the justiification was accomplished for us all at the resurrection of Jesus.

pax domini. †

Gregory L. Jackson said...

"I have never heard" is a weak argument. WELS had an evangelism campaign where the billboards said to the public, "I am saved, just like you." An ELS congregation said on its website that Jesus "saved the world." Since then that claim has been removed.

DP Buchholz tried to make the claim about "never hearing..." But when I quoted the WELS campaign, he ignored what I said. Typical.

Steven Goodrich said...

Lito,
I highlighted what i think is objective justification.


It seems to me that what you highlighted is the consequence of what I highlighted. What is the meaning of "that therefore"? IOW, the result of Christ's obedience (death on the cross) is our justification, redemption, and salvation. This righteousness (i.e. the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and our adoption as God's children) is imputed to us when we believe.

GJ:

I can get behind you on condemning the WELS billboard but not on the ELS website comment. Jesus did save the world. (john 3:17, AC 3:1 1 John 2:2)

BM:

Your Scripture quote is out of context plus it ignores the "the" before faith. Paul is speaking to those who wanted proof from him that Christ is speaking through him so he demanded they examine themselves first to see if they are in fact "in the faith"(fides quae creditur not fides qua creditur) so that when Paul got there we would have to prove that Christ speaks through him by throwing them out.

Steven Goodrich said...

GJ:

We generally don't comment on Rom 4:24 because as Lito stated on another blog we agree about subjective justification.

LPC said...

Steven,

You said this... We generally don't comment on Rom 4:24 because as Lito stated on another blog we agree about subjective justification

Which is worst because you do have double justification.

Now the question of "the therefore", prior to that it states "justified" along with "saved" and "redeemed". The Scripture and the BOC when it says that Jesus saved us from our sins what does it mean? It means our sins have been paid for, it is the doing away with the punishment as he received it. It does not mean we no longer sin.

So the question is what is meant by "[he, i.e. Jesus] justified [us]". I put it to you that it is taken in the sense of Romans 4:25 which unlike UOJ interpretation, the standard exegetical take is that "he was raised with a view of our justification"

This is the problem, each time you see Atonement you guys quickly jump and say that is Justification.

I can say more but I am out of time. I do want to say more later.

Lito

Brett Meyer said...

Steven, my quote of 2 Cor 13:5 is applicable since David was contending (as all UOJists do) that we are not to look at our faith for assurance that we're forgiven and thus saved but that we must look externaly to our forgiveness declared before we had faith. The verse states, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith;" UOJists claim that to look at my faith in Christ to know that I'm forgiven of all sins and thereby saved is to have faith in faith and thus reject Christ - having a false object for salvation. Thus your claim to Lito that we all agree on Subjective Justification is false because UOJ perverts the source, author, finisher and righteousness of faith. Justification by faith declares with Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions that faith is Christ's righteousness for the forgiveness of sins. Without faith in Christ men are condemned by God, alive to sin and dead to Christ.

Your confession is that Christ saved the world. Thus you claim that the whole worlds sins were forgiven by God when Christ paid for them.

Your confession has an unchanging God declaring something to be true that isn't true since no one is forgiven of sins without faith in Christ. Also if Christ saved the world why does God condemn the unbeliever to Hell? UOJ would say that they are condemned for the sin of unbelief. So then Christ didn't pay for the sin of unbelief?! We are all born with the sin of unbelief. Thus UOJ makes a mockery of a perfect God, a mockery of Christ's atonement, a mockery of what it means to be saved by Christ.

LPC said...

Steven,

What Brett says is actually correct, in the final analysis you do not actually agree with us on subjective justification. For we contend that there is no justification that does not involve faith. UOJ on the other hand contends that yes, there is.

I confess what is objective is the Atonement but this is not the same as Justification. As a proper term and category the two are not the same.

LPC

Brett Meyer said...

The Confessional Lutherans that are contending against UOJ will confess that what UOJ would designate as being Subjective Justification is completely Objective equally as much as Objective Justification. It is God who calls, gathers and enlightens. It is Christ who is the Author and Finisher of faith. It is UOJ which says the faith of Christ is a work of man when by it alone a man is declared by God to be forgiven of all sin, righteous and justified by the blood of Jesus Christ.

LPC said...

Steven,

I am back.

I go back again on the "therefore" which I highlighted. You and other UOJers should pay attention to my highlighted texts, why? Because it summarizes the thesis of that premise you emphasized. Since faith is mentioned there and that faith is the forgiveness of sins, your UOJ doctrine is again shot down.

You seem to see a ghost (UOJ) in every corner of the room, even though there is none.

LPC

LutherRocks said...

I am late to the party!

Steven Goodrich I have lifted your quote:

"In opposition to both these parties it has been unanimously taught by the other teachers of the Augsburg Confession that Christ is our righteousness not according to His divine nature alone, nor according to His human nature alone, but according to both natures; for He has redeemed, justified, and saved us from our sins as God and man, through His complete obedience;that therefore the righteousness of faith is the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and our adoption as God's children only on account of the obedience of Christ, which through faith alone, out of pure grace, is imputed for righteousness to all true believers, and on account of it they are absolved from all their unrighteousness.(BOC Solid Declaration 4:4)

When I read this paragraph, I see objective justification and subjective justification, what say you? I have put in bold what I think is objective justification."

I was once where you were at; quite recently as a matter of fact.

Number one you have to look at the context and who is speaking. The authors of the Confessions are believers. They are speaking from this side of faith so justification looks objective but you have to pull back to see the whole picture. As Lito pointed out there is faith that still lingers further down from where you highlighted. And it is ALWAYS this way in scripture.

Secondly, the only thing that is objective is Jesus' ATONEMENT for the sins of the world. This is a concept that has not translated well from Hebrew culture to western culture. This atonement does nothing for man unless it is received through the gift of faith. Atonement does not mean forgiveness and justification the way it is used in UOJ.

Hope that helps.

Peace!
Joe

David Cochrane said...
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Brett Meyer said...

Oustanding confession Joe.

You are right, the full quotation needs to be seen as a whole so that that therefore the righteousness of faith is the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and our adoption as God's children only on account of the obedience of Christ, which through faith alone, out of pure grace, is imputed for righteousness to all true believers, and on account of it they are absolved from all their unrighteousness. is descriptive of the "redeemed, justified and saved".

As was discussed offline this morning, it's important to note that if UOJ is to take the BOC quote above and declare that before and without faith the world is "redeemed, justified" by Christ's atonement, then they must also include "saved" which is eternal salvation. UOJists want to read these statements both ways - this is without faith and that is with faith but they can't. It is one declaration and inclusive of all three - redeemed, justified and saved. Therefore what pertains to one act must pertain to all three. Thus the remainder of the quote shows how this becomes an individuals - it is through the gracious gift of faith as Joe pointed out.

To God be all glory and praise,
Brett Meyer

LutherRocks said...

As I have said before...I didn't know what UOJ was two years ago. And when I did hear about it I couldn't figure out what all the hoopla was about. I figured 'let the theologians sort it all out and come up with fancy terms...they know the ancient texts, right?' But as I study this more, a lot of what I was taught in catechism class growing up is coming back.

When I read recently about Wycliffe actually having to invent a new English word so he could express the proper meaning when he made his Bible translation speaks volumes. Atonement; at-one-ment. Christ's atoning sacrifice on the cross makes it possible to be 'at one' with God. But this is only accomplished through faith alone; a gift of God. (Thank you Pastor Kenneth Gawrisch - my confirmation instructor circa 1972 Grace Ev. Lutheran Church, Waupun, Wisconsin)

Joe

LPC said...

LutherRocks,

That is fantastic insight on the Atonement Joe. You articulated well what the Atonement is all about and you articulate well what Luther said on this.

Luther in the LC states that this is a treasure that lies in a heap and that treasure does nothing to us unless it is distributed by the HS and grasped in faith.

Thanks for that insight.

LPC

Steven Goodrich said...

I put it to you that it is taken in the sense of Romans 4:25 which unlike UOJ interpretation, the standard exegetical take is that "he was raised with a view of our justification"

I agree that is by far the most interpretation of that phrase, but grammatically it can be taken retrospectively as well which is more commom use of dia + accusitive in the NT, LXX, and classics.

Either way, it does not rule out objective justification. It only speaks to whether the resurrection results in our justification or is the result of our justification.

Brett Meyer said...

Christ's resurrection resulted in all righteousness dwelling in Christ alone.

Outside of Christ man remains in sin, dead and under God's wrath and condemned. In Christ through faith, by grace, man is born again, has Christ's righteousness for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life and recieves the adoption of sons.

This is Scriptural and Confessional and at complete and total odds with the false gospel of UOJ.

LPC said...

Steven,

Not true, for if what I contend as most commentators say that Rom 4:25 is with the view of our resurrection, then you cannot use this as UOJ text.

That is wishful thinking. Name me one exegete who is non-American Lutheran who takes it your way.

Anglican, Lutheran, Calvinist exegetes do not take it your way Steven.

It is a dream and a concoction, a desperate wishful thinking on the part of UOJers.

LPC

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Confusing the Atonement with justification by faith, they find two justifications by naming one OJ and the other SJ. Next, they split verses to infer that God "has already declared the entire world forgiven of its sins." Naturally they deny that the Atonement is OJ because their universal absolution belongs to another world, another religion - Universalism. Schleiermacher supports their point of view too.

LutherRocks said...

Romans 4 is in the context of faith. Paul says this in the very first verse of the chapter. He is speaking to believers already so none of Romans 4 can be used for the defense of UOJ.

Peace,
Joe

LPC said...

Joe,

He is speaking to believers already so none of Romans 4 can be used for the defense of UOJ

Now you are rocking and rolling. That is a much stronger point than what I realized.

LPC

LPC said...

Steven,

The point of Pr. Greg about Schleirmacher is a fantastic point.

If you do not know who he stood for, you should - he was a typical Lutheran universalist.

LPC

Steven Goodrich said...

Firstly, I did not state which way I took it. Secondly, here is my proof that a non-Lutheran takes the second clause retrospectively. I am not making any claims at this point for or against UOJ.

There is a problem with the two occurrences of for in this verse: for our sins and for our justification. If the two are taken in the same sense (as many argue, quite sensibly), the meaning might be "he was delivered up to atone for our sins and raised to secure our justification." Cranfield argues that the two "for's" need not have the same meaning, for one refers to what is regrettable (sins) and the other to what is desirable (justification). He takes the first as causal, the second as final. Vincent Taylor maintains that the prospective meaning, "with a view to" is rare: he finds it extremely rarely in the classics and not at all in the LXX or in the papyri as reported by MM, while in the NT he finds but one possible exception apart from this passage; this should give us pause before we accept the future reference. It is not wise to be dogmatic. We should certainly not take the second cause to mean that resurrection was the sole cause of our justification. Paul can also say that we are justified by his blood" (5:9). Perhaps we should go along with Godet: "Our sin had killed him; our justification raised Him again...His resurrection was the proof of justification only because it was the necessary effect of it." Our best procedure is to see the two "for's" as causal but try not to pin them too closely (cf NIV). Many see here a traditional formulation which Paul has taken up, and if this is indeed the case this is an added reason for not insisting too strongly on a rigid grammatical distinction. But clearly Paul is affirming strongly that it was for our sins that Christ died and that he has perfectly accomplished our justification. This word for justification is found only here and in 5:18 in the NT. Strictly it signifies the act of justifying, the process rather than the result, but it would be pedantic to insist on this. NIV gives us the meaning.

(Leon Morris Romans 215-216)

Also see The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross by Morris Page 288-289, where he states, "But the position seems to be, as Gifford says, that dia with the accusative "simply traces an effect to a cause, it marks the existence of a causal relation between them, without defining its particular character" Thus "for our trespasses" may grammatically mean "because we had trespassed" or "to atone for our trespasses". Similarly, "for our justification" might signify "because our justification had been accomplished" or "with a view to our justification". There seems to be no conclusive reason that can be urged in favour for either way of taking justification, but possibly the former view is more in harmony with St. Paul usual way of stating the fact of justification. But in any case if we adopt the latter view it must be in the sense that the resurrection is the completion of God's mighty act of justification, and not as though the resurrection were a justifying act quite apart from the death.

(In both quotes the emphasis is in the original.)


Again let me repeat so that everyone is clear, I am not stating that Morris agrees with UOJ. My point was to provide Lito with proof that commentators other than American Lutherans have understood the second dia clause in Romans 4:25 in retrospective rather than prospective manner. IOW, the result of our justification rather than resulting in our justification.

Other commentators that have taken the retrospective rather the prospective are J.R. Daniel Kirk, Shreiner, Shattler, Godet, and Harris.

See this essay by Michael Bird where he gives the three possible ways of taking the two dia clauses in Romans 4:25.

http://colloquiumjournal.org/back-issues/Coll35.1/Bird.pdf

Steven Goodrich said...

Steven, my quote of 2 Cor 13:5 is applicable since David was contending (as all UOJists do) that we are not to look at our faith for assurance that we're forgiven and thus saved but that we must look externaly to our forgiveness declared before we had faith. The verse states, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith;"

No Brett, the verse is still being used out of context. It is not addressing the situation of a believer needing assurance that his sins are forgiven. It is addressing false teachers. Paul is even says that he is being severe with them now so that he does not have to be more severe with them when he comes.