Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Falsifiability, is that important to you?

Over at Steadfast Lutherans (Waltherians IMHO) yours truly got banned from commenting further. The discussion revolved around the question whether or not Robert Preus rejected Universal Objective Justification(UOJ) in his later days. The question also involved Robert Preus' book Justification and Rome, his last work. You should get a copy of this book, it is a great book on Justification By Faith Alone (JBFA). I read about it at Ichabod's. My copy is in my library and is dirtied with notes and annotations. I do not keep my book clean, my loved books are dirtied (FYI).


Some people and the descendants of Robert Preus themselves claim that Preus never departed from UOJ.

Now to recap, UOJ teaches that your object of faith is should not be in the Atonement, but the forgiveness/justification (declaration of righteousness) that has already happened to ALL people and in the past when Jesus died on the Cross/Rose Again. Key passage here, so they say is Romans 4:25.

If Preus wanted to teach the most important concept that distinguishes Lutheranism from Romanism which is UOJ then in that book, Preus did a botched job in telling that. If we are to believe that he wanted people to learn UOJ from that book, he did a lousy job of doing that. If he wanted to be clear on UOJ he failed miserably in conveying that. If that is a book that will sell UOJ, you won't buy it based on that book. Instead, I walked away thoroughly enjoying JBFA, not UOJ.

At the Steadfast Waltherian blog I referred to earlier, Dr. Dan Gard, a professor at an LC-MS seminary made this claim: To state it once again: Dr. Robert Preus never changed his doctrinal position on Objective Justification.

Critical thinking suggests that when a claim is made, we must have some reasonable method of testing or verifying a claim. Falsifiabilty asks the question, do I have a method of obtaining evidence that proves this claim is false. I wrote about this topic in the area of testing the claims of evolution. This is where falsifiability comes in. Falsifiability is required if we are to accept a claim as valid and admit the claim as fact. To illustrate, I can claim that Jesus speaks to me each night and one night Jesus told me that UOJ is false. Now, how do you falsify that?

You can't. For in order to prove what I am saying is false, Jesus should come to you and deny my claim. Another, you have to be with me each night and observe if Jesus does show up but what if I meant he speaks to me in my mind, how do you verify that? You can't.

In that blog at Steadfast (so called), I asked a question to Prof. Gard, how does one go about proving his claim, apart from simply taking his word for it and basing it on his truthful character?

Apparently I was out of line in my questioning and so got banned by the moderator. The moderator stepped in and it was implied I was being sophomoric and out of line.

Do you think my question was out of line? Was I being sophomoric?

I thought my question was fair.

Over here we are constantly informed of university public lecturers. It is a great occasion whenever it happens. By public it means anyone can come and can asks questions after the lecture and yes usually well researched and titled people are the ones that give the lecture. However, in here no one is held sacred, not even if you are an old professor. That last 15 minutes for Q & A is what people wait for. In other words, the lecturer does not take your questions personally. It is a matter of facts, not a matter of persons. The reason is that by lecturing, the lecturer is asking the people to believe something and it stands to reason that if you are asking such a tall order, you can not run away from questions. For if you do, the public will simply think you are not a person that should be taken seriously, and that is the end of your future public lectures.
----
Response from (emphasis mine)

Blogger Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

Mr Cruz, I don't think that your arguments were out of line, they were well within usual "robust" academic standards. It is simply that the LCMS don't like to have pointed out they and the rest of North American Lutheranism has made a sectarian deviation from orthodox Lutheranism. Why not stick to separate concepts of Atonement and Justification by Faith without the Jesuitry of Objective and Subjective Justification?




23 comments:

Steven Goodrich said...

I do not agree with the ban. I think the following quote was taken as an implicit attack on Dr. Gard's character at least I thought it was.

What I mean is that if we were in court, you would be supplying your own testimony and by default the listeners were to simply believe your claim simply based on the strength of your character right?

LPC said...

Steven,

If you read above that paragraph, I had this first to say...
By no means am I suggesting you are not telling the truth, I am just wondering how one proves that type of claim


One thing lost in this written conversation are the gestures and tones that add up to the intent of the statement.

That comment you sighted is actually a statement of fact, not an attack on his character per se.

Read also my last statement...

It is analogous to me claiming, Jesus speaks to me every night and one night he told me UOJ is not true.
Can you falsify that?


It was a fair comment (IMHO) - if I claim the above, how will you falsify that?

LPC

LPC said...

and may I add...

Dr. Gard should be offended at Rossow for thinking he needs saving from me.

If I were Dr. Gard, I would be very accustomed and at home with such challenges. He is expert on exegetical theology and I am not. I do exegesis but it is not my profession. He should handle well without problems the challenging questions I throw at him.

LPC

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

Mr Cruz, I don't think that your arguments were out of line, they were well within usual "robust" academic standards. It is simply that the LCMS don't like to have pointed out they and the rest of North American Lutheranism has made a sectarian deviation from orthodox Lutheranism. Why not stick to separate concepts of Atonement and Justification by Faith without the Jesuitry of Objective and Subjective Justification?

Steven Goodrich said...

If you read above that paragraph, I had this first to say...
By no means am I suggesting you are not telling the truth, I am just wondering how one proves that type of claim


Given the context this came across as sarcasm. Much like, I am not saying you are fat, but you are as big as a house.

One thing lost in this written conversation are the gestures and tones that add up to the intent of the statement.

That comment you sighted is actually a statement of fact, not an attack on his character per se


I agree that tone and gestures are lost, and that is why it is possible to take such comments as attacks especially when the person just previously attacked another poster with a comment such as "unlike you he was not intellectually in-bred.".

Again I don't agree with the banning, and in fairness Pr McCain should have been at least admonished for his rhetoric.

It is analogous to me claiming, Jesus speaks to me every night and one night he told me UOJ is not true.
Can you falsify that?

It was a fair comment (IMHO) - if I claim the above, how will you falsify that?


No eye witness testimony is 100% falsifiable. There are obvious questions that can be asked to show if an eye witness's testimony is more or less true.

1)Know the eye witness behavior patterns and character. Are you nuts? Are you a liar? Do you have something to gain?
2)Know the behavior patterns and character of the person the testimony concerns. Is Jesus still talking to people today? Is Jesus a liar? Is Jesus unstable?
3)Compare the statements that the eye witness claims the person is making with other statement of that person. Does Jesus teach UOJ in other places?

Those are the same methods that any eye witness testimony is examined.

Let's use that grid to see if is more or less likely that Dr. Gard is speaking truthfully about Dr. Preus.

1. Dr. Gard's behavior: Dr. Gard is a professor in good at an accredited seminary. Dr. Gard is a chaplain in the US Navy Reserves. Neither one of us has any evidence that Dr. Gard is a liar or crazy.
2. We have no evidence that Dr. Preus was a liar.
3. Dr. Preus taught UOJ. In the book in question, it has been claimed by opponents of UOJ, the point in controversy, that the book that is the only evidence of Dr. Preus not teaching UOJ has been corrupted.

Fire away.

LPC said...

Mild Colonial Boy,

Thanks for your opinion, I value it highly since you rarely do that.

The suggestion of Jesuitry is quite insightful, I had not thought that way then upon reflection of what I know of Romanism. Indeed, I have pointed this out to UOJers but of course, it is simply ignored.

The sophistry in UOJ can only be discerned by those who are putting to the test the use of their words and their Scripture references.

LPC

LPC said...

Steven,

I won't argue much about your comment on the interpretation of my first
By no means am I suggesting you are not telling the truth, I am just wondering how one proves that type of claim

You said this is sarcasm, you do not think I was serious in my wonderment on how one proves Gard's claim? It was an honest question to which Gard does not need any saving from certainly me. Yet Rassow stepped in to "guard" Dr. Gard.

As Mild Colonial Boy (whom I believe is an Australian lawyer) says, my question is part and parcel of a "robust" academic debate. I think there is a clash of academic culture here. A different type of academic upbringing are clashing.

Something is falsifiable if we have a method of finding out if the claim is not true. All the examples you gave are examples to find out if the claim is true, it is not a test if the claim is NOT TRUE. An example of this is the theory of evolution.

When Dr. Gard said:To state it once again: Dr. Robert Preus never changed his doctrinal position on Objective Justification.

We have a claim that this is contradicted based on Preus' last book. UOJers reject this claim. Since Preus did not categorically repudiate it but only hinted at it by his exposition in the book, UOJers can deny that (IMHO, blindly).

At least we can say this and you must agree he did not teach UOJ there in no uncertain terms.

Gard then was stating a claim but in reality it is an opinion, which cannot be contradicted .

That is the nature of my question - what evidence does Dr. Gard have in saying that Preus never changed his mind on UOJ, does he have a confession from Preus signed by him, a recording of conversation etc? If he does not, it does not mean Gard is mistaken, it just means there is nothing to show such a thing except he believes he knows Preus long enough to know what Preus was thinking.

We know this is non-sequitur.

Let me illustrate, lets not talk about Jesus but lets take about a Hindu who claims Khrishna just appeared to him telling him to sell his house.

How do we falsify that?

We can not deny he saw someone, but we do not accept his claim based on what the Bible teaches about other gods (St Paul says there is none).

We do not give credence to that claim, not because we can falsify it, we reject it because of the testimony of Scripture and we believe its teaching.

What I am saying is that the claim of Dr. Gard involves us simply "believing" his claim. There is no evidence to back it up, it is a character witness vouching for the belief of Preus.

In the rule of debate, the pro side has to do a lot more work; the con side only has to show reasonable doubt and we in the anti-UOJ only have to do that, show reasonable doubt and our work is done.

This seems to be missed by UOJers.

LPC

LPC said...

If my last comment is too long winded... take this away then...
I put it to you that Gard was stating his opinion, not a statement of fact.

LPC

Steven Goodrich said...

Isn't all eyewitness testimony non-falsifiable. In fact even a signed a confession is not falsifiable. Doesn't that simply mean that it is therefore not science? In which case, doesn't that mean you have made a category mistake?



I find it laughable that your only claimed evidence that Dr. Preus repudiated UOJ is in Dr. Jackson's estimation corrupted.

LPC said...

Steven,

Are you familiar with the works of Lutheran philosopher Karl Popper?

First of all we are talking about a procedure of determining if something is false how is that proved. We are not yet talking about something is true or not true, we are talking about how one finds out if it is true or not true etc.

Eyewitness accounts are falsifiable because another person can appear as witness that what a person claims to have been seen is not what it appears, because the extra person was there in the same spot and time.

Theory of evolution is not falsifiable because you can not go back in time and see a single celled amoeba morph into a butterfly etc.

The claim of Christianity that Jesus rose from the dead IS falsifiable. All one has to do is bring the bones of Jesus and prove in some way that those bones are his.

Technically we were not there when Jesus rose from the dead, yet we believe it, not because we have verified it physically with our eyes but according to the Bible and the Confession, our belief is gift of the HS Spirit. I need not recite the 3rd article to you from Luther's Small Catechism to tell how a Christian believes, that is clear enough.

You saidI find it laughable that your only claimed evidence that Dr. Preus repudiated UOJ is in Dr. Jackson's estimation corrupted

I do not know clearly the meaning of this sentence but if you are saying there is no evidence, you are wrong, the evidence is the book!!! Kindly refer specially top Chapter XI.

Between Dr. Gard's claim and Dr. Jackson's claim, the latter has a falsifiable claim compared to the first. Here is how it goes.
1. Jackson admits Preus was a UOJer
2. Jackson asserts that Preus turned around because the last book he wrote contains no defence of UOJ in fact it contains defence of JBFA.

Jackson at least offers an evidence for his claim, it is the last book written by Preus even his sons testified to that in the book.

So how does one falsify Jackson's claim, simple, you produce a written work of Preus that teaches UOJ - be it his writing or correspondence, anything after Justification and Rome or a certified recorded interview etc.

As far as I know Preus never had an official autobiographer unlike Steven Jobs. If Dr. Gard was such a person, his claim would have some weight. At any rate, Dr. Gard has not substantiated his claim and as of this hour, I have not seen any response from him (at so called Stedfast Lutheran).

LPC

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Justification and Rome was published posthumously, like brother Jack Preus' Chemnitz biography. Robert's sons Dan (former First VP of LCMS) and Rolf (LCMS, then ELS, then kicked out of ELS) were the editors.

I would love to see the original manuscript that Dan and Rolf worked with. One person said he saw signs of clumsy editing. At any rate, there is a clear repudiation of an early version of UOJ in that book. Now it's clear that those 17th century theologians cited by Bob Preus were reacting to Huber's false view of justification, that everyone on earth is forgiven. That Huber opinion is now the official WELS view, not to mention slight variations in Missouri and the ELS.

The Preus clan counters that he always taught UOJ. Strangely, their best evidence is from 25 years ago, when it is clear that he did teach that everyone is born forgiven (citing Eduard Preuss). That is evidence? It is evidence supporting my theory, that his final work was an act of contrition for promoting UOJ.

Bob Preus' intention, as I was told, was to use this book to fight the growing Romanism at Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne.

Lito was being very polite on Steadfast, while the UOJ Enthusiasts were rude, condescending, and deceptive. However, the web host declared the UOJ Enthusiasts were patient, loving, and saintly.

LPC said...

Pr. Greg,

I got here on my record in this blog, Pr. Webber(UOJer) saying the object of the Christian's faith is not to be the atonement, he said it should be the forgiveness that was declared already after Jesus' death and resurrection.

The Preus book has a chapter called The Object of Faith. If Preus wanted to stress UOJ, that would have been the best place to do it because there he could have clarified in no uncertain terms the teaching. Yet in that chapter in its first page, he said the object of faith is the person and work of Jesus. That is miles apart from the declaration of righteousness that has already happened upon all people due to Christ's work, for in Pr. Webber's answer, he wanted the sinner to trust what the Father has already done, i.e. declared us already righteous,

UOJ proponents are really like their father Walther. They want their followers to believe what they assert, don't ask questions, carry on as normal and if they ever come back to ask more questions, then they are a heretic.

Now if you present the exegetical evidence from NT exegetical experts showing that their UOJ theory is negated by independent exegetes, what do they say? Well they are heterodox anyway!! Hehehe. That was said to me when I offered Lenski's commentary on Romans 4:25.

They really are fanatics because fanatics can not be swayed by reason nor facts.

If I may be frank they are a cult.

I wish I could write an expository paper against their peculiar and exclusive view of Romans 4:25, but that would mean repeating what Vernon Harley, W. A. Maier, Sanday and Headlam, CK Barrett, P. Stuhlmacher and possibly C E B Cranfield wrote. They won't read it anyway.

Fanatical positions are not changed by facts.

LPC

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Bishop Martin Stephan definitely had a cult following - with groupies too. Walther organized the riot that grabbed the land, books, personal possessions, and gold from Stephan, averting a financial crisis. Soon after Walther made himself the leader at the Altenburg debate. They were happy to have a new cult leader.

UOJ is like Buddhism, easy to learn. There is OJ and SJ. Everything is OJ or SJ, which really means everything is OJ. That obviates the learning and study you talk about, Lito.

UOJ is the philosophy of mainline Protestantism and works well with modern Catholicism. The gulf between UOJ and the Protestant faith cannot be bridged by all the clever talk. UOJ is completely opposed to Lutheran doctrine and immune to the foundation of faith, the efficacy of the Word. As Luther said, they do not believe in God's Word but fill the world with their words.

LPC said...

As Luther said, they do not believe in God's Word but fill the world with their words

So true, just read the comments of Kilcrease about Brett, yourself and me. He gave psychoanalysis except Scripture.

I told Rossow that he is committing a blunder in thinking anti-UOJers can not be swayed by Scripture.

But Scripture is not what they cling to, they cling to rationalism . For example, they say that if their Romans 4:25 is not accepted then you have to believe in Limited Atonement.

Now how can you respect that type of scholarship, it is the one that is sophomoric! That comment is so filled with non sequitur and I won't even go to tertium non datur fallacy.

They do not know Calvinism; Romans 4 is not where Calvinists exclusively pull Limited Atonement but Calvinism even pulls it in John 3:16.

LPC

Steven Goodrich said...

"Between Dr. Gard's claim and Dr. Jackson's claim, the latter has a falsifiable claim compared to the first."

You just said that eyewitness testimony can be falsified.

Eyewitness accounts are falsifiable because another person can appear as witness that what a person claims to have been seen is not what it appears, because the extra person was there in the same spot and time.

Dr. Gard states that he and Dr. Preus spoke about objective justification many times. Therefore his claim is falsifiable. All that one would need is another person that was there during one on of those conversations.

Are you familiar with the works of Lutheran philosopher Karl Popper?

Have I read Dr. Popper' books? No, I have not, but I am familiar with him. Your claim that he remained a Lutheran is suspect. At best according to Joseph Agassi, one of Popper's research assistants, Karl Popper was a religious agnostic.


Theory of evolution is not falsifiable because you can not go back in time and see a single celled amoeba morph into a butterfly etc.

Wow, I see that your knowldge of evolution is as piss poor as your knowledge of Popper, and of what Dr. Preus taught in regards to justification.

Of course evolution is falsifiable, all that is required is finding "fossil rabbits in the Precambrian" (JBS Haldane)

Even if it is not falsifiable this did not prevent Popper from extolling evolution as "the most successful explanation of the relevant facts". (The Poverty of Historicism p.106)

Gregory L. Jackson said...

This is happening - verbal claims versus what can be read in a book that most people own.

UOJ is easily defined and just as easy to spot. It is like a bug crawling across a bone china plate.

Here is the bug: "God declared the sins of the world forgiven."

There are a few key passages that go with this, such as Romans 4:25 and John 1:29.

Perhaps Gard only heard UOJ from Bob Preus. Dan and Rolf Preus edited a book with no UOJ in it, yet Rolf claims his father was always UOJ.

In Missouri and WELS, the claim depends on the authority figure. The facts do not matter. It is true if it comes from the authority figure. It is not true if the speaker or writer has been declared unclean.

Pointing out the glaring contradictions in UOJ will make anyone unclean in the Olde Synodical Conference.

LPC said...

Steven,

Dr. Gard states that he and Dr. Preus spoke about objective justification many times. Therefore his claim is falsifiable. All that one would need is another person that was there during one on of those conversations.

That is not what Gard claimed he claimed that Preus never changed his position (belief) about UOJ.

When we are talking about a belief, we are talking about something internal to the person. This is not the same as what people can see or have heard etc.

For Gard's claim to be falsifiable two people would have to live inside Preus' head and watch all of his belief until he died.

Note that Preus died suddenly.


You said Your claim that he remained a Lutheran is suspect. At best according to Joseph Agassi, one of Popper's research assistants, Karl Popper was a religious agnostic

I am not here to defend or promote Popper for being Lutheran, at any rate Agassi's claim is like that of Dr. Gard's. Agassi and Popper are not on trial here.

Of course evolution is falsifiable, all that is required is finding "fossil rabbits in the Precambrian" (JBS Haldane)

And if you do not find fossil rabbits, does that mean evolution is true? Perhaps you have not looked at the right place that is why you could not find it. Perhaps you were just unlucky.

Universal negatives are never falsifiable. For example claiming there are no red swans is not falsifiable, for the process of doing this requires skeptic to look every corner of the earth and simply because has not found any, that does not mean i.e. there are no red swans, i.e. you have not falsified my claim.

Gard's claim is a universal negative. Let me translate, his claim can be translated as : Preus never abandoned his belief in UOJ. ( see the negative ? an in his case it is universal because we are talking about Preus' world of internal ideas).

Compare that to Dr. Jackson's claim - his claim is stated in the positive, not negative, to wit: Preus changed his mind on UOJ, proof -- read the book.

Lastly, if you believe evolution is falsifiable then it is a worthy theory and if you are going to be consistent and be a man of integrity, you would have to subscribe and believe in evolution.

Do you believe in evolution, do you believe this is compatible to the Biblical teaching of creation?

On my part, I do not believe in evolution for the following reasons:
- It is not falsifiable
- The Bible's linguistic and theological principle negates its tenets.
--
Last night I had dinner with a couple of colleagues, one is Asso Prof for AI and a philosopher of science, and the other a senior lecturer in AI.
The prof and I were precisely discussing Popper. This guy is not a Christian, but he absolutely hates Stephen Gould's views precisely in relation to Popper's falsifiability theory.

Popper may have said what you said in The Poverty of Historicism. The very least I can say then is that Popper was not consistent with his tenets.

Human beings are known to behave inconsistently against the very truth that they have discovered, there are no surprises there. The point is that we pick the truth and reject their inconsistent behavior against it. See Philip Melanchton.


LPC

Steven Goodrich said...

Evolution, descent with modification from a single ancestor, is wrong because it contradicts the Bible.

Moving on, what do you make of this footnote in Justification and Rome

Luther and the earlier post-Reformation theologians do not present quite such a neat and tidy paradigm, but would probably agree with Quenstedt that Christ procured righteousness on the cross and that the same righteousness is apprehended through faith. All the Lutherans were in agreement that through faith the sinner acquires a righteousness which already exists objectively.

Robert D. Preus (1997-06-01). Justification and Rome (Kindle Locations 2008-2011). Concordia Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

It is footnote 75

LPC said...

Steven,

Thank you for your question, I answered it through Dr. Jackson's blog. Wait for his posting.

LPC

LPC said...

Steven,

My reply is contained in this post...

http://ichabodthegloryhasdeparted.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/lito-cruz-exposes-another-attempt-to.html

LPC

Steven Goodrich said...

I replied to you on my blog. Here's a link http://stevengoodrich.blogspot.com/2012/02/ichabod-glory-has-departed-lito-cruz.html

LPC said...

Steven,

My points...

A.)
You said Therefore, Lito is incorrect when he construes Preus's phrase "a righteousness which already exists objectively" as "Jesus was already righteous before he came to earth and his sacrifice would have availed nothing to God if he were not righteous in the first place

Preus makes use of terminologies like Jesus' essential righteousness and the like. I did not use those terms. When I said the statement above, I was alluding to the concept taught in the Bible that Jesus was the second Adam.

Adam was born innocent, he lost it at the fall when he disobeyed the command of God regarding eating of the tree. Adam then lost his innocence and became guilty.

Likewise so teaches Scripture, that when Jesus came, he was also the Second Adam, innocent. But unlike the First Adam, Jesus retained his righteousness for though being tempted by the devil to violate the will of God, he did not fail, unlike the First Adam. He retained his righteousness.

This retention of his righteousness present in his life, in the end, he offered to God as payment for the sins of the whole world.

You may correct me in my language above and I appreciate that,but the correction is moot to my point.

The point is that in Footnote #75, Preus at the very minimum, did not mean, a righteousness that has already been declared to the sinner before he believed, ala LC-MS Brief Statement (of Faith) Article 17a. In fact it contradicts or cannot lend support for it.

That is my point. Correct me as you will, the correction is besides the point, Preus did not mean a declaration of righteousness the sinner has, before he was born or before he has faith.In fact you agreed with me when you said Preus is talking about Christ's righteousness. Therefore Preus is not talking about the LC-MS UOJ doctrine in Footnote #75.

B.)
Then you said this Declaring is not the same as imputing righteousness; it is the acquisition of righteousness. In Theses on Justification, clarifying document put out by the CTCR of LCMS, we read,"God has acquired the forgiveness of sins for all people by declaring that the world for Christ's sake has been forgiven".

Steven, please note we are not being nasty when we are charging UOJers of sophistry. Here you succumb to that. Note that here you have produced two contradictory statements and are modifying the usual meaning of Justification in the Biblical context. In the Epistle to the Romans ,Justification is the declaration of righteousness and happens only upon faith in person and work of Christ at the Cross Romans 3:21-25.

For God to declare the sins of anyone forgiven is for God to justify the person, declared righteous. That is the same in the Confessions.

If God declared the sinner righteous already, then what God declares is true. If God declared the whole world righteous already according to LC-MS before they could believe, then what is the need of any righteousness to be imputed, since the declaration has been made already? None, it is superfluous.

You have detached the Biblical understanding of Justification from the imputation of Christ's righteousness to faith.


The reason why God declares a believer righteous is because the believer is hanging on to the righteousness of Christ - Phil 2:9.

The criticism leveled against you by anti-UOJers who have come before me are correct-- UOJers indeed believe in 2 justifications, one at the cross or at the resurrection of Jesus depending on who you are talking to, and the other when the sinner believes the first justification.

I will quote Walter Maier II, your LC-MS exegete...
Yet Scripture teaches only one justification; namely, the one by faith in Christ, Romans 3:28. (Walter A. Maier II, A Summary Exposition of The Doctrine of Justification By Grace
Through Faith)

cont...

LPC said...

cont...


C.)
The Papists believe that the Justification Lutherans believed in is "legal fiction", i.e. not real. Preus' book was an argument against that. I suggest he also wrote the book to give the Lutherans a positive understanding of Justification. This is the reason why he took pains in showing the objectivity of the Lutheran belief of Justification. He wanted to counter the criticism of "legal fiction". That book, if he wanted to set forth UOJ was the perfect vehicle, yet he did not do that. In fact he did not even use the term Objective Justification.

According to Jack Cascione, Preus said this Nor is objective justification "merely" a "Lutheran term" to denote that justification is available to all as a recent "Lutheran Witness" article puts it – although it is certainly true that forgiveness is available to all. Nor is objective justification a Missouri Synod construct, a "theologoumenon" (a theological peculiarity), devised cleverly to ward off synergism (that man cooperates in his conversion) and Calvinistic double predestination, as Dr. Robert Schultz puts it in "Missouri in Perspective" (February 23, 1981, p. 5) – although the doctrine does indeed serve to stave off these two aberrations. No, objective justification is a clear teaching of Scripture, it is an article of faith which no Lutheran has any right to deny or pervert any more than the article of the Trinity or of the vicarious atonement.

Preus at the very least, then contradicted himself in JaR book, I will go for that assertion at a minimum.

For if he truly believed that OJ is not just a term but the very teaching of Scripture, an article of faith as he said, he should have done it in JaR and used it to prevent Lutherans from sliding to Romanism. He did not do it.

For the Papists are not only synergists of all sorts, they are Pelagians too. JaR is the most appropriate tool for laying out the
sedes doctrinae. If he wanted to teach me, a would be reader, about UOJ he did not do it or at the very least managed to confuse me about it based on what I know now about UOJ.


D.) Lastly, UOJ is not established by anything any person says or is shot down by anything any person says, it can only be proven in Scripture first and foremost and then by the Confession (at least this is what I know about Team JBFA). For me, the Preus argument is only a side argument, it is not the strongest argument to Team JBFA's contention that UOJ is an un-biblical concept. Team JBFA's criticism stems from Scripture witness first and foremost seconded by the Confessions.


I perfectly understand what you are trying to do, you are LC-MS after all, so good luck to your efforts,

LPC