Saturday, May 12, 2012

More proof that old time orthodox Lutherans rejected UOJ principles

One of the most glaring differences between JBFA people and UOJ advocates is their idea of the object of faith. In UOJ teaching, the object of faith is justification itself. On the other hand with those who confess One JBFA, the object of faith is the Atonement. In my post a couple of years ago, I had this exchange with a well-known advocate of UOJ, and you can find the comments here

Me: Atonement you said in the previous comments that it is the object of faith?

DJW: I did not say that. I have always spoken of God's forgiveness, through and on the basis of the death and resurrection of Christ, as the object of faith.

In the same place DJW even said Ultimately and most personally, it is God's justification in Christ - his word of pardon and forgiveness - that is the object of faith. God's forgiveness of the sinner is his personal message to each of us, because of the atonement (not because of our faith). And forgiveness and justification are essentially the same thing.

Indeed it is agreed by all of Christendom, that Justification = Forgiveness of Sins. From the quote above we see then beyond any shadow of doubt that the object of faith amongst UOJers is Justification, an event purported to have occurred for all people when Jesus died and rose again from the dead.

Even recent prodigal son of UOJ said this about the above quote... there was a time when I had difficulty with the Webber statements you provided. What you presented here is balanced justification and I have no problem with it

Below I provide a quote from Errors of Missouri p.252 which clearly shows that the UOJ myth is nonsense and has been denied by the BoC men. Schmidt attributes the quote below from Hunnius, Leyser and Gesner, faculty members of Wittenberg at the time of Huber. Schmidt quotes them from their work entitled  Thorough Refutation of Huber. The emphases below are mine.

“Just as we are justified, not on account of faith as a work or merit, but through faith, inasmuch as we embrace the merit of Christ by faith; so too we are chosen of God unto eternal life, not on account of faith, but through faith, as St. Paul writes 2 Thess. 2:13: ‘God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation in sanctification of the Spirit and I belief of the truth”. And just as we by faith embrace not justification itself, but the merit of Christ, and become justified when we accept Christ in true faith; so also faith embraces not election itself, as Dr. Huber imagines [LPC: and he imagined that faith embraces justification as UOJers do today], but the grace of election and the Lord Christ in His merit, and they who appropriate Him in faith are the ones that are chosen in Christ, Eph 1. So then faith is included in predestination precisely as it is taken in man’s justification before God.”

Here the “merit of Christ” is clearly taught as the object of faith. Now what does this phrase mean? We do not have to look far because the BoC uses this phrase too and it has been known that Hunnius was a signer of the Formula of Concord. We can find its proper meaning by studying the context in passages where it appears. Let us allow the text to explain itself. As an example in SD III we read...

9 Concerning the righteousness of faith before God we believe, teach, and confess unanimously, in accordance with the comprehensive summary of our faith and confession presented above, that poor sinful man is justified before God, that is, absolved and declared free and exempt from all his sins, and from the sentence of well-deserved condemnation, and adopted into sonship and heirship of eternal life, without any merit or worth of our own, also without any preceding, present, or any subsequent works, out of pure grace, because of the sole merit, complete obedience, bitter suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Christ alone, whose obedience is reckoned to us for righteousness
13 For faith justifies, not for this cause and reason that it is so good a work and so fair a virtue, but because it lays hold of and accepts the merit of Christ in the promise of the holy Gospel; for this must be applied and appropriated to us by faith, if we are to be justified thereby. 14] Therefore the righteousness which is imputed to faith or to the believer out of pure grace is the obedience, suffering, and resurrection of Christ, since He has made satisfaction for us to the Law, and paid for [expiated] our sins. 15

The object of faith, the merit of Christ is the Atonement, and not Justification as UOJ myth makers presuppose, and mind you it is their presuppostion that is driving them, not Scripture nor the BoC. The merit of Christ is that perfect and righteous life of obedience to God which Christ lived and in the end gave up as payment for the sins of the world. This, team JBFA have always asserted, that the object of faith is the Atonement and what is imputed to faith when the object is held is the righteousness of Christ. This righteousness of Christ is imputed to the sinner when he believes.

Monday, May 07, 2012

BM's comments on Hunnius' book contra Huber

Brett Meyer has a good comment on the book, Theses Opposed to Huberianism: A Defense of the Lutheran Doctrine of Justification by Aegidius Hunnius,  translated by Paul A. Rydecki. It is found at Ichabod and can be read here.

Samuel Huber ( c. 1547-1624) was a former Reformed pastor/teacher who converted to Lutheranism. While teaching at Wittenberg, he espoused UOJ from which the present Waltherian UOJers have taken their present theory. Huber was rejected by the BoC writers. To say that he was treated as a heretic will be too mild.

Of course the UOJ myth makers will say, following Tom Hardt that - Huber's version of UOJ is bad, but the right version of UOJ is that of Walther's version. This again is a myth. To test this hypothesis, one just has to look at Hunnius' book then to see if Hunnius espouses Walther's version of UOJ. Now that will be an interesting scholarly exercise if ever they can show this. Then they have extended themselves. I doubt it.

Do you know also what is interesting during this controversy? Huber charged the BoC authors who espoused JBFA of Calvinism! Now does that not ring a peculiar bell?

Is it not interesting that the present UOJ defenders are doing the same in charging JBFA people of the same?

Like father, like son, so the saying goes. Present UOJ defenders are just like their father Huber. The fruit does not fall too far from the tree. This saying is solemnly true.