Friday, October 24, 2008

I did not know Piepkorn got tried[sic], no cited.

James Swan (of Beggars All Reformation) featured C. A. Piepkorn's take on Luther's alledged belief in the Immaculate Conception. Read James' post here.

At the tail end of that post, I was amazed with this little tidbit of information

Not that this has any bearing on Piepkorn's Mariological statements, but interestingly, Piepkorn was charged, convicted, and removed due to teaching false doctrine:

“During the mid-seventies amidst the storm of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod controversy, Piepkorn was among those of the faculty majority at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, cited as teaching false doctrine by the 1973 New Orleans Convention resolution 3-09. Piepkorn was a signatory of the Seminary majority's protest against this resolution and resolution 3-01, which declared that all of the synod's theological and biblical interpretation and teachings must be interpreted in accord with a presumed synodical tradition as articulated in the document entitled, "A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles," by Dr. Jacob A. 0. Preus, President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.” (Plekon and Wiecher, The Church: Selected Writings of Arthur Carl Piepkorn, New York: ALPB Books, 1993, 300.)

This is interesting for me because Piepkorn is usually the icon of those Augsburgians who are swimming the Tiber, e.g. Neuhaus etc.


Sam said...

Piepkorn was not removed as a member of the faculty. The walkout happened in 1974. He died in 1973. This guy needs to check his facts.

He actually passed away at a barber shop right by the seminary.

L P Cruz said...


Swan is quoting JAO Preus. Do you mean JAO Preus should have checked his facts or do you mean this for Swan?

Do you think JAO Preus' comments accurate?

I only heard of the there was a controversy called Seminex I do not know the details but my focus is on the quote of JAO Preus.


sam said...

There was no trial. Read the quotation that he provides. I guarantee you that there was no trial and that no one was removed. Professors were questioned and they provided written responses. All professors (except one or two whose contracts were not renewed) taught up until the moratorium on teaching and the subsequent walkout.

I would encourage you to read "Seminary in Crisis" by Paul Zimmerman.

L P Cruz said...


I corrected the title of my post, in line with the Preus quote, he was cited for false teaching, correct? but not tried.

James Swan said...

The source I cited notes that "the Board refused his request to clear his name, but after death Concordia Seminary offered to declare Piepkorn 'honorably retired.' His family refused.

So, Piepkorn was cited, and obviously the refusal of the board to clear his name at one point must mean they considered him guilty.

The Seminary tried to induce him to retire, whereas Piepkorn tendered his resignation.

My apologies for stating he was "removed"- but, it is quite obvious the Seminary strove to have him removed

L P Cruz said...

Thanks for the clarification James.

Because I am not an American Lutheran, my interest is more on what happened to Piepkorn rather than what happened to the Seminex controversy.

Yes if the board refused to clear his name therefore it goes with out saying that they find the request contrary to their finding, they must have found something wrong with his teachings.


acroamaticus said...

My understanding is Piepkorn was actually promoted to an administrative position at the seminary after the 1973 Conevention - I guess that was a way of getting him out of the classroom - then later he resigned rather than be "honourably retired". Swan is correct, no trial.

L P Cruz said...

Pr. M.

Being "honorably retired" would be a way of saying - we are forcing you to retire, this is a kind and better way than defrocking or firing people.

It is kinda is close to the honor of being "honorably discharged".

Thanks for the info/input.


Acroamaticus said...

Sorry, 'Sam was correct' is what I should have said.
Also, from reading his essays, Piepkorn was much more consciously Lutheran than those today who cite him as an influence - in my opinion, anyway. He knew a lot more about the Lutheran tradition than they do too. His knowledge was encyclopedic, and extended to quoting the confessions from memory in Latin!