You will find his charges in the post Lutheranism: Only Half of the Gospel. Here is the snippet...
The day I stopped being a Lutheran was when I realized that the Book of Concord lied about what Augustine and the Catholic Church taught on Justification. I realized I could not subscribe to a book that was untruthful. Why couldn't they make their case, and say "We disagree with Augustine" and present the Roman Catholic view accurately and make their case without distorting the position of their opponents?
His charge is worth discussing and is worthy of serious thought. Asside from that, I have never heard such a charge before, it is new to me and interesting. Note I do not know everything, if someone can show me why his charge should not be taken seriously, let me know since that is the purpose of the discussion. It is interesting because it entails an exercise on BoC exegesis. Lastly, I wish to answer the charge. My answer will need further development (I have to admit), but all I need is to cast reasonable doubt on the charge.
I asked Dan if he can cite in the BoC wherein it explicitly misrepresented Augustine or the Fathers on the subject of Justification. The best he could come up was this...
"We know that that what we have said agrees with the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures, with the holy Fathers Ambrose, Augustine, and many others, and with the whole Church of Christ, which certainly confesses that Christ is the propitiator and the justifier."
(you will find it in the comments here)
This is found in the Apology of Augsburg III(Love and Fulfilling the Law), 268.
We have a few questions: What is the meaning of the phrase "what we have said"? Did this refer to those things in Article III, Article II, or those things inclusive from the start? For Dan ,I believe this meant all of the things said thus far... at a minimum, perhaps Article II(Justification).
This raises several nuanced questions with my answers, what is yours?
1. What does it mean to subscribe to the BoC ?Is it verbatim subscription?
I for one do not consider the BoC inspired, I consider only Scripture is inspired. I examined the claims of the BoC against Scripture and I find its exposition accurate. Further, I do not subscribe to the words per se, but I subscribe to the meaning of those words. Thus I subscribe to the intent or semantics of those words. The BoC is not another set of Laws to me.
2. How should the BoC be read?
I read it paying particular attention to its context and the intent of the writer, i.e. content. For example, I have spotted Luther in the Large Catechism, quoting Scripture from memory and his reference was wrong.
So in this regard, I wish to answer the charge against the alleged lying performed by the BoC in AP III, 268.
1.) First let me note what its says i.e. what it asserts. Technically, 268 is not explicitly saying that the Fathers believed in Reformation Justification in toto like the Augsburgians do. Look again at the statement - it asserts that the Fathers believed that Jesus is the Propitiator and Justifier. Now, tell me, is there a Church Father that would deny this? Ask ourselves as reasonably as we can, would Augustine or Ambrose deny this - that Jesus is the Propitiator/Justifier?
2.) The assertion belongs to a whole swag of sentences and belongs in the paragraph which started in 262. Read it here for yourself. Notice it argues for the good thing called - faith (in the Christian sense), that faith produces a confession, that the Church ends its prayers in an appeal for the sake of Christ, that faith apprehends the promise of reconciliation, it quickens, that the Law cannot be observed without Christ etc. Proper hermeneutics says that the statement should be understood within its context and the domain of that context, it is safe to assume, is that paragraph and not necessarily beyond it. The question that one should ask is this...Would Augustine or Ambrose object to the statements made in this paragraph? I suggest NO.
The burden is with Dan to show that the Fathers denied this.
3.) I argue that the 268 clip forms part of Melanchton's rhetorics. For example when we are illustrating a point, our point is not in the minutae but in the overall thrust the statement is making. Hence, in saying "Good men, indeed, will easily judge these things", he was not implying he has interview all good men around the world. That is not his point, not in the details but what is reasonable to assume. Further he also used the phrase "many others" in the paragraph, and the phrase "we know what we said agrees". These phrases are rhetorical elements. To illustrate, I know certain things, and what I know, you as a reader do not necessarily know. I also could be wrong in what I know to be consistent with facts. For Melanchton, what is contained in the paragraph flows from the assertion that the Church has always made - that Jesus is Propitiator/Justifier. For him, this is what it means[at least those in the paragraph, or Article III ] to make such confession about the Christ. I argue that 268 forms part of Melanchton's rhetorics to show that what was just said (at a minimum) on Love and Fulfilling The Law, the Scripture (I believe for sure) and the Fathers would not assail.
On those 3 points I suggested above, I believe the charge is flawed.
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