Thursday, March 04, 2010

Grinding my ax.

I want to go back to the Walther quote I mentioned here. To repeat, C. F. W. Walther said...

C.F.W. Walther wrote in 1868: "…you often hear pastors preach, 'You are saved if you believe.' What they should be saying is, 'You are saved so that you might believe."
The quote may be found in http://www.franzpieper.com/.

My journey before coming to Wittenberg was that I considered myself a Charismaniac Calvinist (if not Calvinian) for 4 years. In those years I studied Reformed writings specially on the TULIP and I was worshiping with a wonderful group of Presbyterians near my home as I studied their confession. I was, you might say, a Christian looking for a Confession. A few things bothered me but in the end I cannot, in good conscience sign my name on the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Calvinists, by enlarge, do look at faith and their fruit to find out if they are Christians. However to me the system warps itself down because the "L" in the TULIP does not guarantee that the Atonement is yours. Then also there is no means of grace, I mean concretely delivers what is promised or concretely promises something to you, I mean what God did with Abraham when he walked in between the carcasses of dead animals through a smoke etc.

I think Walther and his mates were combating the Revivalism going on around them which taught people to look at their faith. So when people say "I am saved because I believe", Walther and Co. think that people are confessing this in the Wesleyan sense. Meaning looking at their faith, made a commitment, a decision etc. I think there is a sense that this accusation is true and I wrote about this too. However, is the accusation necessarily always true?

So now, I read blogs, listen to radio programs of Lutheran persuasion and the expositors are allergic to even mentioning faith at all.

Rev. Paul McCain says I have an ax to grind in his post here. I got in to that post because Dr. Ichabod blogged about it here, so I went there and chimed in. There was a follow up reply I made but Rev. McCain won't publish it, fair enough. It is his blog.

Do I have an ax to grind or is it my conscience saying something fishy is going on and it does not seem right ? I mean, why is it a dichotomy that being a Christian and having faith (in the Gospel) must be separated? I feel disturb about this. So I return to the Walther quote for I think it is Waltherianism to have such an attitude, and I am bothered by that attitude for many reasons:
  1. In the incident with the Philippian jailer, we see St Paul saying something differently when he was asked what must the jailer do to be saved. St Paul answered like the pastors Walther criticized, and I take it that these pastors he criticized were Lutherans too!
  2. In the ordo salutis, or order of salvation. Amazingly, Lutherans were the first to coin the phrase! Yet, Lutherans do not have a formal position on this unlike what the Calvinists have done. Their ordo affects their evangelism, apologetics and any other philosophizing and even psychologizing of justification. Look at that Walther quote again. I find Walther being Calvinistic in that quote., because in Calvinism, salvation happens first or regneration happens first before faith comes out, faith is an off shoot of regeneration. Though Walther despised Calvinists, he was quite like them in that quote.
So below is the comment I wrote to the Rev. McCain, which he won't publish, I said:

If a person is looking to Christ as his savior, i.e., the one who paid for his sins, is this not faith?

If this is not faith, then what do you call this phenomenon?

What do you think, how will you answer my question?

111 comments:

Steve said...

Alright, LPC...you've got me mixed up.

It is 3 am (can't sleep).

But that is no excuse since I'm easily confused, anyway.

Can you re-word the whole controversy for me...break it down a little more for me?

Thanks, my friend.

William Weedon said...

Hi, Lito. Might I ask what you make of Dr. Luther's words in On the Keys (AE 40):

Even he who does not believe that he is free and his sins forgiven shall also learn, in due time, how assuredly his sins were forgiven, even though he did not believe it. St. Paul says in Rom. 3[:3]: “Their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God.” We are not talking here either about people’s belief or disbelief regarding the efficacy of the keys. We realize that few believe. We are speaking of what the keys accomplish and give. He who does not accept what the keys give receives, of course, nothing. But this is not the key’s fault. Many do not believe the gospel, but this does not mean that the gospel is not true or effective. A king gives you a castle. If you do not accept it, then it is not the king’s fault, nor is he guilty of a lie. But you have deceived yourself and the fault is yours. The king certainly gave it.

Brett Meyer said...

Pastor Weedon, you bring up a classic Universal Objective Justification (UOJ) teaching.

Luther was speaking about the Office of the Keys in this quote. It doesn't support UOJ at all. His was a discussion about the application of the keys in regard to a person who is distraught over their sins and has turned to Christ for forgiveness. From the Small Catechism, What is Confession? "Confession embraces two parts: the one is, that we confess our sins; the other, that we receive absolution, or forgiveness, from the confessor, as from God Himself, and in no wise doubt, but firmly believe, that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven." And, "Furthermore: Dost thou believe that my forgiveness is God's forgiveness? Answer. Yes, dear sir. Then let him say: As thou believest, so be it done unto thee. And by the command of our Lord Jesus Christ I forgive thee thy sins, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Depart in peace." http://www.bookofconcord.org/smallcatechism.php#confession

The office of the Keys in regard to loosing sin is not to be used for unrepentant sinners as the UOJ doctrine would have us believe by their use of Luther's quote. It is reserved for those who in true repentance are contrite over their sin and turn to Christ for forgiveness. Those who confess UOJ attempt to achieve their justification and righteousness before God and men outside of and without faith in Christ. As though to eliminate all appearances of syncritism and at the same time confessing that faith is not the righteousness given by grace of the Holy Spirit and must be a work of man if it accomplishes anything in man. UOJ perverts the Holy Spirits faith saying that it does nothing but receive what God already declared to be true - that man is already forgiven of all sin, justified in the blood of Christ, guiltless and at peace with God. But Scripture wars against this doctrine of UOJ by exclaiming, "How then is man to be born again, if it is not by faith?" And if by faith is not being born again a change in man worked by the Holy Spirit through faith alone?

UOJ destroys the office of the keys as shown in the following BOC passage:
"6] Let any one of the adversaries come forth and tell us when remission of sins takes place. O good God, what darkness there is! They doubt whether it is in attrition or in contrition that remission of sins occurs. And if it occurs on account of contrition, what need is there of absolution, what does the power of the keys effect, if sins have been already remitted?…" http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_10_repentance.php

L P said...

Steve,

The controversy is this - when a Christian says I am saved because I believe, is this a bad thing?

Is the Christian actually looking at his faith (as a form of LAW which he fulfilled) when he says this? or is he actually looking at the promise that for Christ's sakes God forgives him of his sins?

It is found in Rev McCain's post...http://cyberbrethren.com/2010/02/23/we-are-christians-not-faith-ians/.


My question is this - when a person is confessing that Jesus died for me, is that person confessing faith? Sometimes I think this is true, sometimes it is not true.

Case in point...

I was an ex-RC, and I have often heard RCs say "yes, yes, Jesus died for me". Yet in their attitude, they believe they are saved by working the Sacraments, working the Church laws etc etc.

Then if this is true, you do not need to evangelize RCs. They are already saved, because they confess, Jesus died for them.

So saying "I am saved because I believe" is sometimes sensible because there the person might be confessing that he is saved by grace and not by works.

For to saved through faith is always to be saved by grace.

That seems to be the controversy. It defends on who is saying what is being said. The Waltherian view is pooh pooh the latter, always.

LPC

L P said...

Pr Will,

I look at the passage that right there when the keys are being offered to me, I ought to believe it.

In the practice here, the pastor, before announcing the absolution asks these questions :

1. Do you believe you have sinned and do you repent of your sins?

2. Do you believe Jesus redeemed you from your sins and do you desire forgiveness in Jesus name?

Only then is the absolution given.

I bring out the practice of confession/absolution here because I think that is where also the doctrine of justification clearly acted out.

LPC

Daniel Gorman said...

LP opines, "In the practice here, the pastor, before announcing the absolution asks these questions:

1. Do you believe you have sinned and do you repent of your sins?

2. Do you believe Jesus redeemed you from your sins and do you desire forgiveness in Jesus name?

Only then is the absolution given."

Your practice is contrary to both AC, XII and SC, V. Confession and Absolution has only two parts: Confession and Absolution. Your practice demands, in advance, the very thing that absolution gives: faith in Christ as Redeemer. The Holy Spirit does not work faith without outward means of word and sacrament.

LP opines, "I bring out the practice of confession/absolution here because I think that is where also the doctrine of justification clearly acted out."

Yes! Your practice denies the doctrine of justification as does the WELS hymnal "Christian Worship." In order to promote its UOJ and OHM doctrines, WELS trashes AC, V; AC, XII; SC, II and SC, V in its "Individual Confession and Absolution."

1. On page 154, CW has replaced "Do you believe that my forgiveness is God's forgiveness?" from the SC, V with "His death paid for the guilt of your sins and the sins of the whole world. Do you believe this?"

2. On page 155, CW has replaced "As you believe, so be it done unto you. And by the command of our Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you your sins, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." from the SC, V with "Because of the promise of our Savior Jesus, I forgive you all your sins."

L P said...

Daniel.

You said ... Your practice is contrary to both AC, XII and SC, V. Confession and Absolution has only two parts: Confession and Absolution. Your practice demands, in advance, the very thing that absolution gives: faith in Christ as Redeemer. The Holy Spirit does not work faith without outward means of word and sacrament.

Firstly, based on our last conversation I have no obligation to take you seriously since you teach that Abraham was baptized in water prior to entering heaven and the same is true, so you have taught, for the thief on the cross; though you offer no evidence of it from Scripture. In effect, you are prone to wild imagination as per also your comments here. Clearly too you are prone to weaving your own thoughts on Scripture and the BoC.

Please note I am being gracious in even responding.

My reply:

I do not take your charge as having a basis. Absolution in that context is the pronouncement of the sins being forgiven to the repentant sinner. I think you are once again tripping yourself by misreading or spinning the words in the BOC. In AC XII, 2-3, there is the phrase "the Gospel, or of absolution". In the context of discussion, Confession/Absolution is the actual Word, so again as before, I wonder what you are one about.


You said Yes! Your practice denies the doctrine of justification as does the WELS hymnal "Christian Worship." In order to promote its UOJ and OHM doctrines, WELS trashes AC, V; AC, XII; SC, II and SC, V in its "Individual Confession and Absolution."

Daniel, if ever there is anything I deny, I deny your doctrines including your doctrine of incoherent justification. I do not believe I deny the doctrine of JBFA as exposited in the Scripture or the BoC.

I am not WELS and we do not use CW in my local church. I care nothing to defend them or what they have done. I cannot speak on or for something I do not know.

One thing I observe, you seem to subscribe to the wooden words of a text and not to the meaning of the words. Words mean within a context and words on their own carry many meanings that is why they have to be taken within context.

Incidentally I am the one who questions UOJ here.

Once again you managed give here ignoratio elenchi.

Take care.

LPC

Steve said...

Thanks, LP.

Faith in faith, instead of faith in God.

That is a real problem.

Brett Meyer said...

Steve's statement, "Faith in faith, instead of faith in God." and it's subsequent UOJ teachings concerning faith remind me of the person who, sitting on the branch of a tree, begins to saw away at the branch where it is grafted to the trunk of the tree.

UOJ cannot be defended by Scripture or the Lutheran Confessions in any of it's aberrational statements. It's a man made doctrine which has reasoned a false thought or concept out of Christ's pure Word, utterly replacing Christ's Gospel with their new gospel teaching that faith is created by the proclamation of sins already forgiven instead of Christ's Gospel which promises the forgiveness of sins through faith created by the Holy Spirit through Word and Baptism alone.

Mr. Gorman, there's no need to respond since you do not confess that Christ's body and blood are in the Word and by that confession you reject Justification by Faith alone but mandate a sacramental application of the Word for It to save.

I would however like to know which church and denomination you are associated with as I've never come across someone with your specific confession. If you're willing to share this.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

Brigitte said...

This distinction is only valuable as far as consoling consciences go. Do I have faith? Do I have enough faith?... If you are worried about it, you already have faith, don't stare at it, look at Christ. This is what McCain is getting at.

Other than that you can't separate faith and God's action. The devil might know, too, that Christ might have done it to redeem him, too (so to speak), but he does not want it or trust God to be good.

It's like the proverbial "coin" to put it simply. The coin that pays to get into heaven. It is one object. It has a head and a tail. The head is Christ and the tail is my faith. You can't divorce one from the other.

Of course, "our faith" is in Christ not in our faith. It's still "our faith". Somehow God wants this. He wants faith through thick and thin. Because through faith we have love, and love is the greatest.

(PS. Ichibod's red highlighting of McCain's mistakes, make him look crotchety and does not help the matter.)

L P said...

Brigitte,

McCain said this The answer we must always give to the question of “Do you know you are saved?” is not, “Yes, because I have faith” but rather, “Yes, because Christ Jesus died for me”

I agree with McCain in stating the latter but I think he is also wrong in dissuading the former, without understanding what the former might mean! Remember he was speaking also of some Lutherans.

In that interaction there was a commenter by the name of Christian whom I agreed and I chimed in support of his comment. This man said ...

You[McCain] state that there is a difference between “Yes, because I have faith” and “Yes, because Christ Jesus died for me.” But I think those two statements are identical. In other words, what I believe these Lutherans were expressing is “I am saved because I believe in Christ who died for me, shed his blood for me and daily forgives my sin.”

Before that the commenter, said "faith in faith" is not the "faith" that is being spoken of by the Bible. Indeed. there is not even such a category. So, in a way Ichabod is correct too in saying that "faith in faith" is a straw man, of which some pastors are quick to assume.

To this I agree, for I observed that when faith is mentioned in the NT - it has no other object in mind, no other than Christ, the Word etc.

This the reason why faith if it is faith as discussed in the Bible is so precious to God! So much so that he treats it much better than silver or gold, for after all, it is God WHO CREATED THAT FAITH!

Unfortunately the good reverend decided to rebuke both the commenter and me, claiming that we missed the point of his post, which I do not think we did.

Here is a hypothetical scenario. Where I am, you get mix folks, some are Lutherans by conviction, some are by heritage/culture. What if I asked what McCain asked "Do you know you are saved"? What if the response was ... "Yes because I have faith in Jesus to save me"?

What should we or Jesus say to this person?

I suspect Jesus would say to this person... -- "according to your faith, be it done to thee".

So even in the context of assurance, I do not think we should necessarily outright correct the situation because the "f" word got included in the answer.

My observation lately is that there has been an allergic reaction by pastors (specially from LC-MS who are active in the blog world) to the mention of "faith". This is rather odd because the battle always is between faith (grace) and works of which the Lutherans should be known for.

LPC

L P said...

Brett,

I too have never come across a Lutheran with the likes of Mr. Gorman, who understands the BoC and Scripture quite so differently.

LPC

Brett Meyer said...

The Lord told us of these times in Scripture.

2 Peter 2:1, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."

It can be difficult to discuss UOJ with those who wield their man made justifications - Objective and Subjective. They tend to identify one or the other as the various baseless teachings of UOJ sees fit. One option is to focus on Christ's righteousness which UOJ distributes to the whole unbelieving world before faith. As yet most have not invented Objective Righteousness and Subjective Righteousness.

Scripture speaks to this also. Romans 10:3, "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."

Scripture declares that Christ's righteousness is only by faith in Philippians 3:9, "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:" and Romans 3:22, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:" and Romans 4:5, "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

By the grace and mercy of God those who have been called to be Shepherds over His flock will stop hiding from discussing and dealing with UOJ and those who claim to be Christ's sheep will address this doctrine openly and demand the same from those they are in fellowship with.

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

L P said...

Tonight I had dinner with a church member who happens to be at least 3rd generation Australian from a German background. His grandfather, all the way down to him, grew up in the Lutheran church here.

I asked if he ever heard of UOJ, he said no. I asked if he ever heard of a teaching that says, at the cross everyone has been forgiven before people have faith and repent. He said no, he even said this sounds wrong to him. He contended if you do not repent you are not forgiven. This friend grew up and have been pastored by several people, he said he was never taught nor heard of such a teaching (in fact he was repulsed by it).


There are pastors here no doubt who have been influenced by Waltherian teaching. I recall specially the latest defection of a known theologian in my state who went to Rome; he too believed in UOJ.

There are those too whom I heard that are critical of Walther. IIRC, mainly from German migrant pastors who came from the old country.

I am a bit sad that you can not discuss this topic sanely with Waltherians. It is taboo and one is subjected to censure if you even question UOJ.

It seems you must be out of your mind if you suggest Walther could have been wrong.

LPC

Daniel Gorman said...

Brett Meyer opines, "Mr. Gorman, there's no need to respond since you do not confess that Christ's body and blood are in the Word and by that confession you reject Justification by Faith alone but mandate a sacramental application of the Word for It to save."

But I must respond since you persist in misrepresenting my confession in new and different ways. The word "word", as used in English translations of the bible, has many meanings. The Son of God is "The Word" and "The Word" was made flesh with body and blood (John 1). Another meaning of the word "word" is God's revelation (Acts 4:31). The preached word has this meaning. The preached word is not "The Word." It is the revelation of "The Word." The preached word is salvic without the sacrament but the sacrament is not salvic without the preached word. Nevertheless, Christ will baptize all of His elect to their salvation.

LP opines, "Please note I am being gracious in even responding."

I have taken advantage of your graciousness far too long. This will be my last post. Thank you for hosting an excellent blog.

Paul McCain said...

Lito, I would like to warn you against listening to Mr. Jackson and Mr. Meyer. They are false teachers and their teachings will lead you astray and into an understanding of the Gospel that is not Biblical, nor is it Lutheran.

When the Scripture says Christ died for the sins of the world, they would make this objectively true Gospel contingent upon a response on your part.

They put an "if" where God has declared a "Yes and Amen," to which the faith He gives you assents.

Please beware of the false teachers on these points.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Love the oreo collar, Paul. I did not know that selling books was an Office of the Holy Ministry. But then, you must be a Wauwatosan, with your love of Pietistic UOJ and CGM. Let us all know when you earn a graduate degree in theology and serve a congregation as a real pastor.

Brett Meyer said...

Mr. McCain, you are less than forthright in your statement. I have always confessed that Christ died for the sins of the whole world. You state, "When the Scripture says Christ died for the sins of the world, they would make this objectively true Gospel contingent upon a response on your part." You fail to declare your whole confession which doesn't stop at Christ dying and paying for the sins of the whole world but you confess that God declared the whole unbelieving world forgiven of all sin, justified in the blood of Christ when the Holy Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions do not declare this before and outside of faith. You state, "contingent upon a response on your part." By this confession you pervert the faith of the Holy Spirit worked by the Means of Grace in those God has called. You infer that faith is a work of man if it's is only by faith in Christ that a man is declared forgiven of all sin, righteous and justified in the blood of Christ. Equally offensive as your Faithians statement.

You state, "They put an "if" where God has declared a "Yes and Amen," to which the faith He gives you assents."

Christ states in John 8:24, "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."

Also, Christ states in Romans 4:22-25, "And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."

Mr. McCain, by your confession you are a heretic and an enemy of Christ and His Church.

Romans 4:16, "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,"

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

L P said...

Pr. Paul,

Thank you for your comment. Scripture does admonish all of us to be careful with our own doctrine. 1 Timothy 4:16.

I have been making my own research and I have made some observations. My whole issue is this statement from the LC-MS 1932 Statement 17:

Scripture teaches that God has already declared the whole world to be righteous in Christ, Rom. 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Rom. 4:25; that therefore not for the sake of their good works, but without the works of the Law, by grace, for Christ's sake, He justifies, that is, accounts as righteous, all those who believe in Christ, that is, believe, accept, and rely on, the fact that for Christ's sake their sins are forgiven.



I have no business nosing around to correct LC-MS, far from it. My synod has not made such an official statement. I do know many pastors here take their cue from Walther and Pieper's writings. As a person who has been bringing my people to the Lutheran Church and have been recommending to my Pentecostal pastor friends the Confession of the Lutherans, I am responsible to where I bring them. I have suffered very much when I became Lutheran. I have lost friends such that practically I am isolated today. I am determined not to repeat what I did when I became a Pentecostal 25 years ago. By not being critical and not doing the study, I propagated some of the bad teachings I got from my American AOG pastors.


Statement 17 states good things but is taken away by the bolded words. Here is my analysis.

1.) The bolded words equate the Atonement with Justification. It takes the two concepts and teachings as equal and substitutionary. I do not believe this to be correct.
2.) in Christ: But we know not all are in Christ. We are born not in Christ, we are made to be in Christ by Word/Sacrament. Unless that happens, one is not yet in Christ.
3.) The bodled words mix the imputation of the sinner's sins to Christ as co-equal to the imputation of righteousness of Christ to the sinner. As Romans 4:22-25. the latter does not happen at the same time as the former.

Staunch Lutherans from LC-MS who opposed me such as Jim Pierce of http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ and DRB of http://dawningrealm.com/ do not even believe that the BoC and Scripture teach two imputations!

SD III, 13 says implies that there are two imputations. If we reject the Atonement of Christ, God does not impute to us the perfect life, obedience or righteousness of Christ to us.

Yet faith is a condition that must be present in the sinner so that the merit of Christ might be applied to him. The good news is that this faith which is God's gift, God creates by preaching the Word or using the Sacraments to us. Hence, Scripture and the BoC directs us where that faith might be formed in us - through God's Word or his Sacraments.

God supplies what he demands.


LPC

William Weedon said...

lose not the "in Christ" in the Missouri statement. It's the key that keeps this whole discussion from falling apart. In Christ, the world has been absolved and declared righteous. Outside of Christ, the wrath of God abides. Faith puts you "into Christ" where the absolution of all lives.

L P said...

Pr. Will,

I question I am not trying to be antagonistic, I am sincerely trying to clarify people's positions and understanding. I have no interest in being contentious for its own sake. I have very limited time on this earth to be doing that.


Take that Atheist down there on the road. Using this statement:

In Christ, the world has been absolved and declared righteous

Is this Atheist now declared righteous in Christ? For if the world has been declared righteous in Christ then take any individual X like the Muslim down the street, then we can say - Muslims like you, have been declared righteous now in Christ, can we not?

Is it correct to tell the Atheist/Muslim, -- in Christ Atheists/Muslims like him has now been declared righteous?

Off hand I see some problems, but I might be wrong.

LPC

Gregory L. Jackson said...

The short answer, LPC, is that everyone is justified and absolved, according to UOJ. Their favorite theologian, E. Preuss, claimed all the Hottentos were justified too. In contrast, the Book of Concord is quite clear:

"Faith is that my whole heart takes to itself this treasure. It is not my doing, not my presenting or giving, not my work or preparation, but that a heart comforts itself, and is perfectly confident with respect to this, namely, that God makes a present and gift to us, and not we to Him, that He sheds upon us every treasure of grace in Christ." Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #48. Of Justification. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 135. Heiser, p. 36.


"These treasures are offered us by the Holy Ghost in the promise of the holy Gospel; and faith alone is the only means by which we lay hold upon, accept, and apply, and appropriate them to ourselves. This faith is a gift of God, by which we truly learn to know Christ, our Redeemer, in the Word of the Gospel, and trust in Him, that for the sake of His obedience alone we have the forgiveness of sins by grace, are regarded as godly and righteous by God the Father, and are eternally saved." Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III. #10. Of the Righteousness of Faith before God. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 919. Tappert, p. 541. Heiser, p. 250.

William Weedon said...

Lito,

In Christ the entire race is absolved; we lie when we tell any person that when they are in Christ they have no sin at all!!!

However, we also lie when we tell every person that outside of Christ, their sin remains and they continue under the wrath of God.

William Weedon said...

ACK! I meant: "We do NOT lie..."

Gregory L. Jackson said...

NKJ John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

L P said...

Pr. Will,

Even if we tack in the phrase "IN CHRIST" in the statement : In Christ, the world has been absolved and declared righteous there is problem and I will show you why.

Scripture does not use "IN CHRIST" , "being declared righteous" and "the world" in the same way Statement 17 does.

IN CHRIST is reserved for those who believe the Atonement of CHrist.


Jesus died for the whole world. Absolutely I confess this.

Yet not all of the world believe Jesus died for them!

Then how can the whole world stand declared righteous already when in fact not all of them believe Jesus died for them?

That is the reason I have the example of the Atheist who is confessing he does not believe in God hence also does not believe in Christ!!

By the way your statement works (taken from Statment 17), I would be saying to the Atheist - hey you Atheist, people like you have already been declared righteous by God IN CHRIST!. Is this not correct?

Does it not sound universalistic to you? For it sounds universalism to me.

Again, let me go back... Statement 17 God has already declared the whole world to be righteous in Christ is contradictory with the latter He justifies, that is, accounts as righteous, all those who believe in Christ, that is, believe, accept, and rely on, the fact that for Christ's sake their sins are forgiven

It is contradictory because not all of the world is IN CHRIST.

You can say Jesus died for the whole world, Jesus died for him,the Atheist; Jesus paid for his sins. Absolutely we can say this.


But I cannot promise that Atheist is declared righteous IN CHRIST, for he is not in CHRIST - justification is NOT happening for him.

That is why Pr Greg has a point when he says The short answer, LPC, is that everyone is justified and absolved, according to UOJ

I can see his point - UOJ indeed is not just about the atonement being universal, it is about justification being universal too. I thought earlier that UOJ was about the universallity of the Atonement, I realize now it is the universality of justification. Which I do not see the Bible supporting for justification is through faith only. The latter is not universal, for the latter is according to faith and not all have faith - even Scripture says this.

Please note, I have not created any straw man here, I simply took Statement 17, your statement and my hypothetcal scenario of the Atheist. That is why I reject, for example, some of LC-MS friends who say to me that I have produced a straw man. I do not see where I have done that.


LPC

Gregory L. Jackson said...

In Robert Preus' essay, when he was still in the UOJ camp, he clearly distinguished between the Atonement and Universal Justification. However, in Justification and Rome, Preus quoted orthodox Lutheran fathers and agreed with them in saying justification happens only through faith, never apart from faith. Grace cannot come to someone without the Means of Grace, so UOJ is pure Enthusiasm.

L P said...

Pr. Greg,

I brought out my copy of that book. It looks like Preus quoted Quenstedt heavily in that book.

Top of p.73. quoting Quenstedt:

It is not the same thing to say..."Christs' righteousness is imputed to us" and to say "Christ is our righteousness". For the imputation did not take place when Christ became our righteousness...

This is firm evidence for me that the early Lutheran fathers did not believe in UOJ. For clearly this quote from Quenstedt shows he would have opposed UOJ. I am willing to loose my farm on this. Absolutely this is good evidence the orthodox Lutheran fathers did not teach Statement 17a.

In fact Statement 17a is what we would call ex falso siquitur quodlibet. From a contradiction, you can prove anything you like. This is the heart of sophistry.

Because it contains a contradiction, you can prove many things from it - you can prove universalistic things from it at the same time look as if you were orthodox affirming JBFA. This is horrible for it will put the believer into a disconnect and it also warps his presentation of the Gospel.

Quenstedt says that when Jesus has become the righteousness of the world that did not mean to say that all the world has been imputed by his righteousness!

Yet UOJ teaches that when Jesus has become the world's righteousness, the imputation of that righteousness has also been effected, i.e., has been applied to the world. This Quenstedt denies.

I wonder why people need to save Walther's reputation from this. Has he become the American Lutherans' Pope?

Even Sasse though highly respected here find his critics amongst us.

Are we not to pick what is good and throw what is bad?

Why does it have to be all of Walther/Pieper or none at all?

I appeal to Pr. McCain and Pr. Weedon to consider that Quenstedt quote.


LPC

Boaz said...

If you deny uoj, then what was accomplished on the cross? Uoj describes how the cross changed Gods orientation to us. But our orientation to God was not changed. Without the spirit's work through the means of grace, everybody would continue to reject God.

You need both. So: I am saved because I believe is incomplete and suggests arminianism; it points people to their decisions and beliefs for salvation and does not state what the object of faith is, namely that christ died for our imperfections.

Likewise, I am saved because Christ died for me isn't as complete as saying I am saved only because the holy spirit conveyed faith in christ's death for me through word and sacrament.

But meyer et al seem especially proficient in twisting words and attacking strawmen, as I've seen no clear explanation about what is enthusiastic about any of this.

Boaz said...

Actually I shouldn't say god changed his orientation, but that by Christs death, he accomplished his plan of reconciling the world to him, so nobody is to be punished for failing to be perfect. Without this universal objective justification, belief would be pointless, as we would be punished for every imperfection.

L P said...

Boaz,

Can you please define by what you mean by UOJ. Would it be safe to say that you agree with LC-MS Statment 1932, Section 17?

Enthusiasm was used by Luther to describe a belief that is brought about without the means of grace.

Section 17 which I quote has a part that is rather Enthusiastic... Scripture teaches that God has already declared the whole world to be righteous in Christ

As I argued, the whole world is not in Christ so how can the whole world be declared right now righteous?

Rather Romans 8:1, 2 Cor 5:17. That statement 17a which I bolded in the comments here, should be dropped because it says more than what Scripture says - it expresses an idea not accurate with Scripture and let us admit it, ideas do have consequences!

LPC

Boaz said...

Yes, Christ died for the sins of the world, so God does not hold any sin Christ died for against the world.

But, we also know that everybody's will is against God. Our sinful nature rejects Christ. We effectively tell God, "I want to be judged by my works and attempts to find God, as I define God." So even though Christ took on our sin, God will judge us by the standard we desire. Just like he did with Israel. So we need the Spirit to reform our will to rely on Christ's work on the cross as perfectly satisfying God's perfect law. If we don't, God judges by our own efforts.

Which is why I think persisting rejection into death of God, and the Spirits gift of faith, can be called the unforgivable sin. After uoj, christs work on the cross, that's the only thing God looks at: believer or unbeliever?

Gregory L. Jackson said...

LP, you are correct in your interpretation of that quotation. The UOJ people endlessly confuse the Atonement with justification and cannot explain how they have mislaid the Means of Grace. The Missouri and Wisconsin sects were born in Pietism, and their double-justification scheme is directly from Halle University. Walther ran with the Pietists, but they cannot admit that. The Formula of Concord simply obliterates their arguments, so they ignore the article on The Righteousness of Faith. To make their arguments, they mock faith.

Boaz said...

Is there any living theologian that agrees with the meyer/jackson anti-uoj interpretation of the confessions? Or is this one of those goofy 8 person church ideas, where some principle is obtusely interpreted so as to instill a feeling of separation and oppression on the (confused) "true believers"

Boaz said...

Catholics would reject walthers statement. They would say we are saved so that we might do good works. Christ died to save us so that our belief does give us salvation, not so our works earn merit. belief always precedes good works, and only by belief are we able to benefit from Christs work on the cross.

L P said...

Boaz,

Is there any living theologian that agrees with the meyer/jackson anti-uoj interpretation of the confessions? Or is this one of those goofy 8 person church ideas, where some principle is obtusely interpreted so as to instill a feeling of separation and oppression on the (confused) "true believers"

You stand to be treated as someone who is not to be taken seriously. You are making several fallacies here:

1. Argumentum populum.
2. Ad Hominem.

I do have an undergraduate degree in Religious Studies and I have a good working knowledge of Biblical Greek and Hebrew. Hence, I have checked Meyer's exegesis and his methods jive with the way I was taught in school.

What does it matter if there are only a handful of people who do not accept UOJ? In early days of Christianity there came a point the Arians dominated the thinking of pastors.



Catholics would reject walthers statement

But I am not talking about Catholics. I am talking about you - is your thesis - the whole world has been declared righteous in Christ?

Is this your conviction? If so why do you think it is correct?

You are free to answer the question so long as you answer with relevance please; I do not think it is a loaded question, I do not play tricks with people.

You are not helping me get at the truth if you evade my questions - pretty soon I will not give you the courtesy of my time.

LPC

L P said...

Sorry I by Meyer I meant Walther Maier II whose essay I have studied. My mistake might have been providential for Walther Maier denied UOJ, so there is one theologian who questioned UOJ.

LPC

xan said...

Lito,

I think you may be misreading Statement 17. The wording is (in my opinion) not the clearest. Maybe it was clearer when it was written; usage does change.

As Pr Weedon pointed out, the "in Christ" is the key.

The statement isn't trying to say that the whole world is in Christ. It's trying to say that when in Christ, the whole world is righteous.

Don't read it as "the world world is righteous-in-Christ", read it as "the whole world, in Christ, is righteous".

Honestly it could be read either way, and it may well be that some LCMSers are applying it wrong. But I don't think you can really attack the statement for this.

PS - What happened to allowing anonymous comments?

L P said...

Xan,

Even if I read it that way as you suggested the whole world, in Christ, is righteous
... it is still problematic at the least and not in accord with Scripture's over all teaching.

This is because as I argued, the phrase IN CHRIST and DECLARED RIGHTEOUS do not go hand in hand with the WORLD as is used by Scripture. Precisely because to be declared righteous is reserved for those who are in Christ, yet not all of people are in Christ, so how can the world be declared righteous in Christ?

As I said we must and most certainly say - Jesus died for the sins of the world or Jesus is the payment for the sins of the whole world! 1 john 2:1-2.

Only those in the world whosoever believes are IN CHRIST. John 3:16.

So what is the Scriptural warrant for 17a ? A key passage is Romans 4:25.

I went to for example Stuhlmacher who happened to be known as a German Lutheran exegete of today - says Jesus's sacrifice is the ground of our justification. I quote Christ's act of sacrifice on the cross, ordained by God and endorsed as valid by the resurrection, is and remains the legal ground for the justification of all those who, as the "ungodly", believe in the God who revealed himself in Christ

The phrase was raised for our justification has it in the Greek - with the view of our justification, meaning justification is still being performed by God to those who are coming to Christ, not that all justification has been finished. Rather what is finished is the ground of justification - the Atonement.

Re:anonymous comments, I probably turned it off.

I have suffered from being shunned because I have shown skepticism regarding my honest opinion about UOJ. You see, some people think it is the core of the Gospel. Nobody needs to tell me I am black listed. I know that and I am not naive.

Hence, I require people to be gentlemanly about this and show them their colors and be identified as I have. I have no animus (to quote Calvin LOL) against people who do not agree with me I just do not follow their opinion. For after all, I was wrong too so I allow people to repent and change their minds.


I know you are considering Lutheranism but I hope you see this interaction as its strength rather than its weakness.


LPC

Boaz said...

After christ's death, God no longer holds the worlds sin against it, but the world still resists grace and needs faith.

Lp: nobody is denying the necessity of faith. God declares us righteous, but we reject it or want to do it on our own. Our sins aren't forgiven because we believe, our belief
is what gives us the benefit of that forgiveness. I don't believe or want Gods grace until the spirit does his work.

I'm curious about whether there is any serious theological writing on the issue other thqn blog sniping by a few individuals. I apologize I let sarcasm into my comment, but really, I think if your idea can't generate more than 3 people in agreement on the internet, the idea should be viewed very skeptically. Especially when you have some heavyweight oppoiisition-walther, preus, the lcms statement, and from what I can tell, every lutheran seminary professor, etc.

And the anti-uoj crowd has been less than charitable in their arguments.

As far as my catholic comment goes, you said catholics agree with uoj, so I was commenting on that.

I'm done unless there is some serious reading on the issue somebody wants to link, and not just quotes ripped out of context by theologians not addressing the issue.

L P said...

Boaz,

God no longer holds the worlds sin against it

What do you mean by this? Does not God hold the world as children of wrath - Eph 2:3. God is offering a peace treaty - that is Jesus, and is wanting to move people from being under his wrath to under his peace. Precisely this is the purpose of the Law/Gospel. Only when one is converted - repent and believe is the person no longer under God's wrath. That is what Eph 2 says.

God declares us righteous, but we reject it or want to do it on our own

So is the object of your faith the fact that God has declared us already as righteous? Is this what you look at? And faith simply believes this declaration of righteousness? Is this what you believe? Now, is this what Abraham believed?

you said catholics agree with uoj, so I was commenting on that

I do not think I mentioned Catholicism in this context. You might have gotten it wrong, Catholicism of today has a streak of universalism in it. It is sophistic so anything goes with Romanism.

But speaking of universalism, well, this is the ultimate GOOD NEWS, quite frankly it tops Christianity in its good news does it not?

Yet Jesus said only those who believe are saved.

LPC

Boaz said...

"So is the object of your faith the fact that God has declared us already as righteous? Is this what you look at? And faith simply believes this declaration of righteousness? Is this what you believe?"

Yep. I believe Christ died for my sins on the cross, and it is finished. I believe as long as I have faith, strengthened only through Word in Sacrament, not rejecting the grace earned by Christ on the cross, I'll be judged according to Christ's perfect upholding of the law.

You are missing that two things need to happen for a person to be saved. 1) God needed to complete his plan reconciling the world to him, by Christ's death on the cross. Grace is earned for the world. 2) Every person in the world rejects grace and says, I don't believe, I don't want it, I'm doing it my way, by my effort. God works through the Holy Spirit through faith to reform the will so it believes and accept grace. Grace is given through faith. Faith does not earn grace apart from Christ.

You insist that if I say 1, I can't also say 2, or 2 has no meaning, or something. It just seems purposely obtuse. Scripture includes both parts of justification. It's not my doctrine. Either 1 or 2 without the other is not justification.
2 without 1 is nothing, as without the cross we are under the law. 1 without 2 is nothing, as without faith, we remain opposed to God and refuse to recognize or accept the gift of grace earned on the cross. Without faith, we demand to be justified under the law, and God gives us what we want. God's punishment is not an active response to our sin, it's his response to our rejection of his gift of grace, though the result is the same.

"Now, is this what Abraham believed?"

Abraham obviously didn't know Christ, but he believed God's promise, (sometimes), and God used him as part of his plan of reconciliation. But Abraham's faith was not credited to him independently of Christ's work on the cross. Christ died for Abraham's sins too, and had he not died for Abraham's sins, his faith would not have earned him anything.

Another blogger's thoughts on UOJ:

http://www.confessingevangelical.com/?p=1102

http://www.confessingevangelical.com/?p=1098

L P said...

Boaz,

I asked you: "So is the object of your faith the fact that God has declared us already as righteous? Is this what you look at? And faith simply believes this declaration of righteousness? Is this what you believe?"

You replied: Yep. I believe Christ died for my sins on the cross, and it is finished. I believe as long as I have faith, strengthened only through Word in Sacrament, not rejecting the grace earned by Christ on the cross, I'll be judged according to Christ's perfect upholding of the law .


You as a person who believes in UOJ by your answers above you have given me evidence that you confound the idea of Atonement with Justification and you equate the two to be the same.

The Stuhlmacher quote I gave you does not do that, he says justification is grounded on the atonement, if one is grounded on the other, the two are not identical. Further neither does the Quenstedt quote do what you have just done.

Review the above, I asked you about justification - to be declared/reckoned as righteous, I did not ask you about the atonement. You answered with the Atonement on my Justification question. Look again.

Of course, if your mind has been trained not to distinguish between the two, you will find my point utterly and extremely un-comprehensible.

As I said, the ultimate good news is universalism, it does not even matter if one believes or not.

LPC

Gregory L. Jackson said...

UOJ is an exception in the history of the church, except in the Midwest, where Synodical Conference pastors are especially dense. Therefore, arguing ad populum is rather foolish. As LP says, the issue is what the Word of God teaches, not how popular it is at the time. Papenfuss admitted in Kokomo that he never heard of UOJ before seminary. Many formulations of UOJ (Walther's Easter absolution sermon, J. P. Meyer Ministers of Christ) are very much like Baptist decision theology, except the Baptists would never own it.

Brett Meyer said...

Boaz states, "After christ's death, God no longer holds the worlds sin against it, but the world still resists grace and needs faith."

Christ contends against this when he declares in John 8:24, "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."


Boaz we discussed this on Ichabod and you had no response to Christ's statement which clearly states that without faith in Christ all of a persons sins remain on him and not just the sin of unbelief.

Boaz states, "Catholics would reject walthers statement."

This is the first accurate depiction of RCC's response to Walther's new doctrine of UOJ and shows that there is no reason for UOJ not to have been included in the BOC as the chief article of Christian faith. RCC rejects universal justification just as they reject Justification by Faith alone. But UOJ isn't in the BOC and neither can you find a UOJ sermon taught by Luther as you can with the Halle pietists.

Boaz states, "Actually I shouldn't say god changed his orientation, but that by Christs death, he accomplished his plan of reconciling the world to him, so nobody is to be punished for failing to be perfect."

This is pure universalism without the blouse and skirt.

That's the funny thing about the false doctrine of UOJ - it's utterly impossible to be consistent in it's defense. It contradicts Scripture and the Confessions at every turn.

xan said...

Lito,

I'm going to make an assertion, and see how we can parse it: Everyone is dry under an umbrella.

Am I saying that all 7 billion people in the world are currently under an umbrella, and therefore dry?

Or am I saying that everyone who is under an umbrella is dry?

Now read Statement 17, and I believe the proper way to parse it is the second way. In fact, other statements from that same 1932 declaration say things like this:

"Since God has reconciled the whole world unto Himself through the vicarious life and death of His Son and has commanded that the reconciliation effected by Christ be proclaimed to men in the Gospel, to the end that they may believe it, 2 Cor. 5:18, 19; Rom. 1:5, therefore faith in Christ is the only way for men to obtain personal reconciliation with God, that is, forgiveness of sins, as both the Old and the New Testament Scriptures testify, Acts 10:43; John 3:16-18, 36."

So I don't think your reading of Statement 17 is quite right.

David Jay Webber said...

Hi Lito.

Please make sure you are not overly influenced in your understanding of "objective" and "subjective" justification by those who are caricaturing this teaching because they reject it.

Justification, any way you look at it, can never be separated from Christ or from faith in Christ. The "objective" side of justification is what puts your forgiveness into the means of grace, so that you can believe in it and receive it. "Objective justification" is what justification in Christ looks like from God's side of the means of grace. He puts forgiveness for all into the means of grace, for the sake of faith, and as an invitation to faith.

And remember that everything the Bible says about justification, it says in Christ, and because of Christ. In Christ, as God looks at the world through Christ, all are under divine mercy and are forgiven, and are therefore invited to believe and be saved. But outside of Christ, as God looks at the world apart from Christ, all are under divine wrath and judgment, and are condemned. The same people - namely all people - are under consideration in each case. Whether or not an individual is saved or lost, is determined by whether he is in Christ by faith, or outside of Christ through his unbelief. This is a paradox to be sure, but the Word of God, with its law-gospel message, is full of such paradoxes.

Pastor Weedon's quotation from Luther is completely pertinent to what "objevtive justification" means to teach. This explanation from Luther is also pertinent:

"If the sins of the entire world are on that one man, Jesus Christ, then they are not on the world. But if they are not on Him, then they are still on the world. Again, if Christ Himself is made guilty of all the sins that we have all committed, then we are absolved from all sins, not through ourselves or through our own works or merits but through Him. But if He is innocent and does not carry our sins, then we carry them and shall die and be damned in them. 'But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.' (1 Cor. 15:57.)"

This and many other quotations that are pertinent to this issue can be found on this web page:

http://tinyurl.com/yjnnl39

Brett Meyer said...

Pastor Webber states, "Justification, any way you look at it, can never be separated from Christ or from faith in Christ."

Pastor Webber's confession through fellowship with the WELS states just the opposite in WELS Our Great Heritage, "And yet many Lutherans still labor under the delusion that God does not forgive us unless we believe. Instead of seeing faith as nothing more than the spiritual hand with
which we make the forgiveness of God our own, they see it as a reason why God forgives us. They
believe that Christ has indeed provided forgiveness for all men, that God is willing to forgive them, but before he really forgives he first of all demands that we should be sorry for our sins and that we should have faith. Just have faith they say, and then God will forgive you. All the right words are there. The only thing wrong is that the words are in the wrong order. God does not forgive us IF we have faith. He has forgiven us long ago when he raised his Son from the dead." (p. 59)" (W)ELS separates justification, which is the forgiveness of sins, from faith in Christ.

Pastor Webber (ELS) states, "In Christ, as God looks at the world through Christ, all are under divine mercy and are forgiven, and are therefore invited to believe and be saved. But outside of Christ, as God looks at the world apart from Christ, all are under divine wrath and judgment, and are condemned. The same people - namely all people - are under consideration in each case."


Where is this stated in Scripture or the Lutheran Confessions that God looks at the whole world (believers and unbelievers) in Christ and also looks at the whole world (believers and unbelievers) outside of Christ. Pastor Webber is saying that God looks at a believer as being outside of Christ and is under His wrath and condemnation. What? Where does Scripture say that God looks at believers in this way??

Brett Meyer said...

These quotes from the Book of Concord contend against the (W)ELS and LCMS doctrine of Universal Objective Justification which has God the Father declaring the whole unbelieving world forgiven of all sin, justified and at peace with Him before the Holy Spirit works contrition and faith through the Means of Grace. No one is reconciled to God before obtaining Christ as Mediator by grace through faith.

Defense of the Augsburg Confession, Article IV Of Justification
67] "Faith cometh by hearing. And proof can be derived even from this that faith justifies, because, if justification occurs only through the Word, and the Word is apprehended only by faith, it follows that faith justifies."

71] "but we maintain this, that properly and truly, by faith itself, we are for Christ's sake accounted righteous, or are acceptable to God. And because "to be justified" means that out of unjust men just men are made, or born again, it means also that they are pronounced or accounted just. For Scripture speaks in bothways. [The term "to be justified" is used in two ways: to denote, being converted or regenerated; again, being accounted righteous. Accordingly we wish first to show this, that faith alone makes of an unjust, a just man, i.e., receives remission of sins".
http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php

AAC That We Obtain The Remission of Sins By Faith Alone In Christ
"The wrath of God cannot be appeased if we set against it our own works, because Christ has been set forth as a Propitiator, so that, for His sake, the Father may become reconciled to us. But Christ is not apprehended as a Mediator except by faith. Therefore, by faith alone we obtain remission of sins when we comfort our hearts with confidence in the mercy promised for Christ's sake."
http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php

Apology of the Augsburg Confession, That Faith in Christ Justifies.
71] But when it is said that faith justifies, some perhaps understand it of the beginning, namely, that faith is the beginning of justification or preparation for justification, so that not faith itself is that through which we are accepted by God,
http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php

L P said...

Xan,

You said: Everyone is dry under an umbrella.

Am I saying that all 7 billion people in the world are currently under an umbrella, and therefore dry?

Or am I saying that everyone who is under an umbrella is dry


So you are exchanging "everyone" for the "world". So correct me if I am wrong but 17a becomes...
God has declared everyone righteous in Christ

That does not improve it. It still sounds universalistic.

I tell you why; because in there is a qualifier, for example John 3:16. The "whosoever believes".

The proper way of stating 17a is this... God declares everyone who is in Christ to be righteous.

The "who" or the "whosoever" is left for you to interpret 17a and is left for you to insert them in. I do not think this omission is a good thing.

Statement 17 contains contradictory statements. From a contradiction (so according to my teachers in uni) you can derive practically anything you wish and under the sun-- ex falso siquitur quodlibet.

Hence, someone taking to heart Statement 17 may both affirm everyone is justified already and affirm that only those who have faith is justified. So everyone? or only those?

If you ask me, is there anything universal in what the God has done that is applicable to me?Absolutely... the death of Jesus Christ is payment for the whole world 1 John 2:1-2. The Atonement.

Only those who receive this Atonement are justified. As I said, the imputation of our sin to Christ is not the same as the imputation of righteous of Christ to us. The first happened outside my space and time, the second happens in my space and time at the point of accepting the first.

This is the reason why those who are in hell are people who have never been declared righteous whatsoever. It does not mean Jesus did not die for them, no. Jesus did die for them, indeed. It does mean however that the righteousness of Christ has not been applied to them because of their unbelief.

I refer to Quenstedt quote above of which I can give you the full quote when I get my copy again.

LPC

L P said...

Pr. Jay,

Thank you for your comments.

If justification is always through faith then is it not always subjective? Hence, there could not be an objective justification as a proper category.


I heard of the presence of paradox in the UOJ terminology, before and indeed paradox may be possible.

Could you clarify the objective side of justification as you put it?

I tell you where my skepticism of the terminology is coming from, if something is objective then it is true outside of you. If something is subjective, then it is subject to certain conditions being met. In this case, for simplicity, let us say God meets the condition or creates it in you.


So I have a very simple approach and this is in regards to the object of faith. What should the Christian's object of faith ought to be?

Is the object of faith the Atonement of Christ, his payment for me?

Or

Is the object of faith the fact that I have already been declared righteous already in Christ?

I do not think an answer that says "both" is workable when it comes to the object of faith.

Faith's object is truth and must be true. What I mean is that I do not think I can have several objects of faith for salvation simultaneously, I think I can only have one object of faith at a time. For if faith is trust then it can only have one object.

LPC

Brett Meyer said...

Lito, I think we have a Good Cop / Bad Cop thing going here. Please to forgive my bullish Bad Cop approach and withdraw my contention for a bit and allow you to negotiate the UOJ discussion as you see fit. I admire your patience and tact.

Sincerely In Christ,
Brett

L P said...

Brett,

No worries bro.

I know what you mean, and I have realized that you have been through the thick of this for sometime. I appreciate the fact that people have bullied and swarmed at you in the process. You have suffered very much bro, I am aware of that.



Peace to you (and of course also to those who enter here).

LPC

David Jay Webber said...

Where is this stated in Scripture or the Lutheran Confessions that God looks at the whole world (believers and unbelievers) in Christ and also looks at the whole world (believers and unbelievers) outside of Christ.

Of course the Bible does not say exactly this in so many words. But the basic point is reflected here:

"For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all" (Romans 11:32).

But let me ask you a question. When you sin, does God's law rebuke you and threaten you? Does God's law threaten you with judgment and impress divine judgment on you, thereby causing you to flee to God's mercy in Christ in repentance? Your old nature, and you as a person according to your old nature, are under divine judgment because of sin. That's what your conscience tells you whenever you do sin, or whenever you become aware of your sin. But when you repent, the Gospel then tells you that you were included in the forgiveness that Christ won for all, and that is offered to all. The Gospel tells you that you are, in fact, forgiven, freely, by no merit of your own.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

The UOJ salesmen avoid dealing with their own central argument, echoing the Pietist Walther and Halle University's Knapp - universal absolution apart from the Means of Grace. Using their fishing poles, they snag every little quotation they can find to justify their falsehood, that "every single person in the world has already been declared righteous."

David Jay Webber said...

If justification is always through faith then is it not always subjective?

Lito,

That's not precisely what I said. I said that justification is never separated from faith. The "objective" side of justification is for faith, and is an invitation to faith, so that faith can have something to believe in. The "subjective" side of justification is in and by faith, when an individual believes the gospel message, brought to him in the means of grace, that his sin is forgiven.

Is the object of faith the Atonement of Christ, his payment for me?

Where the rubber meets the road - in your conscience as that conscience is troubled by its awareness of your sin - the object of faith is the divine message, brought to you in the means of grace, that your sins are forgiven. This message is pure Gospel, and is not conditional or provisional. It is not a message that your sins will be forgiven if you believe. It is a message - properly to be applied only to a penitent person - that his or sins are forgiven through the death and resurrection of Christ.

This message - which resides objectively in the means of grace - is a message that is offered to all people, as being true for all people. Of course, we are talking about the Gospel here. The law does not offer forgiveness to anyone. The law offers only judgment, to one and all.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Jay, your straw man fallacies constitute a fire hazard. UOJ makes a mockery of the Law, repentance, the Keys, Holy Baptism, Holy Communion, the Gospel, and the Means of Grace. The old Synodical Conference is still trying to justify the errors of its Enthusiastic origins. How can you be against Receptionism and Church Growth and yet keep repeating the bromides of UOJ, Jay?

L P said...

Hi Pr Jay,

Thanks for clarifying.

The object of faith then is the Atonement.

I am glad that is settled.

As the BoC states, the effect of this then is justification. The forgiveness of sins is the effect of trusting this atonement.

Therefore, I highlight again my problem with the terminology...

If the object of faith, the one that is outside me is the atonement, then what is Objective is the Atonement not Justification.

The problem is that if this is labeled as UOJ problems occur in the terminology and whether we like it or not, terms have their meaning and people are not by enlarge checking what the context of the word means. That is why I see UOJ and its defense to be problematic because terms can be shifted and moved around subjecting oneself to lots of caveats.

Point of fact, you had to refine the meaning of what you mean by the word objective. My question I think forced this.

I have searched high and low, my synod has no official dogmatic declaration on this issue. It has no statement similar to Statement 17.

However, you said It is not a message that your sins will be forgiven if you believe.

Huh, but is that not the effect that we like to achieve, for the hearer to believe? Why do we have to tell it if we are indifferent if he should or should not believe!

I accept and indeed it is a declaration. However it is a declaration whose **objective** is for the hearer to believe. It is not something he should reject. That is the reason why we are preaching it, so that he might believe.

As Luther said - the treasure is being delivered by God to the sinner through that Word and the net effect that God wants to accomplish in that declaration is ---- faith.

Forgiveness is the effect of believing the Atonement.


Like I say to my friends, Jesus died for you, paid all your debts to God, suffered for your sins, whether you believe it or not. But you'd better believe it or you will wind up paying for it yourself.


Sure, Jesus died for the sins of the Atheist whether he believes it or not, but his sins are not forgiven (for forgiveness is the effect of trusting the Atonement) if he rejects what Jesus has done for him. He rejects the offer therefore he - the Atheist winds up paying for his sins himself and we know where that is.

I hope you do not mind me being honest.

You see, I was a former Calvinist. Here is what I observe with UOJ articulation; distinctions between atonement and justification are blurred and the two are collapsed. This is similar to the Calvinist. To them Atonement and Justification are the same. They see Justification to be particular and since the two are equal, therefore Atonement must be particular too.

In my readings I see the old Lutherans make the distinction sometimes very sharply.

For example Quenstedt made a distinction between the time Jesus became our righteousness to the time Jesus' righteousness is imputed to us.

I can also give the quote from Calov.

I hope my objections are not straw men. They are the result of taking the meaning of the terms and using them. UOJ is a label that was introduced many years ago. If people make conclusions about it, it is not because they are building straw men. That is not the only possibility. It could be that the label carries with it its own temptation to be misapplied or misunderstood.

LPC

David Jay Webber said...

Strictly speaking, the atonement is not the same as justification, but it is the necessary basis of justification. 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.

You mentioned Calov. Here's something he said that illustrates what I am saying - and what those who actually teach "objective justification" are really saying:

"Christ's resurrection took place as an actual absolution from sin (respectu actualis a peccato absolutionis). As God punished our sins in Christ, upon whom He laid them and to whom He imputed them, as our Bondsman, so He also, by the very act of raising Him from the dead, absolved Him from our sins imputed to Him, and so He absolved also us in Him."
(emphasis added)

Calov apparently borrowed some of this wording from John Gerhard, who made the same point in this way:

"By raising [Christ] from the dead, [God] absolved him from our sins which had been imputed to him, and therefore he also absolved us in him that Christ's resurrection might thus be the cause and the proof and the completion of our justification."

L P said...

Hi Pr. Jay,

You said Strictly speaking, the atonement is not the same as justification, but it is the necessary basis of justification. 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).

You seem to back track here. I may not be understanding you here so I put the syllogism here:

1. Atonement you said in the previous comments that it is the object of faith. (I agree)

2. Atonement and Justification are not the same (I agree)

Then you make this statement

3. it is God's justification in Christ - his word of pardon and forgiveness - that is the object of faith.

Does that not contradict 1 and 2 above?

Then also you said

4.) God's forgiveness of the sinner is his personal message to each of us, because of the atonement (not because of our faith)

Why is faith not included in this, for faith and forgiveness go hand in hand. Do you not see forgiveness as the effect of faith in the atonement and without faith forgiveness is not enjoyed?

There is a difference between the Gift and the enjoyment of that Gift.

I would add to your statement after the parenthesis... received through faith.

what I am saying - and what those who actually teach "objective justification" are really saying:

Be that as it may, I for one could not support the terminology because of the problems I have stated above. My synod has no official statement as that of Statement 17. I believe it contains both true and inaccurate statement and I am not comfortable with it. I have outlined my problems above - see my comment to Xan.

Since forgiveness and justification is the same thing, here is what

Abraham Calov said, Apodixis Articulorum Fidei ( R. Preus' Justification and Rome)?

Although Christ has acquired for us the remission of sins, justification, and sonship, God just the same does not justify us prior to our faith. Nor do we become God's children in Christ in such a way that justification in the mind of God takes place before we believe.



Would you agree with that?

LPC

David Jay Webber said...

Atonement you said in the previous comments that it is the object of faith.

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.

Believing in God really means believing God when God declares something to us. "Abraham believed God..." And what God declares is forgiveness.

Do you not see forgiveness as the effect of faith in the atonement and without faith forgiveness is not enjoyed?

I would answer No to the first part of your question and Yes to the second part. Forgiveness is not the effect of faith. This is actually a major error. Forgiveness is the effect of the atonement, and God's grace, and a whole bunch of things in God, but it is not the effect of anything in us or from us. Faith does not help to create forgiveness or help to cause it to come into existence. Faith receives forgiveness. Forgiveness is something God declares to us, and it is something we then believe. But those who do not believe it do not enjoy it or benefit from it.

When God tells you, "I forgive you," he is telling you something about himself, much more so than something about you.

Your Calov quote is talking about how justification is received, and about what justification does in regard to those who do in fact receive it in faith. When the "objective" side of justification is being discussed, there would be no talk then about people "becoming" God's children, and so forth.

The exact terminology is not the important thing - although a rejection of the terminology does often cloak a rejection of the doctrine, in favor of a synergistic alternative. The terminology was devised precisely to guard against the synergistic notion that faith creates or causes justification, rather than simply receiving it as a divine gift. The essence of the matter is this: Objective justification is "justification offered." Subjective justification is "justification received." If it is not offered, it cannot be received. But if it is not received by someone, then the fact that it is truly offered - on the basis of the atonement, in the means of grace - will not be of any saving benefit to that person.

L P said...

Pr. Jay,

I am revising comment as I have more time to elaborate more.

Forgiveness is not the effect of faith. This is actually a major error. Forgiveness is the effect of the atonement, and God's grace, and a whole bunch of things in God, but it is not the effect of anything in us or from us

Faith as per SD III, 10 is a gift created by God. It does change a man from being an unbeliever to being a believer, from being a child of wrath to the child of God. Several times Jesus commended people for their faith and admittedly with out denial, and from the top, faith in the those people -the centurion, the paralytic, etc., God created. Why won't Jesus praise faith if it is his Father who has done it? Everything that God creates is good!

Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness Gen 15:6 - 2 Cor 5:17. Something change through faith and the one who effected that faith is God himself, so I wonder why faith is rather disparaged when Jesus himself is the Author and Completer of it.

You said terminologies do not matter but they do. Perhaps my use of the word "effect" is subject to problems for you but I was using it in the context of Quenstedt who said It is not just the same thing to say, "Christ's righteousness is imputed to us" and to say "Christ is our righteousness'. For the imputation did not take place when Christ became our righteousness. The righteousness of Christ is the effect of His office. The imputation is the application of the effect of his office. The one however does not do away with the other. Christ is our righteousness effectively when he justifies us. His righteousness is ours objectively because our faith rests in Him. His righteousness is ours formally in that His righteousness is imputed to us

You speak as if no imputation occurs. But there is an imputation that happens, there is a transfer that occurs when faith in Christ happens, Jesus' obedience is transfered to the believing sinner. SD III, 13b

but because it[faith] 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.

Incidentally I would appreciate if you give me a direct answer on my Calov quote. Is what he said something you agree with?

Let me be concrete, what would be your position on my Atheist example - shall I declare to him that his sins are forgiven? His Atheism is forgiven? Whether he believes it or not?

The exact terminology is not the important thing - although a rejection of the terminology does often cloak a rejection of the doctrine, in favor of a synergistic alternative.

I absolutely disagree. Terminology is important because it can be made to swing in every which way and promote a teaching not accurate with Scripture. There is the fallacy of equivocation, and sophistry is the mother of it. The RCs are known for that.

You mention synergism. If synergism is a problem, it cannot be solved by universalism or type of it.

Universalism is the ultimate good news, for it requires nothing, not even faith or what not, not even good or bad doctrine etc. All are saved, no matter what they believe or don't believe.

LPC

David Jay Webber said...

Lito,

I agree with the Calov quotation as an explication of justification narrowly speaking, that is, subjective justification. Do you agree with the Calov quotation that I shared, as an explication of the objective side of justification - whereby all for whom Christ died are absolved in Christ's resurrection?

Lito, my friend, I think this is your mistake: You are approaching this in a systematic, logical, and even scholastic way, and not in the context of the mystery and paradoxical tension of law and Gospel. I would imagine that this same problem makes it hard for you to grasp other important things too, such as simul justus et peccator, or the presence of Christ's humanity as being both local and omnipresent. Please refocus the way you look at this, and the way you frame the questions. That will have a major impact on which Biblical and Christ-centered answers you are then able to see and grasp.

I would also say this: Please choose your teachers well. St. James warns:

"Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness."

And St. Peter gives us some necessary advice in this respect too:

"And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures."

So, always keep the distinction between law and Gospel in the forefront, both in what you believe, and in what you listen to from others. And always recognize the Gospel as divine gift, which comes to you and to everyone else from outside of us - extra nos. Teaching that blurs this, or that demonstrates that it does not fully grasp this, is teaching that is not to be embraced.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

One would never know that Jay Webber needed intervention from Robert Preus to get a call in the ELS, because the LCMS would not have him. Only in the mediocrity-centered UOJ family would one find MDivs solemnly warning people against fidelity to the Book of Concord and Luther. Jay Webber and Paul McCain could not get a job teaching religion outside of their sect, but they want to teach the world and advise the Holy Spirit. I noticed that Jay dodged the Calov quotation that Preus used in his book, spinning it as subjective justification. That only proves that Jay and Paul agree in one thing - they do not understand or teach justification by faith. God does not absolve those who teach false doctrine.

L P said...

Pr. Jay,

A few things.

Re:Calov: I agree with what Calov said, but "us in Him", I take he refers to those who are in Christ, and those who are in Christ are believers. This is the issue I notice - "us" can be taken as "we people" or "us, we who believe". I do not think the guy is easily prone to self-contradiction, considering the other quote I asked of you.

In the last comment, you categorically denied that the object of faith should be the Atonement.

To wit:

I asked: Atonement you said in the previous comments that it is the object of faith.

Your reply: I did not say that.

That denial that the Atonement should be the object of faith I believe contradicts the teaching of Romans 3:24-25.

The Greek original construction of this renders it lucidly. There justification, faith and atonement are related. First Justification is a gift. There faith is pointed to Jesus's Blood - the Atonement. Thus faith in Jesus Blood leads receives the gift of justification. Clearly there, faith in Jesus' propitiation leads to justification by God.

The BOC, SD III complies with this.

Lutheran theology is very exegetical and I so not think I am being systematic necessarily. I accept paradoxes in God, I accept the Supper, Jesus being true God and true Man. In fact what convinced me of Lutheranism was 1 Cor 10:14-16 aside from its message that the Atonement is for all sinners etc.

However, before coming back to Christianity after being an Atheist, I studied other religion - like Taoism.

Taoism also wants you to accept their truth as paradoxical - like good is not really good it is bad and bad is sometimes good etc. It is a good cop out, Taoism wants you to accept their self contradictions as paradoxes because it is actually profound.

There is a difference between a contradiction and a paradox.

If Luther accepted that justification is sanctification and sanctification is justification as a paradox, then I do not think we will have the Reformation.


Eph 4:14. should be true for all of us, isn't it?

This is the reason why I hold no sacred cows. I appreciate Walther's Law and Gospel, but I think in his other essays he overstated himself. I have read some of them and I find some of the things he said, over statements.

I have no such loyalty of saving him from his critics.

As Luther prayed - Lord keep us steadfast in your Word.

That is my prayer.

LPC

David Jay Webber said...

Here is the Calov quote again:

"Christ's resurrection took place as an actual absolution from sin. As God punished our sins in Christ, upon whom He laid them and to whom He imputed them, as our Bondsman, so He also, by the very act of raising Him from the dead, absolved Him from our sins imputed to Him, and so He absolved also us in Him."

Please take note of the fact that Calov says that "our" sins were imputed to Christ, and that "our" sins were punished in Christ. This must be a reference to "us" as in "we human beings," and not simply to "us" as in "we believers." Otherwise, Calov would be teaching Calvinism and a limited atonement. So, when he then goes on to say that in Christ's resurrection, God absolved "us," he is talking about the same people whose sins were imputed to him and whose sins were pinished in him - namely "us" human beings," and not simply "us believers."

If Calov would say this, and if he would also say what you quoted him to say, then the assumption must be that his evangelical theology in its totality included both thoughts - namely, an "objective" side of justification, as my quote references, and a "subjective" side of justification, as your quote references. Calov was not contradicting himself. Those who would think he was, thereby show that there is something lacking in their understanding. But from the vantage point of a proper view of law and Gospel, there is no contradiction in Calov.

The atonement is never separated from forgiveness. As I said, the atonement is the necessary basis for forgiveness. But I also said that from the perspective of a troubled conscience, "where the rubber meets the road" as far as divine comfort is concerned is where God declares to me a message of forgiveness in Christ. Obviously, a belief in this forgiveness always then includes a belief in the atonement that made this forgiveness possible, and on which this forgiveness is based.

Brett Meyer said...

Please allow me to enter the discussion again as I sense it may have run it's course when Pastor Webber resorted to condescending personal remarks about LPC, "I would imagine that this same problem makes it hard for you to grasp other important things too..." (1:03AM). Lito showed no inclination of rejecting any of the chief articles of Christian faith found in the BOC, of which UOJ is not a part, but Pastor Webber voices this assumption while abandoning all theological debate for theoretical conjecture.

Pastor Webber I called you on your claim that "God said" (7:48AM) and your response was that God didn't say it in so many words, "Of course the Bible does not say exactly this in so many words." and then you attempt to use Romans 11:32 to justify your teaching and it doesn't speak at all to your teaching that God looks at believers in Christ as though they were without Christ (12:26PM). You've added to and taken away from Scripture Pastor Webber. You then go on to chide LPC that he should refocus for Biblical answers, "Please refocus the way you look at this, and the way you frame the questions. That will have a major impact on which Biblical and Christ-centered answers you are then able to see and grasp." (1:03AM)

Pastor Webber states, "the object of faith is the divine message, brought to you in the means of grace, that your sins are forgiven. This message is pure Gospel, and is not conditional or provisional. It is not a message that your sins will be forgiven if you believe." (12:48PM) This is a clear description of the new gospel being taught in the doctrine of UOJ. This is also stated in proper BOC style by an affirmative statement and negative statement effectively nailing down the exact gospel of UOJ and eliminating the subjective "your sins are only really forgiven if you believe they've already been forgiven" defense.

Christ contends against UOJ in these verses which abundantly show that in fact the true Gospel is that your sins will be forgiven if you believe on Christ. Romans 4:24, "But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed (BM-Christ's righteousness),if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;"

Cont...

Brett Meyer said...

Cont...

Mark 4:12, "That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them." Acts 10:43, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." And for a negative thesis from Christ on this doctrinal point I give you John 3:18, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Pastor Webber these declarations from Christ do not allow your teaching of UOJ.

Pastor Webber states, "When the "objective" side of justification is being discussed, there would be no talk then about people "becoming" God's children, and so forth." (4:35PM) Except that you have God bestowing the gifts of the adoption of sons, forgiveness of sins, justification (same as forgiveness of all sins), righteousness and peace with God upon the whole unbelieving world when you teach UOJ. UOJ destroys Christ's doctrine of Election when it teaches that the whole unbelieving world has been declared justified in Christ by God's divine verdict. Yet Christ declares those He has justified He has also glorified - saved. Romans 8:30, "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." UOJ is pure Universalism. You would reject this of course but doing so would make God a liar based on Romans 8:30 and not just create a paradox which would itself be blasphemous - teaching that God holds to self contradictory doctrines. Christ condemns UOJ's distribution of His inheritance, His righteousness for the forgiveness of sins to those under the law, to the whole unbelieving world in Romans 4:14, "For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:"

I could go on as you provided plentiful and clear UOJ statements but will end this comment with Romans 9:31-32, "But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith."

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

L P said...

Pr. Jay,

I have thought about the Calov quote. Few things; his context of "ours" and "us" is at issue. However, as I reasoned to others that when it comes to an authority, then the best I could do if contradicting statements come from his mouth is to recognize that possibility (the figure might have contradicted himself) and choose which of the two complies with Scripture

Now you said that those who think Calov might have contradicted himself lack understanding. Why is that the conclusion you draw? That is not the only possibility - for Calov and anyone else is capable of contradicting himself. He is not perfect and infallible. For this reason the BoC only accepts from the writings of Luther where he can be agreed with. We do not sign our name to Luther's Works, only on the BOC. Why is Walther and Co exempted and must be rescued?

But even then, Calov contradicting himself as a possibility is not a big crime, it is an issue if he contradicts the Scripture or his interpretation of it.

I have proof that Rom 3:24-25 clearly marks that faith in Jesus' blood is the way to receive the gift of justification. Therefore the object is the Atonement.

I understand the pastoral concern for lack of assurance. I and anyone else may fall into this crisis and I have indeed fallen in such a crisis myself.

But IMHO, the way to help is not to improve on Scripture but to do what Scripture says - point the worried souls to the Cross, the Atonement, and repeat the issues of what the Law demands. For we will know what the Gospel is if we identify the problem the Law marks. Also, stricken souls should be pointed to the means of grace, like Baptism, the Supper. The BoC does that, does it not?

Lastly, Brett's point about Election and the quote of Romans 8:28-30 is relevant, of which I thought about this morning. If justification has already occurred for all, outside of faith as OJ teaches, then justification has occurred prior to calling. This contradicts the chain of redemption passage, to wit... whom he foreknew, he predestined, whom he predestined, he called, whom he called, he justified...etc.

If people are justified already, then the order says, whom he predestined, he justified, whom he justified he calls.

Have you studied Calvinism yourself? In Calvinist theology, justification or being saved(along with regeneration) occurs prior to faith. What Walther said - saved to believe.

This is why I respectfully say - as an ex-Calvinist, the way UOJ/OJ is articulated and what it implies is really operating on the paradigm of Calvinism.

Calvinists equate justification with atonement, seeing that justification is particular and since the two are the same, pulls the atonement on the justification side, hence, they conclude atonement must be limited.

UOJ does the same above, but since atonement is universal and since it is equal to justification pulls justification to the side of atonement and hence, justification is universal.

The point I make and why I am in consternation is that UOJ is doing the same effectively as what Calvinism is doing.

I left Calvinism! I do not want to go back to its way of thinking.

LPC

Gregory L. Jackson said...

The UOJ Enthusiasts have taken their cue from this literary figure:
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

Augustinian Successor said...

No, you're right, Kuya.

Without faith, there is NO justification. It is only by faith alone we are justified. And faith is given through the Word & Sacraments only.

The Atonement was the victory of Jesus over sin, death and destruction. But it is not contra the Reformed a one at a point in time event; rather, the Atonement is once for all. The Atonement extends in time through the Word & Sacraments. Without the Holy Spirit working in, with and through the Word & Sacraments, the Atonement remains an ELUSIVE historical event of no vital significance.

This is the whole point.

So, UOJ proponents ... innovators that they are ... drive a WEDGE between the Atonement and the proclamation of the Gospel in its oral and sacramental forms.

What God hath joined together, let not man tear asunder ...

Augustinian Successor said...

No, you're right, Kuya.

Without faith, there is NO justification. It is only by faith alone we are justified. And faith is given through the Word & Sacraments only.

The Atonement was the victory of Jesus over sin, death and destruction. But it is not contra the Reformed a one at a point in time event; rather, the Atonement is once for all. The Atonement extends in time through the Word & Sacraments. Without the Holy Spirit working in, with and through the Word & Sacraments, the Atonement remains an ELUSIVE historical event of no vital significance.

This is the whole point.

So, UOJ proponents ... innovators that they are ... drive a WEDGE between the Atonement and the proclamation of the Gospel in its oral and sacramental forms.

What God hath joined together, let not man tear asunder ...

Augustinian Successor said...

It's funny how these jesters pit grace and the means of grace against each other in precisely the same way as the Reformed. PIETISM!

Augustinian Successor said...

The same Atonement which occured 2000 years ago 'becomes real' to the believer through the proclamation.

To the UOJ enthusiasts: Remember, faith is NO mere mental assent. It IS the New Man. It is only by faith alone that we are in Christ, crucified to the Cross, dead to sin. And it is only by faith that we are raised in Christ.

Faith does not come from within, it is extra nos ... comes from without so that it is not spatial-temporal but eschatological ...

This is why faith cannot be psychologised the way Pietists are wont to do ...

In faith, the God-Man who has overturned time and space inside out and is therefore above time and space and has both time and space immediately present to him simultaneously both with respect to the Old and New Creation comes to the sinner in the proclamation of the Gospel to give faith by way of the Holy Spirit ...

Augustinian Successor said...

"So below is the comment I wrote to the Rev. McCain, which he won't publish, I said:


If a person is looking to Christ as his savior, i.e., the one who paid for his sins, is this not faith?


If this is not faith, then what do you call this phenomenon"

Paul McCain is no confessional Lutheran. If he is, he's a fake. Just like the many 'out there' who pretending to be standing up against Ablaze and what not. He for one likes to criticise EO, but displays schizophrenia when it comes to Rome.

As St. Paul says, these jokers may have the truth as their heritage, but they do not have the love for the truth.

xan said...

Hey Jason/AS,

Could you try something?

When you write a post, don't hit "Publish" just then. Wait five minutes.

If you have a new idea before 5 minutes, adjust your post and restart the clock.

When you can go 5 minutes without writing something new, THEN publish.

Augustinian Successor said...

Xan, this is new. Precisely because it's new, you are unhappy. A word of advice: Re-start the clock.

xan said...

I'm perfectly happy! Apart from having no idea what you're trying to say.

Augustinian Successor said...

Then let me say this again:

No faith, no justification.

No Word, no justification.

No Sacraments, no justification.

L P said...

A.S.

Faith does not come from within, it is extra nos ... comes from without so that it is not spatial-temporal but eschatological ...

Amen.

And the nice thing about Lutheran theology is this - you do not have to wait for faith to drop from the sky. God has established the tools to create faith in your heart, there is the Scripture, the preaching of God's Word and the Sacraments. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word.


God bless

LPC
Ps. Have you finished your Master of Law or was it Master of Public Admin?

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Kuya,

This is going to be my last year for the Master of Public Policy (MPP). God-willing, i can then embark on a full-fledged academic career.

Kuya, I am tickled that these so-called confessional Lutherans are opposing grace to the means of grace - this is sheer dialecticism. Distinction is opposition.

David Jay Webber said...

Of course, if you read my posts carefully, you will see that what I am talking about is what makes the means of grace to be means of grace, and not just information about grace.

L P said...

A.S.

IMO, now a days, the word "confessional" is synonymous with "synodical".

I do not know now what that word means.

LPC

Brett Meyer said...

Pastor Webber I don't believe that you do teach correctly about the Means of Grace as Scripture and the Confessions declare.

Through the Means of Grace, God's Word and Sacraments, a man must die to sin and be raised again to life in Christ. Through the Means of Grace a man must obtain Christ as Mediator against God's wrath. Through the Means of Grace a man, who before the Means of Grace was under the Law, is declared under Grace. Through the Means of Grace a man must be born again.

In your confession of the doctrine of UOJ when and how do these changes for man and in man take place?

David Jay Webber said...

These changes in man take place when he believes the Gospel - that is, when he believes that his sins are forgiven for Christ's sake. Objective justification, properly understood, is not antithetical to justification by faith. It makes justification by faith possible. It offers to faith a justification from God that can be believed for salvation. God "justifies the ungodly," as St. Pauls says, not so that the ungodly can remain ungodly, but so that the ungodly, when they are brought to repentance by the law, will have a justification from God in which they can believe, and in this faith be saved from sin.

L P said...

Pr. Jay,

I have been trying to decipher why the anti-UOJ position, if you might call it, only speaks about information on the means of grace.

The means of grace produces faith in the Atonement, that faith in the atonement - Scripture says receives justification based on Rom 3:24-25. In BoC terminology, justification is the forgiveness of sins.

It is not without reason that I asked you for the object of faith.

The KJV known for its literal translation puts Rom 3:24-25 well. Faith is in the blood of Jesus, the Atonement of which we already agreed that Atonement and Justification are not the same. Yet for you it is the latter that is the object. Even if you follow another conservative translation like ESV, one cannot escape my point. v.25 is rendered - whom God has set for as propitiation by his blood to be received by faith. Here again, God is setting for Jesus' work and person to be received by faith. That faith receives the gift of justification.


As I said, over here, the general pattern in absolution is this - it is given only after the believing sinner agrees to the words to this effect...

Do you believe that Jesus has redeemed you from your sins (of which I take atoned for) and do you desire forgiveness in his name (for his sake)?

Upon confessing agreement to this, the absolution is pronounced.

What the pastor does then is in consonant with Gen 15:6. The sinner believes God's Word - the Atonement and so declares him as forgiven. This is compliant with the message of Rom 3:24-25.

No doubt, we have pastors here who are pro-UOJ too but non-UOJ as I demonstrate above could not be just information about the means of grace.


Whereas UOJ says there is the paradox that the sinner is in God's wrath and not in God's wrath, the sinner is forgiven before faith and forgiven at faith, I see these as not paradox but inconsistencies, equivocations borne from false dilemmas.

Perhaps this is the reason why I never got an answer to my Atheist down the street.


LPC

Brett Meyer said...

Pastor Webber you state, "It offers to faith a justification from God that can be believed for salvation."

Based on the teaching of UOJ, what is it about "the Gospel promise that you will be forgiven if you believe on Christ" that faith cannot believe, that faith cannot cling to for salvation?

David Jay Webber said...

The Gospel, in its purest, most direct, and most personally-comforting form, is the divine declaration: "I forgive you." Explanations and summaries of all other aspects of evangelical truth (God's grace, the atonement, the victory of the resurrection, etc.) are part and parcel of the Gospel, and when they are proclaimed and presented to the mind and conscience of someone, they contribute toward the evangelical function of eliciting and creating faith. But the purest, most direct, and most personally-comforting form of the Gospel is the divine declaration: "I forgive you."

This divine declaration flows out from the resurrection, in which God, in effect, pronounced the death of Christ to be acceptable and sufficient, and in which he, in principle, absolved those for whom Christ died. But this divine declaration in the resurrection doesn't just float around out there somewhere. It is mediated to humanity, together with all other aspects of evangelical truth, in and through the means of grace.

So, we would not say that any summary or explanation of grace, or of the atonement, or of the resurrection, is something other than the Gospel. The means of grace include and convey all of that. But also, most purely, most directly, and in a way that is most personally comforting, the means of grace chiefly convey the divine declaration: "I forgive your sins."

This statement is intended for all for whom the means of grace are intended. In other words, it is intended for, and is mediately offered and spoken to, all humanity. Eveyone who comes into contact with the means of grace, thereby comes into contact with this declaration. Whenever someone hears this declaration, he hears it as something that is true - true for him and for everyone for whom Christ died.

Now, will a person who hears this believe it, or will he harden himself against this divine declaration, remain in his sins, and be damned? That is a different question. But what we are talking about, in the context of the proper distinction between law and Gospel, is what the Gospel in all its fullness actually is. We are talking about what the means of grace actually bring and offer to everyone. We are talking about a divine declaration that is spoken to the world so that it can be believed, and so that those who do believe it can receive what it offers and be saved from their sins.

"For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.' Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness..." (Romans 4:2-5)

Augustinian Successor said...

Of course, if you read my posts carefully, you will see that you are engaging in dialectics here ... distinction is opposition.

Listen, faith is not an act of man which is construed according to temporality. Faith like Baptism defies human conception of time and space. It precisely places man, incorporates him into the death and resurrection of Jesus!

Secondly, if you read the late Dr Preus' Justification and Rome, you would have grasped what he wrote concerning Christ who had to FIRST procure or MERIT salvation not only by his acquired righteousness but also by His self-sacrifice on the Cross. The office of the Mediator must not be confused with the effect of the office. The two are not the same.

On the Cross, as Dr Preus wrote, our sins were imputed to Him so that Christ as died as the perfect sin-bearer and offeror. But His righteousness is only imputed to us when we believe.

That's the whole point.

L P said...

Pr. Jay,

I think before we go to what is comforting, we should first discuss what makes us uncomfortable.

It is the Law, the demands of God.

In what you say if the Law comes which pronounces the sinner guilty of eternal punishment, you say then that the Gospel pronounces "I (God) forgive you".

This is jumping the gun. What happens to the eternal punishment that the Law demands to be met?

Rather, The Gospel is - you are guilty of violating the Law of God and you deserve eternal punishment and you are in danger, but God's sent his Son and has paid what you owe from the Law. God's Son has paid for your sins.

The sinner may or not believe this. If he does not, then he is not forgiven.

If he does believe, then the Scripture says that his belief is a creation of God, a gift formed by the very Word of Law/Gospel, God then pronounces him as forgiven because he is using Christ to answer the Law.

The Gospel is about the forgiveness of sins to this I agree, and it is foremost a story before of what God has done and what God is giving/offering.

Luther says that a person who doubts if he has faith ( that he might be saved) and is worried that he may not have faith, already has faith!


God requires faith in the Atonement to be declared righteous (or forgiven by BOC term), but that thing that God demands, God also supplies using the Word and Sacrament to create the faith he requires from us.

In my thinking, the anxious heart must be led back to the whole story of Law/Gospel, this keeps away from universalistic undertones ... like "But God has forgiven you even before you believe etc".

LPC

L P said...

A.S.

Correct. Confessional Lutherans who define themselves to be so called, do not believe there is a distinction between imputation of sin vs imputation of righteousness.

Because they only believe both imputations happened at the Cross, either there or at Jesus' Resurrection, we get a type of universalism (which I believe) whose symptom is antinomianism.



LPC

David Jay Webber said...

In my thinking, the anxious heart must be led back to the whole story of Law/Gospel...

We must disagree here - strongly so. This is a confusion of law and Gospel, and a confusion of the purpose and function of law and Gospel in relation to a conscience that is either hardened or troubled by guilt (as the case may be).

This is an unLutheran thought, Lito. Seriously so. This kind of blending together of law and Gospel - with the result that both law and Gospel are muted and distorted - is, I'm afraid, a mark of scholasticism.

A Lutheran preacher or counselor is to apply law and Gospel to a person as the cirumstances of that person's mind and heart require. A Lutheran preacher or counselor is not to present to such a person a comprehensive theological "system," which he then needs to disentange and apply to himself.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

LP has a fine grasp of Calvinism and Lutheran doctrine, Jay. You do not understand either one, yet you presented yourself as a teacher in the Ukraine. I'll bet they are still scratching their heads over how they are all absolved but guilty, justified universally and yet needing another dose of justification.

I have noticed that the UOJ advocates are Antinomians who never stop condemning people - always for the wrong reason. And they are so patronizing. Ugh.

L P said...

Pr Jay,

You are quick to jump. What is the confusion of Law/Gospel I have fallen into?

This is what I noticed about UOJ of late.

Each time you mention faith as a requirement, it is immediately branded as being a work of man. They jump the gun right away and say - there you go "intuitu fidei". Non siquitur.

I was a Calvinist, I know what it is to have faith in faith.

When a person says I do not know if I have faith to be saved, we need to know if he is asking the issue rightly.

The solution to the anxious heart is not by delivering to them a type of Christian Universalism. Rather it is again and again telling them God's story of His rescue operation of bringing sinners out of danger to his wrath. Showing to them their Baptism, and their taking of the Lord's Body and Blood, means of grace so that faith might be formed and that as faith is being formed the soul might be comforted at God's promises.

It is not solved by giving them a universalism that they can latch on too which in turn, whether they believe it or not they are forgiven anyway.

This universalistic solution is operating on false dilemma whose root is in the mis-exegesis of Scriptural passages.

LPC

Brigitte said...

"Wir danken dir Herr Jesu Christ, dass du fuer uns gestroben bist und hast uns durch dein teures Blut, gemacht vor Gott gerecht und gut."

Which is:
"We thank you Lord Jesus Christ,
that you died for us,
and have made us through your precious blood (exactly this)-- just and good."

(Christoph Fischer, associate of Luther and Melanchton, before 1568)
(http://wapedia.mobi/de/Christoph_Fischer)


You don't have to talk about faith every time and you don't have to preach the law every time.

L P said...

Brigitte,

I agree.

On another angle, when a person mentions about his faith it is not necessarily that the person is trusting on his faith as if he has fulfilled some Law and so can boast.

Waltherians are quick to judge, which does not impress me because this is a form also of arrogance.

If we are talking about the Biblical faith that is spoken of by Scripture, then it can never boast. A faith that boasts is not the faith that the Scripture speaks of. Eph 2:8-9.

Several times St Paul mentions about his own faith.

Case in point Gal 2:20.

UOJ pastors (the Waltherians) would have to rebuke St. Paul in that verse for mentioning faith in his confession.

When faith is mentioned in Scripture and when the BoC mentions it, we should look at it in a rejoicing manner.

I tell you why:

For faith is always in opposition to works, that is the good news too!

We are not saved by what we or could do and faith even itself is not something we have done but has been done to us by God who uses Word/Sacrament on us. We are not left to swim on our own.


LPC

Brett Meyer said...

Lito said, "This is what I noticed about UOJ of late.

Each time you mention faith as a requirement, it is immediately branded as being a work of man."

The perversion of the Holy Spirit's faith, which is righteousness created by grace through Word and Baptism and strengthened through Word and Sacrament, is a key element of the man made doctrine of Universal Objective Justification (also called, General Justification, Objective Justification, Universal Justification).

Note how Herman Amberg (H.A.) Preus spoke of faith in light of Objective Justification in this quote from Pastor Rolf Preus, former ELS Pastor:

"Preus argued that if objective justification is not true, faith cannot be the means by which the sinner merely receives God’s forgiveness, but it must become meritorious. The denial of objective justification turns faith into a work. God will not justify the sinner solely on the basis of Christ’s redemption, but will justify the sinner only when the sinner meets the condition of having faith. Thus, the redemption of Christ does not actually cause God to forgive anyone, but merely makes God willing to forgive if sinners perform the necessary work of believing. Faith becomes a work.[35] The merit of Christ is denigrated. His satisfaction is insufficient.
Preus points out the irony of insisting that God does not forgive anyone prior to faith. He writes, Since faith is worked only by God through his proclaiming to people that he forgives them and is no longer angry, then according to Professor Weenaas’ claim, this message must not be spoken to people before they have come to faith, then a person can never come to faith through Professor Weenaas’ gospel. Because then there is no Gospel of God through which it can be worked.[36]
In other words, if God has not forgiven all sins of all sinners for Christ’s sake, it is not possible to preach the gospel."
http://www.christforus.org/Papers/Content/LegacyHermanAmbergPreus.html#_ftn35

Cont...

Brett Meyer said...

Cont...

The perversion of faith is but one requirement in UOJ's promotion of a new gospel which supplants Christ's Gospel. UOJ's new gospel is clearly detailed in the same article linked above by these statements:

"[under the title] The Meaning of the Gospel

What is the gospel? Is it information about what God has done for us in Christ to which must be added the correct response of faith? Is the gospel a promise of what God will do if we believe in Christ? Or is the gospel the actual imparting of the forgiveness of sins that Jesus has won for us all? For Preus, the vicarious satisfaction of Jesus Christ was meaningless unless God has, for Christ’s sake, forgiven the entire world of sinners. This is objective or universal justification. Preus defined the doctrine of objective or universal justification in these words:

By this we understand that by raising Christ from the dead God declares him righteous and at the same time acknowledges and declares all people, the whole world, whose Representative and Substitute Jesus Christ was in his resurrection and victory as well as in his suffering and tribulation (“He was delivered for our offenses and raised for our justification”), as free from guilt and punishment, and righteous in Christ Jesus."

This is not the Gospel of Scripture or the Lutheran Confessions. To anchor this point I quote from the same article:
"In defense of the Norwegian Synod’s objective gospel, which was true whether anyone believed it or not, Preus appealed to the words of Jesus about casting pearls before swine. He wrote:

But at the same time we hold firmly to it as the teaching of the Word of God, that God’s forgiveness also occurs without faith being present, in other words, that the absolution spoken in the name of God to a hypocrite (who surely does not have faith), is however God’s absolution."

Again, I end this comment with Christ's crushing statement against UOJ in Romans 4:14-15, "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:"

In Christ,
Brett Meyer

L P said...

A.S.

re: Self-identified Confessional Lutherans.

I think today we are seeing what is happening in Reformed circle happen in Lutheranism. You remember the joke --"Will the REAL Calvinist please stand up"?

I sometimes I think we should have the same "Will the REAL Confessional Lutheran please stand up"?


Some self-identified "Confessional Lutherans" are staunch UOJ subscribers. Also I have seen self-identified "Confessional Lutherans" to be Roma-phileans (they speak of Rome, the Pope in glowing terms).

What I mean in my previous comment is that to me, faithful Confessional Lutherans DO distinguish between imputation of sin vs imputation of righteousness.

So called self-identified Confessional Lutherans who are UOJers in conviction, DO NOT distinguish between the imputation of sin vs imputation of righteousness. They view this as one event, which to me (and I know to you) is a fatal blunder.

Hence, the reason for this post entry - it is with the hope that people might reflect and think of this topic more.

Most pastors are busy and they are hit with many congregational problems and they do not always have time to look deeper in to this issue. Over here, we have a mixture. Some who are pro UOJ, yet there are some who are not impressed with Walther and are not impressed also with UOJ. Technically and officially my synod has no statements like that of LC-MS, though the LCA website might confuse people.

In short, pastors here have not ironed out the deeper issues, thinking that UOJ is just another way of speaking about the Atonement. Some I believe when presented will think twice and probably express skepticism as we have here.

LPC

L P said...

The passages I have studied in support of UOJ are a.) Rom 3:24 and b.) Rom 4:25.

For a.) The passage when extracted from where it sits, can be thought of as supporting UOJ but that is wrong because passages are always surrounded in a context. Rom 3:23, is called a parenthesis, a side comment. Rom 3:24 is actually connecting itself back to v.22. The reason is that the verb "being justified" may refer to people in v.22, due to the context and flow of the argument. Another point - the verb is present on going tense contradicting UOJ claims that justification has already happened in the past, period. Lastly, in my post here, I mentioned v.25. which no matter how you take it points the object of faith to the Atonement.

For b.) "raised for our justification" here should be taken "raised in view of our justification". The original simply draws this out.


I am now not surprised if late R. H. Lenski was not impressed.

What a puzzle to me is that UOJ teachers are conversant with Biblical Greek, yet the impression I get is that they have not responsibly looked at this. They look at a blind eye (it seems to me).

I do not understand this attitude.

Walther and Pieper wrote good things but as one USA Lutheran pastor said to me, Lutherans are prone to either following Melanchton, i.e, trying to please everyone or they follow Flacius, who was prone to over statements or of over stating the case.

God keep us in his Word,


LPC

Brett Meyer said...

To wield the Sword by way of quoting the Confessions I want to post quotes from the Book of Concord which war against UOJ's perversion of the Holy Spirit's faith as found in Clergy statements in this thread and the quoted statements of both Rolf and H.A. Preus.

The Defense of the Augsburg Confession What Is Justifying Faith?, "48] The adversaries feign that faith is only a knowledge of the history, and therefore teach that it can coexist with mortal sin. Hence they say nothing concerning faith, by which Paul so frequently says that men are justified, because those who are accounted righteous before God do not live in mortal sin."

Apology of the Augsburg Confession Part 5
That We Obtain Remission of Sins by Faith Alone in Christ.
"But the remission of sins is received by faith alone, and, indeed, by faith properly so called, because the promise cannot be received except by faith. But faith, properly so called, is that which assents to the promise [is when my heart, and the Holy Ghost in the heart, says: The promise of God is true and certain]. Of this faith Scripture speaks. And because it receives the remission of sins, and reconciles us to God, by this faith we are [like Abraham] accounted righteous for Christ's sake before we love and do the works of the Law, although love necessarily follows. Nor, indeed, is this faith an idle knowledge, neither can it coexist with mortal sin, but it is a work of the Holy Ghost, whereby we are freed from death, and terrified minds are encouraged and quickened. And because this faith alone receives the remission of sins, and renders us acceptable to God, and brings the Holy Ghost, it could be more correctly called _gratia gratum faciens_, grace rendering one pleasing to God, than an effect following, namely, love."

71] "but we maintain this, that properly and truly, by faith itself, we are for Christ's sake accounted righteous, or are acceptable to God. And because "to be justified" means that out of unjust men just men are made, or born again, it means also that they are pronounced or accounted just. For Scripture speaks in both ways. [The term "to be justified" is used in two ways: to denote, being converted or regenerated; again, being accounted righteous. Accordingly we wish first to show this, that faith alone makes of an unjust, a just man, i.e., receives remission of sins".
http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php

There are so many more BOC statements which destroy the doctrine of UOJ.

Brett Meyer said...

P.S. The BOC quotes presented also destroy UOJ statements made by book publishers with oreo collars.

L P said...

Brett,

The problem with H.A. Preus's paper is that he was guilty of false conclusion and also false premise.


Here they are as you highlighted if objective justification is not true, faith cannot be the means by which the sinner merely receives God’s forgiveness, but it must become meritorious

I see another one...

For example when H.A. Preus says In other words, if God has not forgiven all sins of all sinners for Christ’s sake, it is not possible to preach the gospel.

This is rationalism and not accounting for the story of salvation as depicted in Scripture. I do not think so.

In actuality H.A. Preus was the one working on the premise that faith is a work.

In my mind, if H.A. Preus is representative of UOJ, then UOJers are the ones building the straw man. The straw man that faith must be a work.

It would bring me happiness to read Prof. Weenaas' paper if it were not extant.

LPC

Brett Meyer said...

I haven't found a full copy of his paper yet. It does look like he waged a holy war against the apostates while he was president and professor of Augsburg Seminary.

Here's a quote: "Thus for the Conference the gospel or absolution (the personal application of the gospel) was God's offer of forgiveness; for the synod it was the declaration or, more strongly put, the impartation of forgiveness. In regard to justification the Conference insisted that no one is justified before he has faith,..."
http://books.google.com/books?id=q3xyPFA_8O0C&pg=PA337&dq=weenaas&ei=L--aS4GGEKaWlASl5MjSCQ&cd=8#v=onepage&q=weenaas&f=false


More information and pencil drawing of Rev. August Weenaas
http://books.google.com/books?id=yI0cAAAAMAAJ&dq=weenaas&lr=&pg=PA846#v=onepage&q=weenaas&f=false

L P said...

Brett,

Thank you for bringing this information in the discussion here.

It is fine and dandy for the Synodical folk to say it is an impartation, but where is the Biblical warrant for that?

Rather in Rom 3:25, the language of offer is more appropriate. God has set forth Jesus - it says in the text. This setting forth jives with the offering language.

Also, the offer language does not lead into contradiction. In that language, I see no possibility of God being at wrath with unbelievers and being not wrathful to unbelievers.

On the other hand, based on Synodical position, it is indeed confusing - UOJ then does lead to God being angry and at the same time, not angry at sinners. God is not the author of confusion, but here it would look like God is confusing.

I read the article and Prof. Weenaas charged the Synodical folk of following Roman idea of ministry - sacerdotalism.

I cannot articulate it precisely as of date, but his idea in this regard is worth exploring why he said that.

LPC

Brett Meyer said...

Weenaas offended the Synodicals so much that they still disparage him. Here's a link on the current ELS website talking about Prof. Weenaas' book Wisconsinism, Illuminated by Historic Facts.

No love lost in this heated debate.

http://www.evangelicallutheransynod.org/publications/essays/wisconsinism/


Granted I haven't found the book yet but based on what I'm reading I'm liking him more and more. It's just nice to know that not everyone swallowed the false doctrine hook, line and sinker.

L P said...

Brett,

It's just nice to know that not everyone swallowed the false doctrine hook, line and sinker.

Exactly.

It is important that we listen to our critics. I was taught this at my Uni. Also to practice critical thinking is a must, it is part of discernment.

Critics keep us from becoming fanatics.

I wish to thank all who participated here from both sides of the issue. I have profited from this discussion and I got a better understanding why I am where I am on this issue.

To quote Calvin (but not endorse him), I hold no animus.

LPC

Brett Meyer said...

For anyone following up on this discussion of UOJ, here are a few beneficial quotes from the sainted Martin Luther from his outstanding sermon on Justification. Note that opposed to UOJ Luther declares that no one is reconciled to God except by faith worked by the Holy Spirit through the Means of Grace.

"73. In the fifth place, we are to believe that Christ's motive was to benefit us. He desired to make children of us servants. What is meant by the phrase "that he might redeem them that were under the law"? Unquestionably, that he might redeem us from under the Law. But how does Christ effect that? As said before, not by the threats or the rewards of the Law, but by bestowing a voluntary spirit; a spirit prompted neither by compulsion nor restraint; a spirit that regards not the terrors nor the rewards of the Law, but proceeds as if no Law existed and all action were voluntary, as was the case with Adam and Eve before the fall.
74. But what is the process whereby Christ gives us such a spirit and redeems us from under the Law? The work is effected solely by faith. He who believes that Christ came to redeem us, and that he has accomplished it, is really redeemed. As he believes, so is it with him. Faith carries with it the child-making spirit. The apostle here explains by saying that Christ has redeemed us from under the Law that we might receive the adoption of sons. As before stated, all must be effected through faith. Now we have discussed the five points of the verse."

http://www.trinitylutheranms.org/MartinLuther/MLSermons/Galatians4_1_7.html

A-Nony-Mouse said...

Walther rocks.
Awesome quote.

LPC said...

Walther sucks.
Woeful quote.

andrea chiu said...
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