Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why faith gets a bum rap?

I noticed that Dr. Ichabod blog about how faith becomes a four letter word here.

Yes, I wondered about this phenomenon of making faith a foul word.

I came from a Charismatic background and I know how the concept of faith has been abused in that circle. For example, faith is seen as a force. Prosperity teachers spoke of faith that way. It is like an infused stuff. Since they have been influenced heavily by Arminian Evangelicalism, Charismatics in general believe that everyone has faith, even the pagans and it is just a matter of exercising it or not. It can be turned on or off. Though my Charismatic friends may affirm it is a gift, it is not really in practice.

Take now a look at Pieper said about faith:

"I would eliminate faith as a requirement that makes justification true. That would be making faith a work of mine." Franz August Otto Pieper, A Final Word,
This is the type of overstating the case that gives faith a bad rap.

Really Dr. Pieper? What about Mk 16:16? Peiper makes a non-sequitur fallacy, aside from what Dr. Maier pointed out in his paper - a tertium non datur fallacy too.

Indeed faith is a requirement, a condition! However, it is a condition that God meets for you the sinner by creating it in you through the Word and/or Sacraments. He does not give this gift without using means. It does not drop from the sky and zaps you neither is it something inside you such that you must pedal in your own steam to generate it. Like the Gospel - faith is EXTRA NOS. From the outside it comes to you. That is the payload of the Gospel (sorry for my little unsanctified way of saying it).

So a few observations I make from say Eph 2:8-9 and Heb 12:2
  1. It is a gift from God not internal to us.
  2. It is not a work, you cannot work it such that you can produce it.
  3. The author of your faith in the Gospel is Jesus
  4. It cannot boast and if it can, then it is not the faith spoken of by the Bible.

I think what was happening during Walther's time and Pieper's time was that they have been surrounded by revivalism which uses faith like a tool and they wanted to correct this abuse. However, this wrong should have been corrected through the the Scripture of which the BoC expounds well specially on faith. It cannot be corrected by going off the other way.

Oops I criticized Dr. Pieper, a UOJ proponent. That is a no no.

One thing I notice with Pentecostal preachers and pastors. The moment you question the pastor, immediately the pastor gets offended and also his members too get offended with him and so watch out. They will no longer be your friend. You will be shunned like the plague. What can I say? Words like "immature and insecure" come to my mind.

I notice this type of behaviour is present amongst UOJ pastors too. They are quick to say that the anti-UOJers are wrong, they are quick to fly off with remarks of heresy and false doctrine etc. It is a type of bullying if you ask me. So what happens? Instead of people getting closer to the truth, having dialogue, the situation becomes a political play on people's affections.

My case in point is Dr. Maier's paper. That paper was written in a scholarly manner and I have found it to be well argued and well researched. His exegesis was not even peculiar. Yet did anyone take his thesis and work with it? Nope.

Is the Christian served well in this way? I doubt it.


Matthew Delves said...

Brother Lito,
I do always enjoy your insights into faith.

Personally, either rightly or wrongly, my ears do prick up when Christians use the term faith. Specifically when it fits with the phrase "we just need to have faith".

It is always important to remember to talk to people about faith and its nature. Particularly that as you often point out it is outside of us.

Again, speaking personally, I know that I need to have a bit more faith. Though I must add (before being shouted at) that I say it tongue in cheek to highlight that faith has an object and it is Jesus that we must have faith in him rather than in faith itself.

Thanks for the writing about faith as it does serve as a reminder that faith is a requirement and one granted from God.

God bless.

M.A. Henderson said...

It's intersting to note that there has been a discussion on UOJ parallel to that in the ex-Synodical Conference churches in Seventh Day Adventism (would you believe it?). However, the polemics have been nearly absent, as far as I can see; more light, less heat, you might say.

L P said...


When faith is used that way as if it is easy to come by, you know faith is being used as a force.

It is just like saying to those that cannot walk, run faster.


L P said...

Pr Mark,

SDA believe in UOJ? Might be because they do not have a literal hell.


M.A. Henderson said...

_Some_ SDAs believe in UOJ, or have in the past. How that relates to their annihilationism I don't know, although I know they base that teaching on specific texts not directly related to UOJ. But as I suggested UOJ, or as they term it 'corporate justification' or 'universal legal justification' is a matter of discussion within Adventism. Whether UOJ subscribers or not, they deny universalism.

L P said...

Pr. M,

That is interesting. I have not read about SDAs having their own UOJ version.

UOJ also denies universalism too by inserting you are already forgiven prior to faith but then you are not if you reject it.

Seriously and I do not mean to be mean. This sounds very similar to the WOrd of Faith Prosperity preachers in Pentecostalism. In Pentecostalism, believe you are already healed and so you are. Don't believe you are healed and so you are not.

The same style only that in UOJ the application is onto justification and not healing.

Now that I am thinking of it, I wonder why pentecostalism does not extend it to justification or why UOJ does not extend it to healing.


Jonathan said...

Faith is extra nos. Jesus is the author and perfecter oof our faith. Whew, what a relief.

Now, please pardon my ignorance, but I've googled & wiki'd without success: "UOJ" refers to what?

I'm guessing it's not "unorthodox jew."

L P said...


UOJ stands for universal objective justification which is a debate inside Lutheranism. This is the teaching that everyone has been declared righteous already (i.e. justified) at the Cross (or at the Resurrection) of Jesus.

Google it and you should find the web pages on it.


David Cochrane said...

St Lito

I think I understand the concern with UOJ. Perhaps giving false comfort to the unbliever? I am not sure of the danger of such a belief. If a person denies need of Jesus and therefore perishes in his or her sin UOJ actually makes hell more hellish. So unneccesary and the reason he or she is in hell is because of unblief, John 3:18, not the fact that Jesus' work was not for them. Or did not do the whole job. However a non calvinist might put it.

UOJ on the other hand is of great comfort to the believer. Even when faith seems weak or even absent one can know he or she is justified before God. "For you" is such a great thing to hear during those times. Instead of hearing "Just have faith."

God's Peace. †

J. K. Jones said...

The distinction between mere temporal faith and saving faith as taught in Evangelism Explosion has always been helpful to me.

When I trust God to help me do well on the test, get me home safely from my trip, help me find the money to pay my bills, keep my marriage strong, etc., I am not showing that I am saved. This is mere temporal faith.

The faith that we are saved through is trust in Christ to pay the penalty for my sins and give me credit for the perfect life He lived. It’s trusting Christ to get us into heaven.

L P said...

Hi D.C.

The fact that UOJ misses it for the unbeliever says something is suspect.

If the doctrine is sound, it will not comfort the one bent in unbelief but will comfort the one bothered by conscience. If it solves only half of the issue, it does not solve the whole problem at all.

UOJ encourages you not to have faith at all. Where as true JBFA teaching forces you to have faith, makes you run to Jesus, it is because the law is properly distinguished in its work.

We can have a discussion of this further. I was at the beginning friendly with UOJ terminology because I thought it was just an emphasis on the Atonement until I found out that Atonement and Justification is mixed and mingled and if you look at my somewhat of a debate with Pr Webber, clearly the object of faith in UOJ is not the same as the object of faith in JBFA.


L P said...


Trusting God to help me pass the test is not equivalent to saving faith.

In fact we won't call that the faith described by the Bible in reference to salvation, faith at all.

Interestingly when I was in Charismania, Copeland and Hagin made the two types equivalent.

A real blunder.

Saving faith is the belief that Christ's death avails for you in front of God's judgement seat.


David Cochrane said...

St Lito,

I see what you mean that UOJ does not encourage one to have faith at all. And that is not a bad situation.

The object of our faith is the holy lived, crucified and risen Lord Jesus. God gives us the gift of faith to receive the gifts won for us. The statement, have faith, indicates something I must do to believe. One has to work up this faith to a level of trusting sufficient to know one has eternal life. This, I fear, moves the object of faith off Jesus and onto itself.

pacem domine. †

LutherRocks said...

In regards to must think of justification in the forensic sense. The wage of sin is death. Christ paid the wage, therefore the debt of sin is wiped away; forgiven. Hence, God DECLARES all men forgiven; justified. Whether the whole world believes or does not believe is irrelevant. One is not justified or righteous until he is MADE righteous and therefore justified through Christ. Don't confuse a declaration with being made such through faith in Christ Jesus.

Its like this; The judge declared OJ Simpson innocent. He was therefore 'justified'. But that didn't make him innocent if in fact he really was still guilty of the crime. And so it is with all sinners. We need to be made righteous and justified and this can only be accomplished through faith.


Brett Meyer said...

JK, aka Joe Krohn, your theology is a mishmash of human reason. You say we must think of Justification in a forensic sense. I reject your statement and confess we must think of Justification in the way and manner in which God has declared what it is, how it is accomplished for man through Christ and how and when it's declared. You cannot show in Scripture two justifications - one general justification declared by God upon the whole unbelieving world and another when a man believes the in the first. Read the Lutheran Confessions posted in here for refutation of your false doctrine,

You also attempt to strike God in the face when you state, "Don't confuse a declaration with being made such through faith in Christ Jesus. You speak as if a regular Joe has made the declaration in your doctrine. In your doctrine of UOJ it's God the Father making the declaration that the whole unbelieving world is justified in His Son. You dismiss the very declaration your doctrine says God made stating it's not really true until God brings you to faith to believe it was true. What a circle of blasphemy you promote. You travel from blog to blog looking for approval of your teachings - which is your right and privilege - but you will only find approval from those who worship Synod over and above Scripture, the doctrine of Christ.

Your analogy of OJ (unbelieving world) being judged (by God the Father) and having been declared innocent (by God the Father) but OJ isn't if he's still guilty of the crime (God is a liar, inept or mistaken in His judgment) is about as blatant a blasphemy that I've heard this week from UOJ promoters. How about abandoning the despicable analogies and prove your doctrine with Scripture or the Lutheran Confessions. But I only jest as your doctrine is not found in either - even if you held a quia subscription to the BOC which you do not.

Your Baptist sympathies are showing through when you state, "We need to be made righteous and justified"

You will likely receive a more patient response from LPC. I on the other hand know you for your confession over the years. You despise Luther and the Lutheran Confessions, not agreeing to the doctrine he faithfully promoted and would rather the Lutheran churches abandon the word Lutheran and instead be called Christ Followers. A Lutheran cherishes the Confessions because they are the faithful and true explanation of Scripture in all it's parts and respect Luther's contribution to such.

You continue in the Lutheran churches while warring against Christ and His Church.

L P said...


A couple of things. I realize you were like me, we have both been brutalized by Calvinistic/Arminian teaching on faith as a type of force etc.

The object of our faith is the holy lived, crucified and risen Lord Jesus.

That is correct when interpreted properly. The statement Jesus died and rose again by itself can be confessed by the devil.

However it is only saving faith when that dying, rising from the death is trusted as payement for one's sins. In fact this is what Luther taught - it is the FOR YOU that makes the difference.

I must explain to you that when I was an RC, people around me confessed Jesus died and rose again. They affirmed it. The problem is that though they affirm it, because of RC teaching that you are saved by both faith AND works, it nullifies the trusting for the Atonement alone for salvation. So I in this situation will disagree with the lack of mentioning of faith. One must mention faith to the RC because they are trusting their works to save them while affirming faith as well. Because to affirm faith alone means that one is saved by Christ alone.

Why would Luther stress faith if faith was not a problem in his day? Did not the RC church blabber Jesus died and rose again? Of course they did, they recited the creeds.

Hence if you preach to the RC without mentioning faith, like these Lutheran pastors do, the RC will agree with you that Jesus died and rose again. They say they believe that, but they believe in extra other things too, like their doing the other sacraments will gain them merit and lift them from purgatory.

The statement, have faith, indicates something I must do to believe. One has to work up this faith to a level of trusting sufficient to know one has eternal life.

In a sense I agree with you but the one commanding you to have faith is by passing Law and Gospel story. It is unfair to dump to you the requirement without using the means to create faith in your heart.

On the other hand, D.C. we must never run against the way the Lord deals with us as people. For example, I present to you the situation with Jairus.

When Jesus says to me have faith but I do not have it. What should I say?

Lord, I believe (I want to believe) help my unbelief (my lack of faith).

We should admit rigth away we do not have it and simply cry help my unbelief.

I go back to my debate with Rev McCain. A person who is looking that at the death of Jesus, Christ paid for his sins, is that looking not faith?

Lastly, study the statements made by UOJ teaching. The object of faith in UOJ is the fact that God has declared you justified or forgiven already 2000 years ago at the Cross or at Resurrection. Walther taught that it was at the Cross, Pieper taught it was at Resurrection.

Remember justification is to be declared or accounted as righteous.
In my debate with Pr Webber, he never answered my question about the Atheist down the street who denies God and denies Jesus.

He did not answer this question because it placed UOJ on the corner, for according to UOJ if it be consistent, it had to affirm that Atheist is already forgiven by God and is already righteous even though he does not have faith in Christ. In fact he hates Christ.

Please read Walther Maier's paper. Also read Dr Jackson's Thy Strong Word.

UOJ was not known to the Lutheran world not until Walther popularized it from Pietistic sources.

Further UOJ is a battle between Walther and Luther. It all depends on who is on the side of Scripture. In my readings of Luther - Luther says that faith in Christ IS justification. Hence no faith in Christ is no justification.


L P said...


You confuse the Atonement with Justification and are making them equal.

I do not think you believe in the BoC teaching of justification through faith or by faith.

Here is where you make the leap of rationality and reason...

You start off by saying Christ paid the wage, therefore the debt of sin is wiped away

Then you deduce
forgiven. Hence, God DECLARES all men forgiven; justified. Whether the whole world believes or does not believe is irrelevant

The BOC teaching is that faith in Christ ITSELF is justification.

Only upon faith is a person justified. Gen 15:6.

Joe, what about my hypothetical atheist friend who hates God and Christ? By UOJ that person is already righteous and forgiven already right?

You must answer YES if you are consitent and if you are articulating well UOJ. Correct?

What do we call when one teaches that the unbeliever even the Anti-Christ Pope (for example), is already forgiven, therefore saved?We call this teaching Universalism and the one who teaches it is a Universalist.


L P said...


I have a thesis to make. What I said to D.C.

I suggest that this issue of UOJ vs non-UOJ in Lutheran circle is actually a battle between Walther's Lutheranism and Luther's Lutheranism.

Reading Luther, Luther affirmed that faith in Christ by that very faith itself, spells the following:
a.) that faith in Christ IS the justification of the sinner who believes
b.) that faith in Christ IS actually the presence of the HS in the life and heart of the sinner who believes.
c.) that faith in Christ turns or changes a sinner from a unbeliever to a believer.


LutherRocks said...


I don’t travel from blog to blog seeking approval any more than any of the apostles looked for approval. You can either accept the fact that Christ died for all the sins of the world or not, because that is what it comes down to. Don’t be so quick to judge me lest you be measured by the same standard.

You missed the point on the OJ analogy. You are like a Pharisee making a literal translation of a parable. The point is this: If the judge declares OJ innocent, but OJ still committed the crime and does not confess so, he is still guilty! Unless he confesses and asks to be forgiven, he is still guilty! Now if he did confess he would have to pay for his actions no doubt…but that is the beauty of the cross when a believer comes to faith and receives the forgiveness. Christ has made restitution. I am not denying salvation through faith alone!

Thanks for the sincerity you expressed about knowing me so well and what is in my heart these days.

From Romans 5 - KJV
18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

You may have the last word…

L P said...

JK (not to be confused with JK Jones)

Very good. You bring out where all arbitration should end, the Scripture.

Romans 5:18-19.

Note that it is part of a larger argument.

v.17, speaks of they who have received the abundance of grace, then v.18-19 comes along.

v.19 the future tense of this strikes against UOJ does it not?

I say this for UOJ says that all have already been justified in the past.

Note the play of "all" with "many" in verses v.18 and v.19. It cannot be that only many have become sinners, for all have become sinners and hence v.19b is how v.18b is to be taken.

Joe I think you are not dealing seriously the distinction between the giving of the gift and the possession of the gift properly speaking.

The death of Jesus - the atonement is being delivered to the sinner by the Means of Grace. That delivery may be rejected hence that gift is not possessed. The possession of the gift is justification. Faith receives the gift.

I think you should rather use the analogy of the post man.

The creation of the gift (which Jesus creates - the payment, his death) is not the same as the possession of the gift.

Because of this, I stand by the criticism that UOJ misses its understanding of how God works faith in the sinner.

Do you not concede that you are collapsing and treating as equivalent Atonement with Justification? That they are one and the same thing?


LutherRocks said...

LPC - Thank you for this respectful debate.

I most certainly am dealing seriously with the giving of the gift which is to all men; that is the forgiveness of their sins in a general sense and the specific possession of this gift which comes through faith.(via the means of Grace)

Define atonement; it brings one logically full circle to a form of justification. I don't think there is a collapsing of anything other than a linguistic issue from Greek to English and Western thought process. You can not rely on words here, but idea and intent.


L P said...


I am giving you the benefit that you might be like where I was. As like what Brett says I will attempt to be patient in this conversation. But mind you at first I subscribed to UOJ but at closer study, I had to reject it for being contrary to Scripture and the BoC.

Define atonement; it brings one logically full circle to a form of justification

This is a blunder of magnanimous proportions to say logically that atonement warps into justification.

The Atonement is the satisfaction of God's judgment, it appeases God,so the Scripture that clearly marks that justification is not the same as the atonement is Rom 3:24-25.

Justification by your own use is a declaration.

Straight away the two are not the same already.

There those verses the object of faith is the death of Christ. However in UOJ, the object of faith is justification itself the fact that God has already declared everyone righteous. UOJ says at the death of Jesus (Waltherian type) all have been justified. Or if you are Pieperian UOJers then you believe that all have been justified when Jesus rose from the dead. Just out of curiosity, what type are you?

Justification is grounded on the Atonement. This all self respecting Lutheran exegete will readily concede. If one is grounded on the other then clearly they are not the same.

Justification is always has its correlative concept which is faith. But faith in what? Faith in the Atonement, the FOR YOU as Luther says.

I don't think there is a collapsing of anything other than a linguistic issue from Greek to English and Western thought process. You can not rely on words here, but idea and intent.

Notice how un Lutheran you have become here. You do not believe that words carry meaning.

Then you look at ideas? Pray tell me, where do you get the communication of ideas except through words? Then you mention about intent. How do you know intent except through words?

The more you say these type of things the more you UOJ guys fail to convince me that UOJ came from a sound exegesis of Scripture.

If UOJ is not founded on sound exegesis - then UOJ is a but a dream, a myth, a false hope.

So I am so sorry that method you described about ideas and intent without respect for the word and what the word means is just terrible and cultic as the cults use this manner of speaking as well. It is trying to open a door for a possible cop out.


Brett Meyer said...

I don’t believe I agree with the description of the issue being differing Lutheranisms. My assessment is that Luther based his confession of Christ’s doctrine on Scripture alone having, over time, discarded the relics of the RCC in his beliefs and by the grace of God provided us with his contributions to the Lutheran Confessions. Walther on the other hand based his confession not soley on Scripture for he never discarded the relics of Pietism which influenced his doctrine concerning Justification. As you’ve correctly stated before, Walther overstated his case against synergism to the point of perverting the Holy Spirit’s faith and having destroyed his faith he went about to establish the forgiveness of sins, justification and righteousness declared by God before and without faith. Certainly a comforting doctrine if you don’t have the Holy Spirit’s faith but with it comes a host of contradictions which war against the Triune God. Walther removed himself from Lutheranism and Christianity when he confessed and taught UOJ’s new gospel and a false justification. Not to say that all of his writings were false as many were faithful to Scripture and the BOC but in the central doctrine of Christian faith he fell flat on his face, having destroyed the central doctrine for himself and those who were instructed by his teachings on Universal Objective Justification (both OJ and SJ).

The key to understanding the issue and acceptance of UOJ in Lutheran churches is to look at their response when asked if they believe, are their sins forgiven, are they a child of God? When doubt strikes a man’s heart and he asks himself, are my sins forgiven, a Christian will ask himself do I believe that Christ died for my sins? A Christian will answer, Yes, I believe that Christ died for my sins and trusting in God’s Word that whosoever believes has Christ as his mediator and all that Christ offers, His righteousness, the adoption of sons, forgiveness of sins through Christ’s righteousness, Christ in him and he in Christ. A UOJist will deride looking at our faith, the Holy Spirit’s faith given to us through Word and Sacrament alone, for assurance (against Christ’s own words in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”) they will point back to UOJ’s declaration that they were forgiven even before they believed, that they had Christ’s righteousness before they believed, that faith is nothing but accepting that they are already forgiven, children of God and saved all before believing. Their confidence, comfort and assurance come from a false distribution of Christ’s righteousness and by definition the doctrine of Universalism. Their requirement of faith then only becomes another Law to satisfy their Pietistic desires.

I agree with your listing of Luther’s confession concerning faith. Luther’s sermon on faith is a full confession faithful to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions: Here too:

In Christ,

Brett Meyer said...

_Apology of the Augsburg Confession_
by Philip Melanchthon
Translated by F. Bente and W. H. T. Dau
Published in:
_Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books
of the Ev. Lutheran Church._
(St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921), pp. 97-451
Part 3
_What Is Justifying Faith?_
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.

I repeat this statement from the Lutheran Confessions: "because those who are accounted righteous before God do not live in
mortal sin."

UOJ teaches that God has, by divine verdict, declared the whole unbelieving world which is dead in mortal sins righteous. UOJ is contrary to the Lutheran Confessions and Scripture (Proverbs 17:15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.)

What is UOJ's answer to Scripture's and the Lutheran Confession's clear condemnation of it's basic teaching?

Boaz said...

The more I read of this debate, the more convinced I am the anti-uoj folks don't know what they are talking about.

Brett meyer cites a section on how those with faith live to argue against uoj. But uoj isn't about faith. Its about Gods attitude to those without faith. Uoj is about God giving Christ to die for all sinners, EARNING grace sufficient for the whole world. UOJ is not about how the grace is given: only those with faith receive grace.

Unless LP or BM can cite a uoj advocate who says faith is not necessary to receive grace, they are simply attacking straw men.

L P said...


I do not mean to disrespect you with this comment I am about to make.

Unless UOJers spot the sophistry in their use of language they cannot understand why anti-UOJers are around.

Why would we not like to agree? It has all the benefits of whether or not I have faith or not. But it is not Scriptural.

I tell you why UOJers can speak on both sides of the mouth. It is because they agree that justification is subjective as well.

Yet they say that justification is objective too.

Now, by reason and common sense. Something cannot be objective and subjective at the same time! There alone is a contradiction. From a contradiction you can derive anything under the sun. Ex falso quod libet.

So the debate is not if justification is subjective, for both sides agree it is.

The debate is if there is an objective justification.

In order to prove that there is objective justification UOJers collapse and make equivalent the Atonement with Justification.

When press for this category mistake they have fell on, the run to the justification side.

There is no straw man. Because the man is real.

You said... Uoj is about God giving Christ to die for all sinners, EARNING grace sufficient for the whole world. UOJ is not about how the grace is given: only those with faith receive grace.

The problem is that you do not tie faith with forgiveness or justification. UOJ says that all people have been declared forgiven ALREADY by God because Jesus died for them! It does not matter if they have faith or not. In fact that is how they articulate this!

UOJ says faith is not necessary - see Pieper and then they say , it IS necessary. They both affirm it is not necessary and necessary at the same time!

So there you have a self contradiction. And from a contradiction you can derive all sorts of positions and concepts.


Boaz said...

Every true belief has an objective and subjective component. I believe my wife loves me. That is only a true belief if my wife objectively does love me. If so, my belief about whether she loves me is only true if it matches objective reality.

That's all uoj is. The objective truth that christ died for all sinners. He didn't do that in response to my future belief, but because he loves me.

If I believe that objective truth, ie, I have receive the gift of faith, I'm saved and can't help but become a new person.

If I don't believe that objectve truth, (ie, I lack subjective justification) I've separated myself from God aned am damned.

I think
The requirement of both objective occurrence and subjective belief is extremely common in law.

If you prefer to call uoj atonement, fine, but the overheated rhetoric is unwarranted. Unlimited atonement / uoj does not lead people to hell, as BM often comments, and I dare say that is the devil causing needless strife among Christians.

L P said...


That's all uoj is. The objective truth that christ died for all sinners. He didn't do that in response to my future belief, but because he loves me.

You assume what is to be proven by your categorization.

The Atonement is not the same as Justification.

The onus is on UOJers to prove that the Atonement and Justification are synonymous and or equivalent concepts.

This is where the sophistry and equivocation happens.

If I believe that objective truth, ie, I have receive the gift of faith, I'm saved and can't help but become a new person.

But that the objective truth that UOJ teaches says that you are to believe that you are declared righteous already even before you are born and even if you have not repented yet or even before you believe. Your belief has nothing to do with the fact - that you have been declared righteous already! That is what justification is - to be declared righteous.

Why anti-UOJers exists, it is because they see in UOJ a brand of universalism. It is simply misguided. And hence, will lead people to a belief system that affects life and behavior.

Notice your language, you keep on switching in the same breath your use of Atonement and Justification. Atonement is Jesus paying for your sins. Atonement is not the act of God that God has declared you righteous, that is Justification. And that is what UOJ says you are to believe. It moves the object of faith a few meters from the goal post.


Brett Meyer said...

Boaz, I will take your heat as I certainly dished it without measure to Joe Krohn. I have a long running history with Joe's confession and his attacks on Lutheranism regarding quia subscriptions to the Lutheran Confessions and all that entails.

I gather from your comments that your confession is that Christ died and paid for the sins of the whole world - that is Christ's atonement which is universal. That is also my confession. I also gather that it is your confession that only by believing, by the grace of God the Holy Spirit works faith in man by Word and Sacrament alone, that Christ in fact died for my sins do I receive Christ's righteousness as my own, Christ in me and I in Christ by faith. Thus a mans sins are forgiven by faith alone in Christ - not before faith. This is my confession also.

Correct me if I'm wrong on my understanding of your confession.

I also see that you haven't read the confessions of the Lutheran Synods (W)ELS, LCMS, ELCA, CLC etc which declare that man is not justified by faith alone. They teach that the whole unbelieving world was declared forgiven of all sin, righteous in the blood of Christ, declared justified by God the Father and stand at peace with him all before they believed. In fact that they must have stood forgiven of all sin before faith otherwise faith would not have anything to cling to. UOJ states that faith cannot cling to the promise of forgiveness of sins through faith.

Joe Krohn has confessed here that his future grandchildren are already forgiven of their sins even before they are born and subsequently baptized:
God willing, I have grandchildren that will be born. Are you saying that the sins they will commit are not already forgiven? I thought God's love was unconditional.
February 24, 2009 11:22 AM

Here are additional essays which teach and confess UOJ as I've described it here and as it's being addressed throughout the United States and Australia. You will also find each denominations public confession concerning Justification teaches UOJ and not Justification by faith alone.

Multiple 2010 WELS UOJ Essays here:

LutherRocks said...

I must be going crazy...Boaz is saying the same things I am, but Brett Meyer agrees with his confession...I give up...

Brett, am I supposed to know you from somewhere before that you are so pissed at me all the time?

People often make up in wrath
what they lack in reason.
(W.R. Alger)

I may be duty bound to furnish my antagonists with arguments,
but I am not responsible for their comprehension.

L P said...


No offense to Boaz, just MHO. I do not think Boaz has dealt with officially the Synodical statements on UOJ.

You can see that in the way Boaz speaks. He interchanges the Atonement with Justification.

Jesus died on the cross as payment for all of our sins, this is atonement and is objective.

UOJ makes a leap which is the source of many confusions. The leap is that it deduces that because the Atonement is objective and universal, Justification must be objective and universal too.

But the Biblical witness says that justification is by faith only in that atonement. It is not faith in justification as such, this is secondary. Go back to Rom 3:24-25.

The object of faith there is the atonement. This faith in the Atonement the BoC calls, justification. One is grounded on the other but they are not automatically equivalent. Justification is founded on the Atonement. The Justification is always subjective as it is always through faith. Faith in the Atonement is faith in Christ.

People thing that this is just about semantics or just words but history shows that the Reformation happened because the Roman Church collapsed justification with sanctification and so results in chaos and turmoil.

In UOJ the same thing is happening, it collapses justification with atonement but rather than turmoil of conscience, it produces lose antinomian living.


Brett Meyer said...

Joe, I don't find anything wrong with what Boaz has stated. It is contrary to what you have confessed during this posting and elsewhere concerning Justification.

I left it to Boaz to agree with my assessment of his confession or correct me. We'll see.

Joe, will you respond to my comments and quotation of the Lutheran Confessions at 8:32am? I feel that what was written clearly shows the vast chasm between UOJ and Scriptures Justification by faith alone. Your confession on this will be beneficial.

Also, do you confess that your doctrine of Subjective Justification is just as objective as your doctrine of Objective Justification?

Augustinian Successor said...

WELS has its own version of the 'secret brotherhood' or rather 'initiation rites' as Pastor Gregory (Ichabod) has written before. The WELS is a hypocritical, Pharisaical, pietistic and fundamentalist institution. Its doctrine of the church, particularly regarding the Synod as the Church is as hierarchical as you can get. Wouldn't be surprised at all if it's been infiltrated by Freemasonry too. One of the *conservative* Reformed ministers known for his promotion of Reformed education and schooling was a Freemason. He died an unrepentant Freemason, which means that a conservative Reformed minister, not a liberal, one who believes in the doctrine of grace is in ... HELL!

Augustinian Successor said...

God is not mocked; whatever a man sows, that he shall reap.

In Northern Ireland, there are conservative evangelicals who are members of Freemason-type organisations called Orange Orders. If they do not repent, then they've shown themselves to reprobates. Their self-righteousness in railing against popery and so on is just a show. All these organisations are controlled by the Jesuit hierarchy. Bloody fools or willing idiots, it doesn't matter, for they are the Pharisees of today. Despite their outward show, they HATE the one, true and living God who sent His Son to this world to die for sinners.

That being the case, let their hearts be hardened. Judgment must BEGIN in the house of God and the righteous can scarcely be saved but Jesus died for the vile sinner like the thief on the Cross, the woman who committed adultery, 'prostitutes' (there are different type of prostitutes!), etc. etc.

Boaz said...

One other problem anti-uojers should address if they want to be taken seriously is that no uojer recognizes their position in your arguments.
Nobody using uoj believes it to mean fully reconciled to God without faith but that's the definition you ascribe to uoj.

it seems to me that the whole issue is whether the word justification is properly used to describe what christ did on the cross, which did not in any way depend on anybodys faith for effectiveness. Ill defer to the many greek scholars in the lcms and wels who say it can encompass that.

But to avoid confusion, ill talk about how christ atoned for my sins 2000 years ago, before I was a speck, even though it means the same to say Christ forgave those sins on the cross 2000 years ago.

Finally, I think its worth noting the connection uoj has to election. We say that christ died for the non-elect, but they are damned because they reject God, not because God has failed to do something for them. This also captures the idea that except for a persons rejection of God, God has removed all barriers between us and him through Christs work on the cross. The remaining barrier is us-our bound will-which can only be overcome by faith.

That is all.

Brett Meyer said...

Boaz, you do not accurately detail what UOJ teaches and confesses.

Here's a classic UOJ essay written and delivered to WELS pastors only a few weeks ago. It perfectly matches most confessions of UOJ - there are different versions:
Read this and confirm if you confess the same as Pastor Bourman does in this essay.

Here are three classic UOJ quotations. Do you agree with these?

WELS Our Great Heritage states, "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)"

WELS Siegbert W. Becker
"Faith does nothing more than accept the forgiveness proclaimed in the Gospel. It is not a condition we must fulfill before we can be forgiven. It is not a cause of forgiveness on account of which God forgives us. The forgiveness comes first. Faith is merely the response to the message. God says to us, “Your sins are forgiven.” This is objective justification, and God’s message to us is true whether
we believe it or not. Faith makes God’s message its own and says, “My sins are forgiven.” This is subjective justification. The whole doctrine is just as simple as that." Page 12

and Becker here, "1) Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinner’s attitude toward Christ’s sacrifice, purely on the basis of God’s verdict, every sinner, whether he knows it or not, whether he believes it or not, has received the status of a saint."
The Place of Faith

L P said...


I too think you have not really dealt with the statements being made by UOJers themselves and also in official synodical statements.

Because you made statements like this Nobody using uoj believes it to mean fully reconciled to God without faith but that's the definition you ascribe to uoj.

I present to you Article 17 Statement of LCMS 1932.

. 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;

May I ask you a question?

I refer you to my atheist analogy.

Is the atheist down the street who rejects Jesus and who does not believe in God already forgiven even before he was born?

If you do not like this question, I will rephrase.

Has God declared that atheist down the street to be already righteous even before he was born?

No UOJer has answered this question for me with a simple yes or no.


Brett Meyer said...

Boaz, here are a few more, out of hundreds, of declarations of UOJ that teach the whole unbelieving world is fully reconciled with God.

WELS Siegbert W. Becker made these two statements in his essay Objective Justification, "In other words, we can be sure that we have been reconciled because the whole world has been reconciled and we know that we have the ministry of reconciliation because God has committed to us the word of reconciliation." Page 5

"That Paul in verse 19 of the fifth chapter of Second Corinthians is not speaking of a future reconciliation which takes place when men come to faith is also demonstrated by another passage in which katalla&ssein is used. That this reconciliation took place in the past and before we came to faith is surely made clear by Paul’s statement that we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son while we were still enemies (Ro 5:10). And if Paul can say that God reconciled (a)pokatalla&cai1) “all things” to himself through the blood of Christ’s cross, that must surely include more than believers unless we want to write a Calvinistic gloss on that “all.”" Page 6

LCMS Kurt Marquart wrote in Objective Justification, "The pattern is clear and consistent throughout: the Gospel or absolution offers not a conditional, future prospect, but a perfected, past and present reality. God already is gracious, merciful, propitious, reconciled in Christ, and freely offers this ready forgiveness or grace in the Gospel. To believe this Gospel or absolution is to believe oneself forgiven, justified, accepted. Forgiveness exists “objectively” already before faith. Faith does not create forgiveness but only receives, accepts, appropriates it. Absolution is prior to, and
creates faith, not vice versa (Augsburg Confession XII, 5; Apology XII, 42). The Gospel
“offers forgiveness and justification, which are received by faith” (Apology IV, 62). And:
“forgiveness of sins is the same as justification” (IV, 76)."
Page 2

Also Marquart quotes C.F.W. Walther, "5. That Christ did not only in general command His apostles and those who were to succeed them in office to preach the Gospel, thus the forgiveness of sins, but also to speak the consolation to every single [one] who asks it of them: ‘You are reconciled with God!’ For if the forgiveness of sins has been won for all, then it has been won also for everyone individually. . . We teach:" Page 24

LutherRocks said...

Boaz and I have been saying the same things and I will second his assessment in that because you say we aren't saying the same things and that confirms your misunderstanding of the doctrine.

I will take his last post one step further and say that Grace even existed before creation. The world was created under Grace. God knew ahead of time the outcome but He did it anyway.

LPC, that athiest has been declared righteous in the sense we have been talking about. But if if he continues to reject God, the point is moot, isn't it.


Brett Meyer said...

JK, Boaz states, "When UOJers say my future grandchildren are already forgiven, the reference is to 1): Christ died for their sins they haven't even committed yet.not that they have received faith. I can't see how there is anything but pure, comforting gospel in that."

1:27 PM

This was in response to my quote of your Bailing Water question (statement).

I contend that your confession is that not only did Christ die for your future grandchildren's sins but that God the Father has already forgiven them their sins and before they have faith they stand fully reconciled, forgiven of all sin, righteous and declared justified by God. All before faith so that faith has something complete to cling to.

Joe, is this correct?

I will wager that Boaz disagrees with this statement.

Joe, please provide your confession concerning the issue of righteousness declared by UOJ and the Lutheran Confessions which state that God doesn't declare anyone righteous while they live in mortal sin. (reference my quote of the BOC at 8:32am)

LutherRocks said...

Brett, I have said all I can say. I don't know what else to say. If you can't figure out where I stand at this point I can't help you. I won't fall into your snare. UOJ and SJ are two sides of the same coin. You're trying to put this nice and neat in a little box and you can't.


Brett Meyer said...

Odessa Texas Joe, why won't you respond to the very straight forward contradiction between UOJ's declaration that the whole unbelieving world has been declared by God to be righteous and the opposing declaration from the Lutheran Confessions which states no one who lives in mortal sin is declared by God to be righteous. Your excuse that God's Justification can't be nice and neat is a rejection of the clarity of Scripture - Christ's very Words.

Brett Meyer said...

Joe, also in my 2:08am post I detail what your confession is concerning your future grandchildren's justification. Can you simply agree or disagree to my description. It will show if you and Boaz are really saying the same thing as you contend.

Straight forward questions and answers with words that have specific meanings. Certainly that isn't overthinking things.

Brett Meyer said...

Joe Krohn states, "LPC, that athiest has been declared righteous in the sense we have been talking about. But if if he continues to reject God, the point is moot, isn't it.


1:46 AM

We may never get a clear answer from JK on the contradictions that make up the doctrine of UOJ. It is however beneficial to point out the contradiction he expresses in the quote above. That contradiction is to say that the Omnipotent Triune God has declared someone to be righteous (to have Christ's righteousness for the forgiveness of sins, justification and eternal life - to be as Christ is) but he isn't unless he believes he is. Scripture states in Genesis 1:3, "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." Yet UOJ states that God declares something to be true regarding a man but it isn't true until a man believes it's true.

Where is the comfort in UOJ? They say it's in having our sins forgiven even before we believed, they say it's in having been declared righteous, justified and God at peace with us even while we were alive to sin, dead and decaying in mortal sins. Yet if Christ's righteousness declared to be ours for the forgiveness of sins before faith didn't save us, how then will it save us if we happen to believe it's true. If Christ's payment for the worlds sin didn't pay for the sin of unbelief before faith, which we're all born with, how can it be paid for after we believe? UOJ teaches a false God, a payment of sins by Christ which didn't pay for the sin of unbelief, a righteousness of Christ which doesn't actually save us, a God who declares something to be true but it isn't until we believe it and so many other contradictions.

Why do you suffer this horrific doctrine to exist in your churches?

L P said...


You said...
LPC, that athiest has been declared righteous in the sense we have been talking about. But if if he continues to reject God, the point is moot, isn't it.

No it is not moot. It is not moot because you have God declaring the atheist already righteous then God back tracks on himself, takes away what he has already given and then redeclares the atheist not righteous.

So here is where I believe equivocation happens. The fact that Jesus died on the cross UOJ states that God has declared all the world be they in Christ or not, to be righteous already.

It collapses the giving of the gift with the possession of the gift.

Rather, and indeed, the BOC can be heard saying that the Atonement is God's offer which he delivers via the Means of Grace. The sinner is not in possession of the benefits of the atonement until he believes.

That by belief in the atonement, God treats that or credits that or imputes that as righteousness, the righteousness imputed to the sinner is Jesus' righteousness.

This is JBFA.

However UOJ when analyzed according to this teaching is way off in its understanding of JBFA. UOJ has no crediting or imputing of righteousness. Essentially UOJ has no such thing as an alien righteousness. There is no such category in UOJ.

UOJ makes justification both an offer and not an offer at the same time. So contradiction. UOJ makes and talks as if this is a paradox. There is a difference between a paradox and a contradiction.


Brett Meyer said...

Luther's Works 33, 25. "If I were to strangle someone's father and mother, wife and child, and try to choke him too, and then say 'Keep the peace, dear friend, we wish to love one another, the matter is not so important that we should be divided over it,' what would he say to me? This is what the fanatics do to Christ, the Lord, and God, the Father, and to mother church and the brethren with their rejection of God's Word while at the same time claiming it for themselves."

Brett Meyer said...

Boaz, I was reading past blog posts and read this one
where you promote and defend the doctrine of UOJ. So to clarify my statements above about your confession I would limit my statements about your confession to only what was said in this post and not in those past as I just linked.

It is interesting that you are playing both sides of the fence.

jim said...

Dear Lito,

How are you?

The word "gave" in John 3:16 is positive not negative. It does not refer to the Cross. It refers to the resurrection. It refers to the giving of the Holy Spirit. The Cross only reconsiled. "Atonement" implies union. Union is through the Holy Spirit not the Cross. I am persuing Kenneth Hagin's teachings now. I agree that Jesus was made the sin nature itself on the Cross. And that He suffered at the hands of satan in hell and was borna again in hell. That justification was a spoiling of satan in hell. I agree with Hagin that satan was the god of the law. that we were justified in the tomb not the Cross. The sign of Jonah is three days and nights in hell in the tomb. Jesus was not three days and nights on the Cross. The sign of Jonah is the resurrection not the Cross. Original Sin was the worship of satan and consequent bondage to him. Atonement and justification is release from satan unto God.

Love ya!

In Christ Jesus,
Jim Cronfel

Lvka said...

For example, faith is seen as a force.

Because that's precisely what it is.

LPC said...


Ok then for Christmas, shall we say - may the force be with you?